Infantry Formation
home  | about us  |  structure  |  bulletins  |  contact us
 
     
Vision
Mission
History

Vision

To create an environment in which the units under command can prepare combat ready and supported intelligence user system.

Mission

To prepare and provide Combat Ready and supported Intelligence User Systems for the SA Army.

History

The Infantry (foot soldier) is as old as war itself. Although the South African Army Infantry men participated in many wars and campaigns as part of various Infantry Regiments and wore the badge of the regiment in which they served or the General Service Badge (roundel with the profile of the Springbok), no defined corps for infantry existed.

After World War II, the Union Defence Force was reorganised and on 18 October 1946, the South African Armoured Corps was established as part of the Permanent Force. The South African Armoured Corps was divided into two groups: the South African Armoured Corps Armour and the South African Armour Corps Infantry. The South African Armour Corps Armour wore the Protea Badge Silver and the South African Armour Corps Infantry wore the Protea Badge Bronze. During that period, various Infantry Permanent Force Instructors formed part of the South African Instructional Corps (SAIC). These instructors did duty at the training depots at Potchefstroom, Bloemfontein and later Oudtshoorn.

In 1953, it was decided to disband the SA Instructional Corps and to establish the SA Infantry Corps and it was also decided to use the frontal part of the head of the Springbok as the corps badge. This badge had already been worn by certain Infanteers in 1953 (those posted to 1 SA Infantry in Potchefstroom). The formation of the SA Infantry Corps was announced in Proclamation No 13 of 22 January 1954.

During 1953, three composite training units were established at Potchefstroom, Bloemfontein and Oudtshoorn. Each consisted of a headquarters and logistic element, an artillery battery, an infantry company and an armour squadron. They were 1 South African Infantry Battalion in Oudtshoorn (Inf A Coy), 1 Special Service Battalion Training Regiment in Bloemfontein (Inf B Coy) and 4 Field Training Regiment in Potchefstroom (Inf C Coy).

The new Full-time Force (autonomous Corps units) was established during 1961/62 throughout the Republic of South Africa so as to have a military presence countrywide. The new Full-time Force were now responsible for the training of recruits and units. They also had an operational responsibility. Infantry units were sited at Ladysmith, Grahamstown, Oudtshoorn, Upington, Potchefstroom, Lenz, Middelburg and Phalaborwa. There was even a battalion group in Walvis Bay.

In 1994, the Infantry Corps became a fully integrated force of the SA National Defence Force and the SA Army Infantry Formation was established on 1 April 2000 under the command of Major General D.M. Mgwebi who was succeeded by Major General T.M. Nkabinde in June 2003. Women are also now trained as Infanteers.

South African Army Infantry Badge

The development of warfare for an Infanteer included hand-to-hand combat, at first with bare hands and, later as the fighter developed, stones, sticks and bones were used.

An Infanteer’s weapons were initially wooden or metal spears. Later spears were improved to swords. With time, rifles became the Infanteer’s personal weapon, with the bayonet developed for close support combat.

Over the history of battle, the Infanteer has wielded one or another hand implement or weapon in combat. Furthermore the Infantry Corps slogan of “Gladium Practamus”, which means “We wield the sword”, can be associated closely with the Infantry.

  • On instruction of the Chief of the South African Army in 2000, the South African Army Infantry Formation had to find a suitable replacement for the “Bokkie”.
  • The project to design a new South African Army Infantry Corps Badge was driven by Warrant Officer 1 J.G.C. Schuurman, the South African Army Infantry Formation Warrant Officer. The rationale for the design of the Infantry Corps Badge was borne from intense research which is summarised in the opening paragraphs.
  • The South African Army Infantry Council approved the new badge on 23 June 2004.
  • The South African Army Council approved the new badge on 05 October 2004.
  • The new badge was officially unveiled and inaugurated at the South African Infantry Corps, 50th Anniversary Celebratory Function at 1 South African Army Infantry Battalion, Bloemfontein, by Major General T.M. Nkabinde, General Officer Commanding South African Army Infantry Formation on 12 November 2004.
  • Three of these embroidered South African Army Infantry Corps Badges have been produced and two were handed over to Major General L.M. Dlulane, acting on behalf of the Chief of the South African Army, to display in the offices of the Chief of the South African Army and the Chief of the South African National Defence Force. The 3rd badge was presented to Major General Nkabinde, to be displayed in the office of the General Officer Commanding South African Army Infantry Formation.
  • These badges replace all unit affiliation/badges, except for the already approved Reserves badges.