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Regiment Oranjerivier
Country  South Africa
Branch South African Army
Type Armoured Car Regiment
Garrison/HQ Potchefstroom
Motto(s) Oculi et Aures
(Eyes & Ears)[1]
Equipment Rooikat armoured fighting vehicle

Regiment Oranjerivier (ROR) (named after the Orange River) is an armoured 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. It is part of the South African Army Armour Formation and is based in Potchefstroom.[2]

History[edit | edit source]

The Regiment was founded as an Afrikaans language unit on 12 September 1952 as Regiment Noordwes-Kaap ("Regiment North-West Cape"), but this name was changed in the same year to Regiment Hertzog.

Due to a reorganisation of the Citizen Force the unit was redesignated Regiment Oranjerivier (Regiment Orange River) on 1 January 1960. At this time the unit was part of 17 Brigade. In the early 1970s the Regiment's Marmon-Herrington Armoured Cars were replaced by the far more versatile and effective Eland 60.

Regiment Oranjerivier became the armoured car regiment of 71 Infantry Brigade (part of 7 South African Division) on 15 November 1974. A year later the headquarters of the Regiment was moved to Cape Town.

The Regiment was mobilized together with most other the other units of 71 Brigade to serve in Southern Angola during Operation Savannah. Sub-units of the ROR were located from Katima Mulilo in the east to Chitado in the west. Members of one of these sub-units were the first South African Citizen Force troops to make contact with a conventionally deployed foreign battle group when they were fired on by a Russian T-54 tank at Cahama in March 1976. During the same period the unit lost its first member ever to enemy fire.

The Regiment went on to serve several more times on the South-West Africa/Namibia border as well as inside Angola. This included Operation Prone in Southern Angola during August/October 1988, where the Regiment used a large number of Ratel 90 infantry fighting vehicles.

On 2 November 1990, the ROR was awarded the Rooikat Floating Trophy - the first time the trophy had been awarded - as the best unit in the South African Armoured Corps. The Regiment currently uses the Rooikat armoured fighting vehicle, equipped with a 76 mm quick-fire gun.

Regimental Symbols[edit | edit source]

  • Regimental motto: Occuli Et Auris ("Eyes and Ears"); this motto was inspired by the eagles that hunt over the Kalahari desert.
  • Regimental badge: An eagle with outspread wings with the regimental motto beneath. The badge is worn on the traditional Armoured Corps black beret.
  • The Regiment received the Freedom of Upington on 4 May 1966 and the Freedom of Keimoes on 11 June 1968.
  • The symbol of command of the Regiment's Commanding Officer is a silvered 90mm practice round.

References[edit | edit source]

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