South African Army
|South African Army|
|Active||1912 – present (from law creating the Union Defence Force)|
12,300 (In Reserve)
|Part of||South African National Defence Force|
|Battles/wars||World War I
World War II
Central African Republic conflict
|Minister of Defence and Veteran Affairs||Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula|
|Chief of the Army||Lt Gen Vusumuzi Masondo|
|Deputy CARMY||Maj Gen L Rudman|
The South African military traditions evolved from the frontier warfare fought by the commando forces, because the Afrikaners did not trust standing armies. After the Union of South Africa was formed in 1910, General Jan Smuts, South Africa's first Minister of Defence, placed a high priority on creating a unified military from the four separate armies of the provinces. This lead to the creation of the Union Defence Force (UDF).
The modern day South African Army is made up of professional soldiers of all races. The South African Army has been with peacekeeping operations with the United Nations and the African Union in countries such as Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.