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Regiment Vrystaat

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Regiment Vrystaat
SADF Regiment Oranjerivier flash emblem.jpg
Regiment Vrystaat emblem
Country South Africa
TypeArmoured Regiment
Part ofSouth African Armoured Corps
Army Conventional Reserve
Motto(s) Libertas Virtus Fidelitas (Freedom; Power; Fealty)
EquipmentEland 90 armoured car
Battle honours
  • East Africa 1940 - 1941
  • Western Desert 1941 - 1943
  • Sidi Rezegh
  • Gazala
  • Alamein Defence
  • El Alamein
OC 1982Commandant J.J. van der Merwe
honorary Colonel (1982)Judge M.T. Steyn
Beret ColourBlack
Armour Squadron emblems
SANDF Armour squadron emblems
Armour beret bar circa 1992
SANDF Armour beret bar

Regiment Vrystaat was an armoured regiment of the South African Army. As a reserve unit, it had a status roughly equivalent to that of a British Army Reserve or United States Army National Guard unit. Formed from 2 Regiment President Steyn which had been formed in 1975, when 1 Regiment President Steyn was converted to tanks and 2 Regiment President Steyn formed with armored cars. It was part of the South African Army Armour Formation.



Originally designated 2 Regiment President Steyn on 1 August 1975, Regiment Vrystaat was only formed the following year by the transfer of excess personnel from Regiment President Steyn.[1] At the same time a decision was taken to redesignate the unit.

Border War

Regiment Vrystaat's Eland-90 armoured cars saw service during the South African Border War.

Eland facility marker at Tempe
Eland facility marker at Tempe

The regiment conducted its first border operations in 1976. The regiment was at that stage one of very few conventional armoured car regiments in South Africa and acted as backup reserve for South African forces leaving Angola in that period.

Regiment Vrystaat conducted further border duty in 1977 and 1978.[2]

The regiment supported Operations Hooper and Packer with 20 Ratel Drivers in 1988.


Regiment Vrystaat was assigned to 73 Motorised Brigade of 7 Division and then to 9 Division by 1991.


By 2000, the two regiments re-amalgamated and became a single regiment once again.

Regimental symbols

Dress Insignia

SADF era Regiment Vrystaat insignia
SADF era Regiment Vrystaat insignia

Unit colours

Regiment Vrystaat retained the original colours of Regiment President Steyn which is old gold, white and black, but adopted the tree of freedom the Orange Free State as its unit badge.

Officers Commanding

From Officer Commanding To
1975 Cmdt Jurie van der Merwe c. nd
1991 Cmdt Andre de Beer c. nd
From Regimental Sergeant Major To

Battle honours

As an offshoot of Regiment President Steyn, Regiment Vrystaat was allowed to carry that units battle honours as well:

  • East Africa 1940 - 1941
  • Western Desert 1941 - 1943
  • Sidi Rezegh
  • Gazala
  • Alamein Defence
  • El Alamein


This page was last edited on 18 July 2019, at 13:17
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