The latest round of recruitment for the University Reserve Training Programme (URTP) run by the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) Reserve Force found its most fertile ground at the University of North West.
No less than 43 students from the Potchefstroom based tertiary institution signed up and started basic military training (BMT) last month.
Alongside them are 33 University of Johannesburg students, 16 from the University of the Witwatersrand, 15 from the University of Pretoria, 14 from Tshwane University of Technology and two UNISA students.
The 123 strong group of new recruits have just completed the hard yards of basic military training (BMT) at Regiment Mooi River in Potchefstroom under the auspices of the General Officer Commanding the SA Army’s Armour Formation, Brigadier General Chris Geldenhuys. BMT is the first phase of their training and took in disciplines including regimental duties, drill, musketry and field craft.
Colonel Monica Muller, SSO Reserve Force Projects, said the recruits came from no less than 15 different fields of study, all of which will contribute to alleviating scarce skills in the SANDF.
Fields of study represented in the latest URTP intake from Gauteng and North West are chartered accountants, psychologists, health sciences (including medicine), environmental science, biotechnology, environmental health, sport management, social work, law, computer science, hospitality management, logistics management and electrical and mechanical engineering.
The Reserve component of the SA Army, the landward and largest component of the SANDF, will be home to 82 of the new URTP recruits with the SA Military Health Service Reserve taking 34 and the SANDF Logistics Division seven.
“The recruitment of these students and their appointment in the Reserves will assist in providing at least some of the scarce skills currently lacking in the SANDF,” Muller said.
The newest additions to the country’s part-time soldiers will complete their BMT during university vacation periods and over weekends before year-end.