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A HISTORY OF MILITARY NOMENCLATURE IN SOUTH AFRICA

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Author(s): Noëlle Cowling

Journal: Scientia Militaria : South African Journal of Military Studies
ISSN 2224-0020

Volume: 23;
Issue: 3;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: Military nomenclature | military culture | policy of the South African Defence Force | nomenclature policy | politically sensitive issues

ABSTRACT
Military nomenclature is an important dimension of military culture and receives a high profile in some armed forces, while in others it is a relatively low priority. In South Africa nomenclature played a very understated role for a long period but was accorded a higher degree of importance over the past fifty years. In order to understand the motivation and pattern of the trends in military nomenclature in South Africa, it is essential to acquaint oneself with the policy of the South African Defence Force which has regulated and determined the provision of names since 1912. Although the history of nomenclature in the Defence Force touches on politically sensitive issues, one should to bear in mind that, like most things, the provision of names and titles does not take place inside a vacuum. The nomenclature policy has therefore always been susceptible to the political climate, which has often determined the direction it has taken in South Africa over the past eighty years.
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