'the most highly qualified people in the
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 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.