In just over a month the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) will bid farewell to a rear admiral who has served with distinction in a career spanning 42 years in uniform.
Read Admiral Philip Schoultz retires as Flag Officer Fleet (FOF) on January 31, a position he has held since November 2010 after a seven year stint at SANDF Joint Operations.
While he was Chief Director: Operations at Joint Operations Schoultz oversaw the initiation of a number of peacekeeping and peace support missions and the development of the SANDF plan for securing the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup.
He joined the SA Navy in 1972 and completed his officer’s formative training before obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Military Sciences at the Military Academy in 1975. This was later followed by a Diploma in Business Science at the University of Stellenbosch and a Diploma in Organisational Development through the Military Psychological Institute.
Schoultz’ initial sea appointments were on the minesweeper SAS Pretoria, the destroyer SAS Jan van Riebeeck and the frigate SAS President Kruger. He was also part of the strikecraft flotilla where, after a lengthy weapons course in Israel, he served as weapons officer aboard SAS Jan Smuts and operations officer aboard SAS Hendrik Mentz before taking over command of SAS Oswald Pirow. He also served as training and personnel officer for the flotilla.
At the end of 1978 he was transferred to naval headquarters where he held six different positions before moving to Joint Operations. He was Senior Staff Officer Surface Warfare, Senior Staff Officer Operations, Senior Staff Officer Staff Duties, Director Naval Management Services, Director Naval Plans and Chief Director Maritime Strategy.
Highlights of his 18 years at Navy headquarters included heading up the Helderberg aircraft rescue operation, implementation of the current SA Navy Macro Structure and authoring of the SA Navy Review in 2001.
Schoultz presented a number of papers at national and international conferences during his time at Navy Headquarters and Joint Ops. These included “The African Maritime Battlespace” and “the Establishment of Integrated Multi-dimensional Peace Missions”.
His intimate knowledge of South African military matters was cemented in 2011 when the then Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Lindiwe Sisulu, named him a member of the resource group supporting Roelf Meyer’s Defence Review Committee.
Schoultz has been awarded the Southern Cross Decoration, the Southern Cross Medal and the Military Merit Medal along with campaign and long service medals.
Last month he was honoured with a mess dinner aboard SAS Drakensberg, the Navy’s supply and replenishment vessel. Schoultz said it was a unique occasion for him being his first ever mess dinner on board a vessel as well as his last before retirement.