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Johannesburg Regiment
Active 1st July 1951 to current
Country  South Africa
Branch South African Army
Motto(s) Fortiter et Recte
With Valour and Justice

The Johannesburg Regiment is an infantry regiment of the South African Army. As a reserve unit, it has a status roughly equivalent to that of a British Territorial Army or United States Army National Guard unit.

History[edit | edit source]

Johannesburg Regiment has been in existence since 1 July 1951. At the time it was an Artillery unit known as 8 Field Regiment. Colonel J. S. K. Brink was the Regiment’s first commanding officer and following his retirement he became its honorary colonel. In February 1960, 8 Field Regiment disbanded and the unit officially became known as Johannesburg Regiment and was re mustered as an Infantry Regiment.

The Regiment mobilised for the first time in 1960 and saw initial service in Bloemfontein, Vereeniging and Sasolburg.

Subsequent successes include amongst others the following operations/ exercises: Madimbo, Savanah, Caterpillar, Protea, Thunder Chariot, Ops Eardrum, Ops Paal, Excalibur 1&2, Eagle Hill, Kwiksilwer, Vincity and Southern Cross.

Past Honorary Colonels[edit | edit source]

  1. Col JSK Brink
  2. Col JD Opperman.

Past Commanding Officers[edit | edit source]

  1. Cmdt. B Pretorius
  2. Cmdt. D Pretorius
  3. Cmdt. J Swart
  4. Cmdt. JH Swanepoel
  5. Cmdt L Harding
  6. Lt. Col H van Staden

Freedom of the City[edit | edit source]

In November 1964 the City Council presented the Regiment with their Colours and six years later bestowed on it the honour of Freedom of Entrance to the city of Johannesburg. This was largely due to the efforts of Councillor J. D. Opperman who became the unit’s Honorary Colonel in 1979 until he died on 20 April 2000. The Unit Colours were officially handed over on 26 February 1966. National Colours were awarded to the Unit on 5 October 1991, and laid up in April 1994.

The Regiment today[edit | edit source]

Current command Structure[edit | edit source]

a. Honorary Colonel : Col John Wilson
b. Chaplain : Rev. Gideon du Toit
c. RSM : WO1 Jan Oosthuisen
d. Second- in Command : Maj. Louis Malekoane
e. Officer Commanding : Lt. Col. Justus Immelman

Unit strengths[edit | edit source]

The Regiment is an active Regiment, with strong ties between the Unit, Sister Regiments and Higher HQ. The current senior structure is a well drilled, competent unit, and all incumbents have committed to staying on until proper succession planning can kick in. Currently the unit is actively recruiting and training. The unit is supported by a strong, active Association and a widespread network of old boys. The Unit is also settled in proper Headquarters, and has the services of a permanent clerical assistant.

Opportunities[edit | edit source]

The current leader group, although they are highly skilled and qualified, is not in the ideal age group any more, and there is a current gap in the sense that there is no supply of future leaders with potential. Distances to support structures and training areas makes it difficult to be operate effectively, especially as the manpower and budget to perform these functions is also limited.

General activities[edit | edit source]

The unit hosts a parade annually on the first Sunday in March. Traditionally this takes place in Johannesburg, as the Regiment has Freedom of Entry to the City. This parade also serves to commemorate the birthday of the Regiment, and is dedicated to the memory of all members of the regiment that has paid the highest price in defence of our country. A medal parade is also planned for annually, but is only held when applicable. The Regiment also participated in the annual “Poppy Day” parade in November. This event is always well supported by the regiment, as well as the Association.

The Association hosts a Semi Formal dinner annually, and the regiment hosts a formal dinner annually. An annual golf day fund raiser rounds off the ongoing activities.

The year concludes at a year end camp for all members and families. This combines a planning session and closing down function, and has been a Unit tradition for 20 years.

Regimental symbols[edit | edit source]

In May 1962 the Johannesburg City Council gave permission to the unit to use the Johannesburg City Coat of Arms as the Regimental badge. The cap badge shows minor differences to the original, as the antelope supporting the shield were substituted with 2 F. N. Rifles. The lapel badge consists of the shield portion of the cap badge. The motto is in Latin: “FORTITER ET RECTE” loosely translated this means: With Valour and Justice.

Battle honours[edit | edit source]

Although the Regiment saw active duty both inside and outside the borders of South Africa, it never participated in a battle worthy of Battle Honors as a Regiment. Many of its members though were part of other formations that did earn battle honors.

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