Special Forces Officer



OFO No: 542202




What is a Special Forces Officer?

A Special Forces Operator works in the SA defence force (SANDF). A Special Forces Officer is a ‘special’ soldier that has extreme training and skills and assists the regular forces during war and peace time.

What does a Special Forces Officer do?

  • trains and learns specialised combat skills
  • assists regular forces during high and low conflict times
  • collects and analyses information to develop the right tactics and programs
  • specialises in combat skills
  • acts as a ‘warrior / diplomat’ during peace keeping operations
  • makes sure that SA is military-ready
  • controls the use of military assets (vehicles, weapons, buildings etc)

Are you … ?

  • a South African citizen?
  • patriotic?
  • a team player?
  • fit and healthy?
  • disciplined?
  • logical thinker?
  • cool under pressure?

How do I become a Special Forces Officer?

  • 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:

Path 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.

Path 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.

Path 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.


OTHER CAREERS TO CONSIDER:  Ambulance Worker or Body Guard

Is becoming a Special Forces Officer the right career choice for me?