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Train Hard, Fight Easy

Namibia - Military Personnel

According to the Namibian Defense Ministry in the 1990s, enlistments of both men and women would number no more than 7,500. By 2001, the number had doubled to 15,000. Initially, Namibia had no air force or navy. Defense and security accounted for less than 8% of government spending. Separate Army, Navy, and Air Force were created in 2013. NamPol, which had approximately 14,000 uniformed officers in 2015, operates under the Ministry of Safety and Security. The Namibian Defense Force, with an estimated 17,500 active duty members as of 2015, is part of the Ministry of Defense. NamPol is responsible for internal security, while the defense force provides supplemental assistance in response to some natural disasters.

Since the establishment of the Namibian Defence Force, little attention was paid to the development of its human resources. Although we are living in the era of technological advances in the military, the assertion that man is the foremost tool of combat remains valid. No machine, no matter how sophisticated, will ever replace a human being. Technology should be viewed as a complement, rather than a replacement. The NDFs vision of developing and maintaining a professional defence force should go hand in hand with the development of its human capital, for the two are mutually inclusive and should not be divorced from each other.

Maintaining a pool of suitably qualified personnel does not only increase performance, efficiency and effectiveness of the organization, but also boosts morale and motivation. The envisaged modern equipment of the NDF will require men and women with necessary skills and competencies to man and operate them.

The MOD continued to use advisers where appropriate. The MOD recognises that advice on specific issues, programmes, equipment etc may be necessary for some time to come. The Employment of Consultants: The MOD will employ consultants where the skills and services they provide are unavailable from within the Namibian Public Service or under aid terms. Contract staff to meet specific needs where skill shortages exists. Military Attaches: Military Attaches will be posted to foreign countries when a need arises.

Members of the Namibian Defence Force are appointed by the Lieutenant General in terms of the Defence Act, 2002 (Act 1 of 2002). The members of the Namibian Defence Force are divided into officers and members with other rank. A member with other rank is defined as a member other than an officer. Members with other rank are further divided into Non-Commissioned Officers (Junior and Senior) and Warrant Officers.

  • Training/Pupil - This level includes personnel who undergo formal and informal occupational specific training and perform tasks resulting from aspects as set out in paragraph 1 above under the supervision of a supervisor.
  • Operational - This level includes personnel who independently performs activities described in paragraph 1(a) and may supervise support staff where necessary.
  • Supervisory - This level includes personnel who supervise occupationally related operational staff and if necessary overhead supervision of supporting staff.
  • Overhead Supervisory - This level includes personnel who supervise and manage/give practical guidance to various occupation related, supervisory and operational staff.

Posts are not specifically provided for Recruit. Those involved are carried out-of-adjustment against vacant posts of Private. If this arrangement results in adequate Recruits not being employed (due to the lack of vacancies) the Lieutenant General must be approached for the additional employment of incumbents on these levels. In cases where a trained unit becomes available and Recruits occupy the approved posts, one of the Recruits must be kept in service additional to the establishment for the remaining part of the training period in order to make a vacant post available for suitable filling by a trained person.

The Namibian Constitution recognises that Namibian women have traditionally suffered special discrimination, hence the need to be encouraged and enabled to play full and equal roles in all spheres of the nation, including peace and security assurance. Equally, the Defence Policy (2010) also states that the NDF shall ensure that the diverse characteristic of the Namibian society is represented in the rank and file of the NDF, and that the military environment is made attractive to women. Therefore, as a Government institution, the Ministry of Defence is required to comply with these constitutional and policy imperatives.

Over 1000 recruits held a pass out and graduation parade at that base on 9th September 2009. The 9th Recruit training was named Special Project Training due to the fact that it was 90% occupied by children of liberation struggle. The training of these young men and women came about as a result of the consideration of the plight of orphans, vulnerable children and children born in exile during the liberation struggle include those whose parents contributed and even sacrificed their lives within Namibian for the independence of the motherland.

The Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Security reported to the August House that the accommodation of troops in the bases was not appropriate. To address such challenge, the regular recruitment into the NDF was suspend for the 2012/13 and 2013/14 Financial Years until the accommodation shortage was addressed. Due to lack of accommodation, recruitment into the Defence Force was put on hold for three years. Considerable progress was then made in renovating the accommodation infrastructure in bases.

On 15th December 2014, Hon. Nahas Angula, Minister of Defence, officiated the graduation ceremony of the 12th recruit training intake at Osona and Oluno military bases respectively. Out of 2000 recruits, 26 dropped out of the trainig due to various reason. The Minister was disapointed with fall out of these recruits. The recruits droped out of the training due to either resignation, forging of qualifications, ill health, criminal activities.

The recruits underwent intensive six months training, not to punish them but to convert them from civilian life to military life. The Recruit training is the gateway for the recruit to master basic military studies before undergo specialization training at any NDF Arms of Services where the recruits are deployed.

Training is what military commanders do to prepare the units they command to perform the missions to which they may be assigned. The military profession is one within an environment that requires intensive and continuous training in its various operational areas. Therefore military training is a process, which intends to establish and improve the fighting capability of military personnel in their respective roles. The rapid changes in technology, tactics, and missions that are characteristics of todays military operations require matching agility in the design and development of training and education programs. These changes must be carried out with immediate effect and most efficiently.

To turn young men and women into war-ready professionals is a serious process, involving significant expenditure of time and money. It is an investment that builds the force and makes it one of the best. Hence creating evolutionary training process that reflects changing needs on the ground is incredibly important because it makes the difference in the success of the force and it saves lives.

In military, soldiers are trained at various levels depending on the need. Recruit training, commonly known as basic training is the initial indoctrination and instruction given to new military personnel, enlisted and officers. Recruit training attempts to teach the basic information and training in techniques necessary to be an effective service member. To achieve this, service members are drilled physically, technically and psychologically.

According to Gwenne Dyer, the military historian, the process of transforming civilians into military personnel is a form of conditioning that encourages inductees to partially submerge their individuality for the good of their unit. Dyer argues that this conditioning is essential for military function because combat requires people to endure stress and perform actions that are simply absent in normal life. Military units are therefore incomparable to civilian organisations because each participant is in mortal danger and often depends on the others.

Some aspect of basic training is psychological in the sense that recruits who cannot reliably follow orders and instructions in routine matters will likely be unreliable in a combat situation wherein they may experience a strong urge to disobey orders and thereby jeaopardise themselves and the missions, or to simply flee the battlefield.

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