Last week was “graduation” for 889 military skills development (MSD) volunteers on successful completion of basic military training (BMT) at the SA Army Infantry School in Oudtshoorn.
A passing out parade at the school in the Western Cape town was attended by SA Army Chief, Lieutenant General Lawrence Mbatha. In addition to being the review officer for the parade, the three-star general presented awards to the cream of the budding soldier crop, who now go on to other formations and divisions in the landward force to continue training as part of their 24 month commitment to the SA National Defence Force (SANDF).
Awards went to N Nomtsheke (best overall learner and best practical learner), SS Mbinda (fittest male), AM Magoai (fittest female), SA Kgomo (best female shottist) and JB Eksteen (best male shottist).
Six hundred and forty-one of those who “graduated” BMT are male with the balance – 241 – female.
Addressing the parade after honouring the top volunteers, Mbatha said their success was made more notable by them coming out ahead of “grave challenges”, in reference to the national state of disaster instituted to prevent spread of coronavirus.
“When the going got tough, they did not slow down and finished their training in peak physical condition in well-versed in military skills,” Mbatha said.