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South African Infantry Corps - SAIC

Gladium Practamus - We wield the sword

The SA Infantry Corps (SAIC) is the single largest professional group within the SA Defence Force (SADF); with some suggesting that as many as one in three SADF Regular Force personnel are members of this corps.

The infantry is expected to attack the enemy under any conditions; this requires courage, fitness and initiative. In order to attack the enemy with confidence, weapon training and field craft is the most important part of training. An infantry member is usually a foot soldier, although it is not uncommon to fight from infantry combat vehicles. Infantry soldiers can also be transported by helicopter, aircraft, parachute and a multitude of other methods. Versatility is an important characteristic of the infantry.

The infantry is the oldest of the branches and can be said to date back to that time and place in prehistory where the first group of people took up stick, stone and spear to defend against or attack their enemy, to seize land or defend their own.

Author James F. Dunnigan points out that the infantry, by definition, takes the brunt of the fighting. “It’s always been that way … and this won’t change”.

Despite this, and the presence of infantry in South Africa from the earliest times, the infantry only gained a permanent home in the SAIC as recently as January 1954. Prior to that responsibility for the branch was passed from pillar to post.

A SA Army recruitment poster notes that the infantry is the nucleus of any army and as a result it is the largest fighting corps in the SA Army. “The infantry is expected to attack the enemy under any conditions; this requires courage, fitness and initiative. In order to attack the enemy with confidence, weapon training and field craft is the most important part of training”.

Corps colours: Green and black

Beret colour: Green (motorised, mechanised and light infantry); Maroon (parachute infantry)

Collar badge: Springbok head.

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