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South African Forces
South African Forces


1 Special Training Unit

Contentio Et Successus - Success through Contention
Mens Sana Corpore Sano - A sound Mind in a sound Body (unconfirmed)

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1 Special Training Unit - (1 members)

1 Special Training Unit was modelled on the Physical Training Brigade which had existed in Kimberley after World War 2. In 1947, Danie Craven was the Director of the Brigade which prepared disabled youths for service in the community. Forty years later the goals are the same, although at 1 Special Training Unit a clean bill of health is a prerequisite for signing up. The unit accepted jobless non-white males, between the ages 16-23, who have no more than a Standard 5 education, for 13 weeks of basic Army training. When this was completed, the Department of Manpower provided the men with an opportunity to learn a trade. Qualified artisans would give the men on-the-job training in tasks such as painting, bricklaying, plumbing and motor mechanics. The badge was based on Doc (Lt Col) Danie Cravens Physical Training Brigade at Kimberly during World War 2, the aim to build up under nourished and understrength recruits (as a result of the great Depression). The badge represented the Greek discus thrower (Diskobolus) from which the base and the post office got its name.


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Contentio Et Successus - Success through Contention
Mens Sana Corpore Sano - A sound Mind in a sound Body (unconfirmed)

History

RE: 1 Special Training Unit

Michael Phillips of Prieska was unable to find work a few months ago. His Standard IV certificate and lack of manual training could not open a single door in the job market. Then a unique training scheme with the Army gave the 20-year-old his first major goal in life... six months’ training and the chance to qualify as a carpenter, painter or bricklayer.

The training is carried out at 1 Special Training Unit in Kimberley. Young men like Michael Phillips are recruited from towns all over the Northern Cape. The unit accepts jobless non-white males, between the ages 16-23, who have no more than a Standard V education.

More than 400 young men are enrolled at the unit, presently undergoing 13 weeks of basic Army training. When this is completed, the Department of Manpower will provide the men with an opportunity to learn a trade. Qualified artisans will give the men on-the job training in tasks such as painting, bricklaying, plumbing and motor mechanics.

... To be Continued......


RE: 1 Special Training Unit

...Continued...

1 Special Training Unit was modelled on the Physical Training Brigade which existed in Kimberley 40 years ago. In 1947, Danie Craven was the Director of the Brigade which prepared disabled youths for service in the community. Forty years later the goals are the same, although at 1 Special Training Unit a clean bill of health is a prerequisite for signing up.

“The project was devised to combat the vast unemployment that exists among nonwhites," said Cmdt Frans Gunter, the Officer Commanding 1 Special Training Unit. “The young men are treated no differently to other soldiers. Their basic training is identical and when they revert to training under the Department
of Manpower, they carry on with normal duties at the Unit,” he said.

When the men qualify, the Unit attempts to find work for them. Some, who may prefer to stay in the Army, receive postings to units all over South Africa where they are able to ply their trade.

... To be Continued...
...


RE: 1 Special Training Unit

...Continued...

Last year 200 young men went through the programme and encouraged by the results, the Unit opted for a bigger intake" in 1988. In future it is hoped to recruit men from the Free State and long term plans are to recruit countrywide.

At present a R48 million unit complex is under construction for the Unit. In the meantime, recruits are being housed in tents at Northern Cape Command.

Morale is high and the men are keen to tackle each new day. They show a tremendous love of sport, with football being a firm favourite on sports afternoons, said the RSM of the Unit, Rubin Cromhout. Later in the year 1 Special Training Unit will compete against other Kimberley units at the Inter-Unit
Games.

Source: Article by L/CpI B.L. Davies, PARATUS, APRIL 1988...


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Images from 'Grensoorlog' series, produced by Linda de Jager, reproduced with kind permission from MNET
Images from 'Grensoorlog' series, produced by Linda de Jager, reproduced with kind permission from MNET
Images from 'Grensoorlog' series, produced by Linda de Jager, reproduced with kind permission from MNET
Images from 'Grensoorlog' series, produced by Linda de Jager, reproduced with kind permission from MNET
Images from 'Grensoorlog' series, produced by Linda de Jager, reproduced with kind permission from MNET

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