How To Join The Army In South Africa

The South African army is one of the most respected military forces in the world. This means they only accept people who are physically fit and ready to serve their country. You need to know what you want in life before joining the South African army because this will help you decide if this career path is right for you.

How To Join The Army In South Africa

You must be a South African citizen, between the ages of 18 and 35 and physically and mentally fit. You must speak and write English fluently; be able to swim; have completed Grade 10 or N3 National Diploma (ND). You can’t have any criminal convictions or pending court cases against you.

There are several things you need to do to join the South African army. These are called the basic requirements for joining the military. This part will tell you exactly what you need to do.

Basic Requirements for Joining The Military:

  • Be a citizen or permanent resident of South Africa;
  • Be between 18 and 35 years old;
  • Have good eyesight;

Know your purpose

As you begin to explore the reasons you want to join, it’s important to consider what drives your interest in joining.

A common thought is that the military offers a path towards self-improvement and development—a chance for you to mature into a more responsible adult.

The Army exists for this reason: to help those who want to make themselves better through service.

However, the Army does not exist solely as a means of self-development; rather, its purpose is also one of national service (in other words, protecting South Africa).

This may seem like an obvious point but it’s worth repeating here because there are many people who join without fully understanding why they’ve made that decision.

To be clear: if your sole motivation is personal growth or character development then perhaps joining isn’t right for you at this time in your life.

Educate yourself

To get a better idea of the military and its history, you should read up on South Africa’s army and its role in the country. You’ll also want to learn more about the military’s role in other countries, as well as its influence on regional security.

Prepare yourself

Before you commit to joining the army, you must prepare yourself mentally, physically and emotionally. You need to know what drives your passion for serving in the military and be ready for a lifetime of challenges both on duty and off.

It is important that you are aware of what it means to join the South African National Defence Force (SANDF). It’s not just another job—it is a way of life that requires dedication above all else.

Document yourself

To join the army in South Africa, you need to have a valid passport. You also need to have a valid birth certificate, identification document, driver’s license or learner’s permit.

Train yourself

The next step is to train yourself. Training takes time, and the more you can do on your own before joining the service, the better your chances of getting into a specialized unit.

Specialized training includes weapon training (handgun and rifle), driving training (all vehicles), physical fitness tests for specific jobs within the army.

Other types of training include mental skills like self awareness and leadership skills; medical skills such as first aid; language skills like Afrikaans or other local languages; and technical specialties that help you qualify for certain jobs in an army unit or specialized branch like engineering or logistics support units.

Interview Yourself

Before you start the process of joining the army, ask yourself:

  • Why do I want to join the army?
  • What are my strengths and weaknesses?
  • What can I bring to this organisation?

Once you know your purpose and how to answer these questions, it’s time to prepare yourself.

The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) is a branch of the Government of South Africa. Military service is no joke, you must have a purpose, educate and train yourself, document yourself and interview yourself to be part of it.


We hope that this article has helped you understand the requirements for joining the South African army. It is important that you know what it takes to join before applying because once your application has been accepted there is no turning back!

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