South Africa: All Militaries in the world pride themselves on their traditions and customs. Military traditions are important as they can blind soldiers together and, as a result, share a common experience.
These traditions and customs play an important role for many reasons; it provides a sense of continuity between the generations, uphold morale, and instil pride among men and women in uniform. Becoming part of a Military tradition or customs instils a sense of acceptance and belonging.
The South African National War College, as one of the Military training colleges within the South African National Defence Force, practices the South African National Defence Force traditions and customs but also has its own unique traditions aimed specifically at them.
One of the traditions, “The Symbol Ceremony”, was performed by Student Officers currently busy with Joint Senior Command and Staff Program 22/2023. The ceremony is performed when the Student Executive Committee has been elected. They are sworn in and accept their symbols of authority witnessed by the Commandant of the South African National War College, Brigadier General N. Dlamini, his Directing Staff, and all Student Officers.
The Student Executive Committee has the following six (06) appointments:
President of the Course “SIYAYA” – Who will be responsible for synchronising and orchestrating the function of the committee and ensuring that they conduct their tasks to the benefit of the greater Student Officers Body. The SIYAYA for Joint Senior Command and Staff Program 22/2023 is Lieutenant Colonel M.J. Tshabalala from the SA Army.
Services and International Student Officers representatives:
- The “BEAGLE” – representing the SA Army, he will oversee all SA Army members on Joint Senior Command and Staff Program 22/2023. Lieutenant Colonel A. Du Preez from the SA Army.
- The “EAGLE” – representing the SA Air Force, she will oversee all SAAF members on Joint Senior Command and Staff Program 22/2023. Represented by Lieutenant Colonel V.K. Moeti from the SA Air Force.
- The “SEAGULL” – representing the SA Navy, he will oversee all SA Navy student Officers on Joint Senior Command and Staff Program 22/2023. Cdr D. Van Rooyen from the SA Navy.
- The “NEEDLE” – representing SA Military Health Service, she will oversee all SA Military Health Service students Officers on Joint Senior Command and Staff Program 22/2023. Represented by Lieutenant Colonel N. Visagie.
- The “TURTLE” – represents all International Student Officers in Joint Senior Command and Staff Program 22/2023. Represented by Colonel R. Nokana from the Lesotho Defence Force.
After pledging to serve and receiving their symbols, the SIYAYA delivered his speech which was followed by the Commandant’s vote of thanks and appreciation. The Symbol ceremony has accumulated experiences and deeds that will be passed on from generation to generation with memory and reality.