The South African Special Forces Association enjoys a close and friendly relationship with the standing South African Special Forces Headquarters (SFHQ) of the South African National Defence Force.
There is a saying in the Special Forces community in South Africa that once a person has become part of the Special Forces family, he or she remains part of that family for the rest of their lives.
Similarly, there is a saying that once a person has become a Special Forces Operator, he remains an Operator for the rest of his life. When general discussions are held about Operators within the Special Forces Association and the Special Forces HQ there is no reference to them as being ‘retired Operators’ or ‘serving Operators’ – they referred to as Operators.
Many of the serving members of the South African Special Forces HQ are members of the Association and many of the members of the South African Special Forces Association serve in the SFHQ on the Special Forces Reserve.
The Chairman and key personnel of the Special Forces Association have regular meetings with nominated representatives of the Special Forces HQ or the General Officer Commanding Special Forces, to discuss matters of relevance to both entities. Members of the Association do receive advice and guidance from the SFHQ on various issues of relevance.
The General Officer Commanding Special Forces is the Honorary Patron of the Special Forces Association and a Senior Officer of the Special Forces HQ is specifically appointed as the Liaison Officer between the SFHQ and Association.
Members of the Association and the SFHQ have regular contact at the monthly meetings of the Special Forces Association.
The Special Forces Association and SFHQ also share various occasions where both organisations formally attend symbolic parades and events.
Both the Association and the SFHQ attend the annual Remembrance Day Service held at Special Forces Headquarters and the annual Special Forces Open Day. Family members are able to meet and mix socially with each other and strengthen the common bonds and support systems that exist between the family members of Special Forces personnel.
For occasions of specific significance to Special Forces, each organisation will invite the other to attend as and when appropriate or applicable. The Special Forces HQ invited the Special Forces Association and its members to the opening of the new Special Forces School. During this occasion the General Officer Commanding at the time presented retired members of the Association with outstanding medals and badges.
Similarly, the Special Forces Association invites relevant key personnel of the Special Forces Brigade to its National Conference, in order that the SFHQ may provide such input as it requires to the activities of the Association and its members.
All lines of communication are open, clear and constant and the close relationship between these two organisations continues in a mutually supportive manner.
Finally, in recent years, many of the sons of the retired first generations of Special Forces Operators have joined Special Forces and became Special Forces Operators themselves. Taken in this context, it can truly be said that the Special Forces community in South Africa comprises a real family.
Most importantly, the South African Special Forces Association and its members will, at all times, provide whatever support and assistance may be required to the South African Special Forces HQ and its members – who continue to support and protect the government and all the citizens of South Africa to the best of their ability and the highest possible standards.