South African Air Force Trainees Recruitment 2022

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The South African Air Force (SAAF) has opened applications for the Military Skills Development System for their 2022 programme. There is a General programme as a well as an intake for people who want to train and Pilots and Navigators / Engineers & Technical Trade.

The Military Skills Development System (MSDS) is a Department of Defence initiative that has been implemented since 2003. The MSDS serves as the entry platform for young South Africans who seek a career in the South African National Defence Force. Prospective applicants must have a Grade 12 qualification and be between 18 and 22 years old, or a Diploma with at least three (3) years tertiary qualification or a Degree to the age of 26 years.

Selected applicants join the South African National Defence Force through the MSDS for an initial period of two year's voluntary service, during which they will receive military training and further functional training. Further functional training includes a wide variety of options, varying from specialised musterings such as Engineering to general support musterings such as Material Support Clerks.

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Training for all MSDS members commences with Basic Military Training, during which basic military skills and discipline are taught. This is followed by a further selection process during which members can apply for junior leader training as officers or non-commissioned officers.

After having completed their military formative training, members proceed to undertake functional training in any one of the specialist occupations. Selected members with the required acedemic qualifications are also sent to universities or the Military Academy.

Towards the end of the second year (unless otherwise indicated), the member will be given the opportunity to indicate whether he or she would like to extend the contract or leave the Air Force. An extension of the contract will mainly depend on the member's performance over the two years and the availability of posts in the relevant functional field. Most of these members continue to serve in the Regular component of the SANDF after having completed their functional training and tertiary studies, where applicable. Others are obliged to render service in the Defence Reserves if they are not translated to the Core Service System.

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MSDS General Entry Requirements

There is a general entry requirement for joining the air force as everyone must be fit to serve in a military environment. Each mustering in the SAAF, also known as occupational class in the public service and trade in the technical environment of civil aviation, has requirements for specific educational qualifications, additional personal attributes and a willingness to serve under the working conditions of that mustering.

Read also:

  1. South African Navy Trainees Recruitment 2022
  2. South African Military Health Service Trainees Recruitment 2022
  3. South African Army Trainees Recruitment 2022



The minimum general entry requirements for the Military Skills Development Program (MSDS) are that you must be:

  • A South African Citizen (No dual citizenship)
  • Age between 18 and 22 at the time of joining (Not more than 26 for graduates)
  • Unmarried
  • Comply with medical fitness requirements for appointment in the SANDF
  • Currently in Grade 12 or completed Grade 12 or equivalent with subjects specific to a career selection
  • Not be area bound
  • Must not have a criminal record

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  • Physically Fit and Medically Fit
  • Comply with all the prescribed requirements for appointment in the SANDF
  • Must be willing to relocate and to participate in deployments both in South Africa and abroad if required to do so
  • Be recommended by a selection board.

Apart form these general requirements, additional requirements might have to be met, depending on the specific training demands of some of the more specialised occupations.

Additional Info:

  1. South African Air Force General Programme 2022
  2. SAAF Pilots and Navigators Recruitment
  3. SAAF Engineers & Technical Trade Recruitment
  4. South African Air Force Latest Vacancies
  5. How to apply for the SAAF Military Skills Development System 2022

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