The importance of the University Reserve Training Programme (URTP) to the future wellbeing of the SA National Defence Force’s (SANDF) Reserve Force has been highlighted by Brigadier General Debbie Molefe, director: Defence Reserves.
Visiting Potchefstroom where the latest batch of volunteers completed the first stage of basic military training (BMT) she said: “The product of this training will have an influence in the SANDF for the next 45 years”.
Addressing the 123 volunteers from Gauteng and North West tertiary education institutions she urged them to make maximum use of the opportunities offered by URTP in developing their military skills so they can become “part of the proud heritage of the SANDF”.
“You, as graduates and under graduates, will enhance the professional, intellectual and leadership qualities of the Reserves.”
An indication of the quality of person volunteering for the URTP comes in the form of Carl Smit, a B.Com honours student at the University of North West.
For the duration of BMT he forsook his civilian title of Mr for that of Trooper but this did not stop his elation on hearing he had been selected by the SA Institute of Chartered Accountants as one of only 30 students to attend a leadership summit next month.
This, Reserve Force spokesman Colonel Monica Muller said, was “a clear indication” URTP was succeeding in recruiting young leaders with professional qualifications.
With the first part of BMT, including drill, musketry, field craft and regimental duties, completed at Regiment Mooi River the latest URTP recruits will over coming weekends and university vacations finish BMT. Next year they will start with officer formative training as the next step on the ladder to junior officer status in the Reserve Force.