For over half a million white South African males conscripted before 1994, National Service was a compulsory, demanding and intense experience that had a powerful impact on them. This book is a compilation of recollections by more than forty former conscripts about their time in the South African Defence Force.
The chapters take you through the sequence of a National Serviceman’s career: receiving call-up papers, klaaring in, Basics, keuring, bush phase, second-phase training, general service, the Border, Angola, the townships, klaaring out and camps. Taking in the humour and the hardship, these accounts provide a variety of perspectives on inspections, drill, guard duty, Border patrols, contact, and everyday life in the SADF.
Also included are official documents such as call-up papers, extracts from a Basic Training manual, and a clearing-out certificate. Appendices give additional information on the history of National Service, the context of the Border War and other matters.
Troepie: From Call-up to Camps is a must-read for everyone who went through National Service or who knows someone who did. It is a vivid and fascinating record of what conscripts actually experienced.