SANDF opens 2025 MSDS applications

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The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has opened its Military Skills Development System (MSDS) applications for 2025, allowing young and deserving South Africans the chance to join the military.

The closing date for applications is 15 March 2024, with successful candidates to report for duty at the beginning of 2025.

The MSD System takes around 2 000 volunteers into either the SA Air Force (SAAF), SA Army, SA Military Health Service (SAMHS) or SA Navy (SAN) for two years. Basic military training is first up followed by specialist mustering training, dependent on service and then deployment to a division, unit or base.

When the 24 month MSD period is up, a limited number of MSD volunteers will be offered short-term contracts in the full-time force (usually for 10 years) with the remainder expected to put their military skills to use in the Reserve Force.

For those wishing to apply for the MSD programme, the requirements are that potential candidates are South African citizens (no dual citizenships are allowed), are between 18 and 22 years old (graduates can be 26), have completed or are currently in Grade 12, have no record of serious criminal offenses or pending cases, have no visible tattoos, and comply with the medical fitness requirements of the SANDF.

The requirements for the South African Air Force are more strict as qualifications are required for pilot training. Engineering positions include civil, industrial, electronic, mechanical, aeronautical, chemical and computer. Support careers in the SA Air Force include communications and flight operations management, firefighter, clerk, military police, radar reporting operator, defence intelligence etc.

‘Fields of interest’ for the Military Health Service includes patient administration, logistics, medical support operations, dog handler, counter intelligence, human resources, corporate communication, musician, dental assistant, nursing etc. SA Army careers include infantry, armour, artillery, air defence artillery, intelligence, engineering, human resources, logistics, military police etc.

The SA Army MSD 2025 application form can be found here.

The SA Air Force MSD 2025 application form for pilot/navigator, engineer and technical trade applicants can be found here.

The SA Air Force MSD 2025 application form for support careers can be found here.

The SA Navy MSD 2025 application form can be found here.

The SA Military Health Service MSD 2025 application form can be found here.

“If you have not been contacted by 31 December 2024, kindly consider your application to be unsuccessful,” the SANDF stated.

Volunteers hoping to become part of either the air, land, maritime or military health services should go to regional offices nationally for application forms and assistance from SANDF human resource officers and personnel. They are:

  • Regional Office Free State. Army Support Base Bloemfontein Recruitment Office, Pappa Brits Street, Tempe, Bloemfontein, 9300 – Enquiries: 051 402 1262.
  • Regional Office Western Cape. Castle of Good Hope Recruitment Office. Block C, C/O Buitenkant and Darling Street (Opposite Parade Ground), Cape Town, 8000
    OR: Regional Office Western Cape. Department Of Defence School of Logistics and Training, Youngsfield, Welton, 8000 – Enquiries: 021 787 1023/4.
  • Regional Office Limpopo. Army Support Recruitment Office Building, 145 Gate Way Road (Next Polokwane Airport), Polokwane, 0700 – Enquiries: 015 299 3318.
  • Regional Office KwaZulu-Natal. Recruitment Office, Lords Ground Military Base, 186 Old Ford Road (K.E. Masinga Road), Durban, 4000 – Enquiries: 012 5718/5754/5703.
  • Regional Office Eastern Cape. Army Support Base Recruitment Office, Willow Drive, Forest Hill, Port Elizabeth, 6013
    OR: Regional Office Eastern Cape (ASBEC) de Beer Street, Forest Hill, Gqeberha, 6001 – Enquiries: 041 505 1101/1268.
  • Regional Office Northern Cape. Army Support Base Recruitment Office Kimberley, General Khan Van Der Spuy Drive, Diskobolos, Kimberley, 8301 – Enquiries: 053 530 3204
  • Regional Office North West. Army Support Base Recruitment, C/O Grobler St (R53) and Eleazer Road, Potchefstroom, 2531 – Enquiries: 018 289 3322
  • Regional Office Gauteng. Recruitment Office, C/O 218 Visagie and Paul Kruger Street, Pretoria Central, 0001- Enquiries: 012 339 5718/5703
  • Regional Office Mpumalanga. Army Support Base, 8 Spruit Street, Mbombela, 1201 – Enquiries: 013 756 2113/2181
    OR: 4 South African Infantry Battalion, do Dr Beyers Naude and Boncker Street, Middleburg, Mpumalanga, 1050 – Enquiries: 013 249 3534

Applicants should note that the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has no online application system.

Due to budget cuts, the Military Skills Development intake is only taking place every two years, rather than every year as was the case previously.

The most recent MSDS intake, meanwhile, is undergoing training, with a little over 2 000 men and women reporting to SANDF training centres last month. According to the Department of Defence (DoD) Human Resource Division, over 180 000 MSD applications were received from young men and women in all nine provinces.