KNYSNA NEWS - As the song goes, “We joined the Navy to see the world, and what did we see? We saw the sea!”
For the next three months, nine former Sea Cadets of Training Ship Knysna will be seeing SAS Saldanha, the South African Navy’s basic training establishment at Saldanha Bay. The nine started their new lives in Saldanha Bay on February 8, 9 and 12 (thanks to a chaotic issuing of tickets for the transport).
They follow in the footsteps of over 40 former TS Knysna Sea Cadets who have joined the Navy over the past ten years, and who have established a reputation of excellence for young people joining up as a new recruits. Out of the nine, Midshipman Jason Alie was selected as the South African Sea Cadet of the Year in 2011 and visited England and Scotland as his reward. Great things are expected of him.
After three months of hard physical training, the nine new recruits will be lean and hard, reacting instinctively to orders, they will be used to being awake at 05:30 and tucked up in their bunks by 22:00. They will have learnt to make their beds in such a way that a coin can be bounced off its surface! Then they will be deployed to the fleet, before returning to SAS Saldanha for their passing out parade in July. After a brief period of leave it will be back to start in their selected branches at Simon's Town.
“This is the biggest, and perhaps the best, group that TS Knysna has been able to send through to the Navy,” said Officer Commanding Lt Commander Steve Eriksen.
“Despite their relatively weak marks in Mathematics, their prior learning in matters Naval secured their call-up. When the Inspecting Officer at TS Knysna as Navy Chief of Staff in July 2003, Chief of the Navy, Vice-Admiral Johannes Mudimu identified the Sea Cadets as a preferred source of recruitment for the Navy. Lieutenant T C Mhlongo (SO2 Naval Human Resources Plan) has taken the chief's thoughts to heart, and has been very helpful to our cadets. They will make excellent recruits and I will follow their careers with interest,” Eriksen concluded.
Nine young Sea Cadets from Training Ship Knysna will be leaving for Saldanha Bay to join the Navy as new recruits. In front (from left) are PO Brandon Kiwido, LS Jason Petersen, PO Sean Gelant and PO Hezron Lewis. In the back are Ryan Filander, Midshipman Jason Ali, Lt-Cdr Steve Eriksen, Midshipman Fergus Petersen, Midshipman Percilene Bouw and PO Dillin September.