The Army Reserve tomorrow becomes 104 candidate officers richer.
The new additions were all recruited as part of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) Reserve Force University Reserve Training Programme (URTP) in Gauteng and North West. They have successfully completed basic military training (BMT) and will embark on the next phase of training – officer formative – during university vacations this year.
Since its implementation just on three years ago, URTP has boosted Reserve Force junior officer levels by 153, all who will bring specialist skills as well as leadership qualities to the part-time component of the SANDF, said Colonel Monica Muller, SSO Reserve Force Projects.
All URTP volunteers are full-time under-graduates or post graduate students and on successful completion of officer formative training will start with functional and junior leader training, the final stage prior to unit postings.
During officer formative training the volunteers are taught the skills necessary for leadership, management and conduct becoming an officer.
Functional training is done on a service specific basis. In the case of the Army, the volunteers could find themselves in, among other formations, infantry, armour, engineers, air defence, artillery or signals depending on their specific fields of academic knowledge.
An indication of the Reserve force’s importance to the overall efficiency of the SANDF came from defence minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula. Speaking at last year Armed Forces Day parade in Pretoria she said: “Our Reserves are an integral part of the defence and provide the expansion capability in the case of an emergency or a state of national defence. Reserve force members, who have other life commitments outside the SANDF, continue to make a significant contribution to both internal and external operations of the SANDF”.
The parade will be at Regiment Mooiriver in Potchefstroom, North West, where the newest intake of URTP volunteers did their basic military training.