Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, presided over a passing out parade of Military Skills Development (MSD) recruits at the Infantry School in Oudtshoorn this morning.
Addressing the parade at the biggest training unit of the SA Army and the SANDF, the Minister said, “I am particularly pleased that most of you have chosen to join the defence force and have made it a career of choice. This will afford you to have a full sense of the history of our country and what we have gone through and where we come from.
“As you pass out, you must have the honor to serve! To, when called upon, pay the supreme sacrifice, in defence of our people and our country! As we bestow to you the honor of ‘being a soldier’, know that you have rights, but these are limited even as we have the Bill of Rights. They are limited because you also have obligations, which in the extreme can mean preparedness to die, in service of your country. The military is one institution where the possibility of death is ever present. This is because the profession you are now starting is the profession of arms.
“As you are gathered here on parade, you must hold your head high that you have been able to complete the gruelling training you underwent in the last six months.
“I am happy to witness you pass out, having been prepared in the pressure cooker of the SA Infantry formation. Your conduct during training will become the hallmark of the soldier that you are, well into your life within the Defence Force. This institution has produced many leaders in the SANDF, past and present. You must count yourselves amongst those leaders of the defence force of tomorrow.
“You have now been moulded into soldiers, and this is your first giant step towards ‘being a soldier’! As your parents and siblings are here to witness the achievement of this milestone, make them proud. Make them proud, not just today as you pass out, but as you rise through your career in the defence force, an all-volunteer defence force,” the Minister said.