2 Reconnaissance Commando (South Africa)

2 Reconnaissance Regiment was the Active Citizen Force unit of the South African Special Forces. Its part-time service personnel formed part of the reserve component of the South African Defence Force.

2 Reconnaissance Commando/Regiment
Active1 June 1974[1]
CountrySouth Africa
Allegiance Republic of South Africa
Branch South African Army
TypeSpecial forces
Part ofSouth African Defence Force
Motto(s)We Dare—Ons Waag


This unit was established in Pretoria as 2 Reconnaissance Commando in 1974[2] from what had been called the Hunter Group.[3] This was a group of Citizen Force soldiers who, under the auspices of the South African Irish Regiment,[4] had started arranging specialised training.[3] They were eventually formalised into 2 Reconnaissance Regiment mostly at the insistence of Brigadier G.W. Germishuizen, then Commanding Officer of Witwatersrand Command.[1] Later, its complement comprised Operators and personnel who had retired from active military duty to pursue civilian careers, but who could be, and were willing to be, called up to perform Special Forces operations when such a need arose.

The Regiment performed extremely well in all the operations in which it took part,[1]: Ch.11  beginning with their first operational deployment at the start of Operation Savannah (Angola).[1][5][6]: 8 [7]: 37/9  This was especially significant as the Operators would be called up from their civilian occupations on very short notice, and would have to make the transformation from a civilian occupation in South Africa to performing Special Forces Operators functions in a remote war zone in only a few days. Its total strength was 2-3000 but its operational strength only a few hundred.[8]

In 1981, 2 Reconnaissance Commando[9] was re-designated as 2 Reconnaissance Regiment[10] and continued to carry out its Special Forces activities until 1992, when, as part of the process of rationalisation, it was disbanded.[11][12]

All Special Forces Operators and Support Staff who are retired, but are willing to be called up to assist Special Forces when required, now fall under the Special Forces Reserve and join the strengths of the existing Regiments as and when required.

Commanding officersEdit

The unit's only commanding officer was:[8]

  • 1 September 1974 – 31 March 1992: Maj. (later Col.) DS van der Spuy[8][1]

Regimental Sergeants MajorEdit

  • 1 Jun 1974 – 31 Oct 1976: WO2 L. C. (Les) Greyling[1]
  • 1 Nov 1976 – 25 Jan 1984: WO1 H. G. (Harry) Botha[1]
  • 26 Jan 1984 – 22 Jun 1988: WO2 M. (Mike) Landman[1]
  • 23 Jun 1988 – 13 Sep 1989: WO2 S. W. Fourie[1]
  • 14 Sep 1989 – 31 Mar 1992: WO2 J. F. ("Strys") Strydom[1]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Els, Paul (1 April 2001). We Fear Naught but God (1st ed.). Pretoria: Covos-Day Books. ISBN 978-0620238915. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
  2. ^ Botten, Lt Col Stanley Felix (1 November 2017). We Dare: History of 2 Reconnaisance [sic] Regiment South African Special Forces. Great Britain: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ISBN 978-1979369749.
  3. ^ a b Els, Paul (2010). Saturday's Soldiers - The Hunter Group. Pretoria: Pelsa Books. ISBN 9780620490696. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
  4. ^ Monick, S. (1992). Clear the Way Volume 2. South African Irish Regimental Association. ISBN 0620164840.
  5. ^ Botten, Stan, Cmdt (1991). We Fear. Unpublished Manuscript.
  6. ^ Breytenbach, Jan, Col (1990). They Live by the Sword. Alberton: Lemur. ISBN 0620148705.
  7. ^ Uys, Ian (1982). Cross of Honour. Uys Publishers. ISBN 0958317321.
  8. ^ a b c "Volume 2, Chapter 3, Sub-Section 69, Paragraph 51". TRC Final Report. SABC. p. 322. Archived from the original on 24 December 2014. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  9. ^ Matthysen, Paul; Kalkwarf, Matthew; Huxtable, Michael (1 October 2010). Recce: A Collector's Guide to the History of the South African Special Forces. Pretoria: 30 Degrees South Publishers. ISBN 978-1920143411.
  10. ^ Unit History of 2 Reconnaissance Regiment. Visagie Street, Pretoria: SADF Directorate Documentation Service. 1987.
  11. ^ "2RR - SA Special Forces Association". recce.co.za. South African Special Forces Association. Archived from the original on 11 October 2014. Retrieved 28 October 2014.
  12. ^ Van der Spuy, Sybie (1988). 2 Verkenningsregiment: Totstandkoming en Kort Oorsig tot op die Hede (in Afrikaans).

External linksEdit