The annual Reserve Force Military Skills competition was presented in Potchefstroom over the period 23 to 28 October 2017. The competition took place under the auspices of Chief of the SA Army, Chief Defence Reserves and with the support of the Reserve Force Council. The competition was hosted by SAASIC Reserves. Competitors’ from all over the country including reserves and regulars, participated during the week. International teams from the United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands, Norway and our brothers from Botswana also participated. It must be mentioned that the planning, leading, organising and attention to detail by SA Army Specialised Infantry Capability Reserves was exemplary.
The SA Army Armour Formation
The SA Army Armour Formation was represented by six members from Regiment Mooirivier (RMR) and one member from Umvoti Mounted Rifles (UMR) in Pinetown KZN. Four of the Regiment Mooirivier team members, 2Lt C. Smit, 2Lt R. Purchase, 2Lt S.T. Podile and 2Lt M.A. Mosasi, are products of the University Reserve Training Program (URTP) who began their military career on 21 June 2013 at Regiment Mooirivier in Potchefstroom as part of the URTP. The URTP is a programme whereby undergraduates and postgraduates enroll as Reserve Force (Part-time) members of the SANDF and undergo military training. Recruitment for the URTP takes place on the campuses of various identified tertiary institutions. On completion of the URTP members are then appointed as junior leaders in the SANDF. They may be utilized in the military in terms of their professional qualification or not, depending on their preference.The RMR members reported for a training camp one week prior to the competition. The members also attended several training camps during the year in preparation for the competition. Their dedication in achieving the ultimate mission, overall victory, was well compensated for during the prize giving ceremony when the following results were announced:
Best overall Formation, SA Army Armour Formation
▪ 2Lt S.T. Podile (RMR)
▪ 2Lt R. Purchase (RMR)
▪ 2Lt C. Smit (RMR)
▪ Cpl Hlophe (UMR)
➢ Best overall Unit SANDF, Regiment Mooirivier.
▪ 2Lt S.T. Podile
▪ 2Lt R. Purchase
▪ 2Lt C. Smit
▪ Tpr Nophetjhe
Victorious armour members pointing to the “Flame of the Armour” from where they seek inspiration.
FLTR: Tpr Nophetjhe (RMR), Capt Krauze(RMR), Cpl Hlophe (UMR) RFLTR: 2Lt Podile (RMR), 2Lt Mosasi (RMR), A/OC RMR Maj Brooks, 2Lt Smit (RMR), RSM RMR MWO Wagner, 2LT Purchase (RMR)
The competition consisted of 6 disciplines to be completed by all individuals. Points were allocated to each member according to their results in each discipline. These points were then converted according to a formula and added together to give a consolidated result per individual. The 6 disciplines were 200 meter R4 Rifle Shooting, 25 meter 9mm Pistol Shooting, Hand Grenade throwing, completion of a 500 meter Land Obstacle course (20 obstacles), completion of a 50 meter Swim Obstacle course (5 obstacles) and completion of a 8 kilometer battle dress run.
The competition was officially opened with a parade on the Monday morning where after the final training and preparations were completed before the actual competition started on Wednesday.
The Victorious Armour Formation and Regiment Mooirivier
FLTR: Team Captain 2Lt Podile (RMR), Cpl Hlophe (UMR), Head Coach Capt Krauze (RMR), A/OC RMR Maj Brooks, RSM RMR MWO Wagner, 2Lt Mosasi (RMR), 2Lt Purchase(RMR), Tpr Nophethje RMR). Insert: 2Lt Smit (RMR)
The grand finale of the 2017 Military Skills Competition was the prize giving ceremony followed by a luncheon which was attended by all the competitors, invited guests and senior dignitaries from the Reserve Force Council, Army Head Quarters and the Defence Reserves Division. The keynote address was delivered by Maj Gen Roy Andersen, Chief Defence Reserves. In his address Maj Gen Andersen expressed his views on the restructuring of the Reserves that was approved by the HRCC in principle. Maj Gen Andersen further stressed the importance of the skills that were obtained through the competition being the basic soldiering skills that every soldier should be equipped with. A very proud Maj Brooks and MWO Wagner looked on as members of the RMR stepped forward to receive the following honours: