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'the most highly qualified people in the military environment'

The South African Navy has various types of vessels such as Submarines, Frigates, a Combat Support Ship, a Hydrographic Survey Vessel, Minehunters, Offshore Patrol Vessels and Inshore Patrol Vessels. These are operated and commanded by Combat Officers.

Combat Officers are responsible for executing the Navy’s main function – Maritime Warfare. These officers also serve in shore posts, including training units and the Maritime Reaction Squadron.

All officer candidates undergo a selection process to determine whether they have leadership potential. If successful, they then undergo a further nine months of officer training. During this second phase of training, the candidate will again be evaluated and then selected to either further their studies at the Military Academy in Saldanha, to study Maritime Studies at the Cape Penninsula University of Technology or they will proceed directly to the Fleet in Simon’s Town.

The candidate will be taught how to safely navigate the ship, take charge of the Bridge, run a division and eventually qualify as a Principle Warfare Officer - to fight a ship. It goes without saying that a Combat Officer needs to be a highly motivated, well-trained leader with the necessary expertise to effectively operate complex combat systems. A qualified Combat Officer is in charge of a specific section or division onboard a ship – such as Operations, Navigation, Weapons, Gunnery or Seamanship.

A Combat Officer on the Bridge of one of the SA Navy Valour Class Frigates

Combat Officers are one of the most highly qualified people in the military environment. Although this career is personally demanding, it is very stimulating, unique and rewarding. The peak of a Combat Officer’s career is taking command of a warship.


Enquiries can be directed to: SA Navy Recruitment Centre at (012) 339 4252 or (012) 339 4421.

Mail: Navy Headquarters, Department of Defence, Private Bag X 104, Pretoria, 0001, Recruitment Section

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revision date: Wednesday, February 02, 2011

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