South African Army

ground warfare branch of South Africa's military

The South African Army is the army of the South African National Defence Force, which is the military of South Africa.

South African Army
Active1912 – present (from law creating the Union Defence Force)
CountrySouth Africa
Size39,445 (Active)
12,300 (In Reserve)
Part ofSouth African National Defence Force
HeadquartersPretoria, Gauteng
EngagementsWorld War I
World War II
Border War
Central African Republic conflict
Minister of Defence and Veteran AffairsNosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula
Chief of the ArmyLt Gen Vusumuzi Masondo
Deputy CARMYMaj Gen L Rudman
Sergeant Major of the ArmySenior Chief Warrant Officer Charles Laubscher[1]

The South African military traditions evolved from the frontier warfare fought by the commando forces, because the Afrikaners did not trust standing armies. After the Union of South Africa was formed in 1910, General Jan Smuts, South Africa's first Minister of Defence, placed a high priority on creating a unified military from the four separate armies of the provinces. This lead to the creation of the Union Defence Force (UDF).

The modern day South African Army is made up of professional soldiers of all races. The South African Army has been with peacekeeping operations with the United Nations and the African Union in countries such as Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.


  1. "revision date". Retrieved 2013-04-26.