SA Navy commissions 53 midshipmen

The Chief of the South African Navy (SAN) Vice Admiral Johannes Mudimu this morning officiated the commissioning of 53 midshipmen at the SA Naval College in Gordon’s Bay, the institution responsible for training future naval officers.
Navy spokesman Sub Lieutenant Sam Khasuli says the event signified “yet another boost in the SA Navy leadership, as young ordinary South Africans will carry on a legacy of a proud history and tradition of becoming new military leaders of the SANDF”.
Khasuli adds that the SAN Officers Course “is known for being the most gruelling and the longest in the entire SANDF.”
Students are required to complete both naval and joint specific curriculum which takes nine months to complete.
Khasuli says the Navy is very proud of the new cadre of ensigns “and wishes them all the best in their future endeavours”.
The SAN selects midshipmen for training either from its yearly military skills development system recruits (direct commissioning) or from the ranks of its junior and senior ratings (indirect commissioning).
A pamphlet[1]on the training of midshipmen previously on the defence department website notes that to be commissioned midshipmen “must not only have the potential, but must, in fact, have proved that he or she has acquired the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes during officer training.” The pamphlet divided the training provided into three main fields:
·         Knowledge: “Midshipmen must prove they are capable mariners, naval orientated leaders and managers, conversant with current affairs, technology, the military environment, the naval and maritime culture and officership.”
·         Skills: “Midshipmen have to master the skills of the mariner, sailor, communicator, and be physically fit. They must be able to lead and display the required interpersonal skills. They must also be able to handle naval administration.”
·         Attitude: “The naval officer is expected to be honourable, self-confident, credible, proud, respectful, loyal, ambitious, willing to serve, enthusiastic, optimistic, apolitical, punctual, courageous, patriotic and self-disciplined. A naval officer must also have integrity, a sense of responsibility and duty, refined manners and a military bearing”.                  

[1] Lt Cmdr MAS Denman, Education and Training of Officers in the Navy, SA Naval College,, 1998, accessed March 1, 1999. No longer available.