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The Military Skills Development System (MSDS) programme is a two-year voluntary service system with the long-term goal of enhancing the SA National Defence Force’s deployment capability.

Recruits are required to sign up for a period of two years, during which they will receive military training and further functional training in their first year of service. During the second year of service, depending on the duration of their functional orientation, they will be deployed where needed and given the opportunity to apply their knowledge and develop their skills.

This MSDS programme serves as an introduction to the military way of life for all members who are joining the SA Army for the first time.

Towards the end of the second year, the member will be offered the opportunity for further service in the SA Army or leave the Army. The opportunity for further service will mainly depend on the member’s performance over the two years and the availability of posts in the relevant functional field and whether or not he or she has been recommended for further service.

Members who are not recommended for, or who are not interested in continuing with their service in the Regular Force, will be required to serve in the Reserve Force after completion of the initial two-year period. This entails 30 days service per annum over a 5 year period.

How do I get selected for the MSDS programme?

On the day of selection the following tests are done:

  • Test the candidate in terms of non-verbal reasoning;
  • Test the candidate in terms of language ability; and
  • Test the candidate ito mathematical ability.

Medical Evaluation:

Every candidate that remained after the Psychometric tests had finished, undergo a comprehensive medical examination which determine if a candidate complies with the medical fitness standards of the SA National Defence Force.


Every candidate, if found to be medically fit is to be interviewed, to determine whether the candidate has the correct profile/personality to become a member of the SA National Defence Force.

Documentation needed when attending a Selection Board:

  • Certified true copy of his/her ID;
  • Certified true copy of his/her Grade 12/Senior Certificate or symbol certificate when currently busy with Grade 12;
  • Comprehensive Curriculum Vitae;
  • Other documentation ito post qualifications obtained (Certified true copies); and
  • Documentation ito work experience in the labour sector obtained (if any).

To contact the Department of Defence Directorate Human Resource Acquisition: DepartmentofDefenceChiefHumanResources

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