Major General Roy Andersen will not be stepping down as Chief SANDF Reserve Force this month and will remain in uniform for another 12 months.
Andersen has been the country’s most senior Reserve Force officer since October 2003 when he was promoted to the rank of major general as Reserve Force Chief. In this position he serves as a member of both the Military Command Council and the Defence Staff Council.
The Johannesburg born and educated Andersen was commissioned into the SA Army Artillery Formation in 1966 and commanded the Transvaal Horse Artillery from 1976 to 1979. He was then appointed Senior Staff Officer Artillery and subsequently became Senior Staff Officer (Operations) for the then 7 Infantry Division. In 2005 he was appointed the Gunners’ General.
Apart from his duties as the number one military reservist in South Africa, Andersen was asked by SANDF Chief General Solly Shoke to head up an Education Trust more than three years ago. The Trust is an initiative of Shoke’s that aims to provide bursaries for the dependents of soldiers who have been killed or severely wounded while serving their country.
Now in its second year of operation the Trust has provided 56 education bursaries, worth more than R700 000, to enable worthy SANDF children to finish schooling. In its first year of operation Trust bursaries went to 39 deserving cases.
The Reserve Force is an integral part of the SANDF and evidence of this comes from the extensive deployment of part-time soldiers for major taskings. These include border protection (Operation Corona) and continental peace support missions. In the 2014/15 financial year more than 14 000 Reserves were called up for an average period of 183 days each to supplement full-time forces on the borders and in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Sudan.