What is a Soldier?

A Soldier works and serves in the national army.

They can serve in different areas:

Infantry Corps(OFO No: 542301)

  • This section has most of the Soldiers. They are ‘foot’ Soldiers. They are the ‘attack’ team and protect our borders and country from threatening forces. Training includes: weapons, field craft and tactical moves.

Intelligence Corps

  • This section of the army deals with intelligence collection. They are always collecting and analysing data about enemies and what the enemies are planning. With this information, the army can then design and prepare military moves to combat the threat/s.

Armour Corps

  • Soldiers in this section are extremely well trained on weapons and tanks. You will need to have a technical mind to belong to the Armour Corps.

Air Defence Artillery Corps

  • This section is trained to protect our troops, supplies, airports, power plants, dams and other strategic and important infrastructures. Candidates who have passed Mathematics and or Physical Science are preferable.

Artillery Corps

  • This section of the army is to destroy the enemy, preferably prior to contact with own Infantry and Armour, by means of firepower. Successful candidates will be employed in a digital and technologically advanced environment. Must have passed Mathematics and or Physical Science in Grade 12.

Ordnance Service Corps (OSV)

  • The main role of the OSV is to acquire, look after and distribute clothing, ammunition, vehicles, parts, fuel etc within the army.

Technical Service Corps (TSC)

  • This section provides technical support and maintenance to the army: mechanical, electrical and electronic. Must have at least a Grade 12 / Level 4 N3 with Mathematics.

SA Ammunitions Corps (SA AMMU C)

  • The SA AMMU C makes sure that the effective and safe ammunitions are supplied to the defence force. You must be intelligent and emotionally stable with a Matric / Level 4 N3 with Mathematics and Physical Science.

SA Catering Corps (SA CAT C)

  • This section prepares and makes food for the SADF with a strong emphasis on nutrition. Candidates must be medically fit with a basic knowledge of cooking skills as well as have a keen interest to work with people on all levels.

Personnel Service Corps

  • This is like the HR department of the army. They are responsible for the career planning, promotions, transfers, leave, pay, etc of all the members of the army.

What does a Soldier do?

  • This will depend on which section of the army the Soldier works in.

Are you . . . ?

  • interested in serving your country?
  • loyal?
  • a team player?
  • willing to train hard?
  • willing to be away from family and friends for long periods at a time?
  • responsible and reliable?
  • trustworthy?
  • calm under stress?
  • confident?

How do I become a Soldier?

Who can apply?

  • Must be South African
  • Must be 18 to 22 years old (currently completing matric or completed matric)
  • Must be 26 or younger (graduate with diploma or degree)
  • Must not be area bound (happy to move around SA)
  • Must have a clean criminal record
  • Must be preferably single
  • Must be fit and healthy (pass SADF fitness requirement test)

The SA Army’s way of recruiting is through The Military Skills Development Systems (MSDS).

It’s a 2 year contract, voluntary service system with the long-term aim of building the SADF’s capabilities.

During the 2 years you will receive:

  • 1st year – military and functional training
  • 2nd year – deployed to develop use your training and develop your skills
  • At the end of your second year you can decide if you want to continue as a volunteer or join the SADF on a permanent basis. The SADF will only recruit permanent members if you prove yourself.

There are 3 groups of applicants:

(1)    Applicants with Matric / Grade 12

  • Applicants will be chosen on educational performance, participation in sport and community involvement
  • After training, the SADF will then consider you for specialisations.

(2)    Applicants with Matric / Grade 12 with VERY HIGH MARKS + exemption

  • Training that will focus on developing your leadership potential during the second year of deployment
  • After training, you may be selected for the Core Service System (CSS) studies at the Military Academy. Only candidates with Grade 12 exemption can be considered for studies at the Military Academy.

(3)    Applicants with a recognised 3 year diploma or degree

  • It will depend on our qualification at the time and what the SADF requires. These applicants will be earmarked for leadership development and or non-leader group training


  • Applications usually take place between 1 Jan and 28 February: CLICK HERE
  • It’s up to you to double-check for the closing date.


  • Volunteer: Join the Reserve Force:


OTHER CAREERS TO CONSIDER: Ambulance Worker or Fire Fighter

Is becoming a Soldier the right career choice for me?