The first training of SA parachutists started on 03 October 1960 at the Royal Air Force Parachute Training School at Abington, Oxfordshire.
Soldiers were never called up to 1 Parachute Bn – they were selected at other units and joined out of free will
When a soldier were unsuccessful during the selection phase they were deployed back to their old units (R.T.U)
The obstacle course was opened at 1 Para Bn on 1 April 1977
You were required to pass four of the six fitness test at the end of the two week PT course
The two week PT course was changed to three days and you had to pass five of the six fitness tests
The six tests you had to pass were: 1. 3600 meter run in full kit in 18 minutes, 2. Skaapdra – to carry your fellow soldier over your shoulder for 180 meters in 75 seconds. Both of you in full kit. 3. Sprint runs between two lines ten meters apart – 250 m in 90 second touching hand over the two lines. 4. 67 sit-ups in two minutes. 5. Climb/jump over a two meter wall in full kit. 6. Climb a six meter high rope and touch the high bar of the training hangar
The term “skaapdra” means to carry a fellow soldier over your shoulders
A marble is a block of cement, weighing approximately 30-32kg and was used in physical training in the Parachute Battalion
Qualifying time for the old mile (1,6km) in full kit was 18 minutes
“Die Mollers” was a traditional run on a Friday afternoon before troops went on weekend leave. It was named after Col Hans Moller
Nobody was ever forced to jump
Before you qualified as a paratrooper you had to complete one night jump
Basic Parachute Wings were awarded after 8 jumps
The basic wing colour is blue and white with a bronze wing.
The “Pakhuis” was a building in the unit lines of 1 Para Bn where parachutes were packed. Troops were also chased around the building with a cut-off time of 90 seconds.
Today in 44 Reg a PSM is a Parachute Regiment Sergeant Major
On 5 December 1986 the first HALO course was presented – High Altitude Low Opening Freefall