To create an environment in which the units under command can prepare
combat ready and supported intelligence user system.
To prepare and provide Combat Ready and supported Intelligence User
Systems for the SA Army.
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
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
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
- 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
- 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.