Over 300 SA Army members, primarily Majors, are en route to become staff officers after making the grade in the 2023 Junior Command and Staff Course (JCSC) at the Army College in Thaba Tshwane.
The 312 members were suitably rewarded this week by Lieutenant General Lawrence Mbatha, Army Chief, during an awards presentation event at Thaba Tshwane Town Hall, a few hundred metres from the Army College campus where much midnight oil was burnt and brain cells exercised to the limit during the demanding academic component of the course going back to the start of the year.
The majority of the graduates are Majors, currently holding the lowest senior officer rank, and can now look forward to promotion and enter the ranks of Level 3 Staff Officers, the SANDF reported. They heard wise words from their chief when they entered the halls of military academia early this year. Mbatha told the then newcomers to the Thaba Tshwane campus, which also houses the peace mission training centre (PMTC), they should make good use of the “wealth of knowledge” residing in the command and instructor personnel.
That they did, acquiring leadership skills and competencies along the way, was shown when 312 officers made the grade receiving qualification certification from the three-star.
Addressing graduates, family and friends at the event, Mbatha noted unit commander and staff officer training at the tactical level is an essential function of the SA Army. “It is regarded as one of the most crucial learning opportunities in the careers of senior officers. At this level of training, planning at an operational level as initiated by military strategic objectives is put into practice allowing leaders to meet their constitutional mandate of securing the nation,” he is reported by SA Army Corporate Communication as saying.
He added that competency status comes with responsibility and not only should they apply and impart their knowledge but they must strive to improve themselves to the benefit of the landward force. He pointed out the successful majors could look forward to using their insight and skills at operational level as qualified commanders and staff officers urging them to “continuously challenge themselves to learn more about this noble profession”.