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Heraldry

The South African Police Special Task Force (SAP STF) has a rich history and is intensely proud of its heraldry. Although operators have generally experienced immeasurable agony and immense pain earning the right to wear the prestigious insignia associated with this exclusive unit, most of them - past and present - had spent their entire childhoods dreaming of achieving this status.


Special Task Force Coat of Arms

Emblem

The Special Task Force Coat of Arms depicts a blue shield with a lightning bolt flashing downwards from the apex of the shield. Across the bolt is a gold-rimmed red disc and a golden falcon in flight.

Symbolism

• The design is bullet-shaped, indicative of the mortal danger of the environments in which the bearers operate.
• The dark background symbolises the brewing of unseen evil.
• The red depicts the core of this threat coming to fruition.
• The lightning bolt represents action against the menace.
• The golden falcon symbolises the Task Force swooping down in readiness or attack.

• The bird of prey chosen by the Task Force as it's symbol is the peregrine falcon (L: Falco Peregrinus).




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Camouflage Dress

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Special Task Force Wings

The Emblem

Emblem – parachutists: The badge of the South African Police, as described in Government Notice 1973 of December 8th, 1967, between wings protruding transversely, hanging from an open parachute – all in gold.

Symbolism

• The open parachute and wings commonly symbolise training received in parachuting techniques.
• The use of the police badge is indicative of the fact that this unit falls under the scope of the South African Police.





Special Task Force Operators Badge

The Emblem

The emblem for the task force depicts a swooping, golden peregrine falcon with a fork in its claws positioned over a downward-pointing sword. This image is encircled by a laurel wreath.

Symbolism

• The sword has a dual meaning. It primarily symbolises the sword of justice wielded by the police unit in combating injustice. It also represents the training in combat operations on land received by Special Task Force members.
• The peregrine falcon depicts the speed and skill of the unit’s attack on the enemy and its capacity for launching an air strike.
• The fork is the fork of Neptune, the god of the sea. Special Task Force members are trained in scuba diving due to frequent missions entailing the evacuation of sea-faring vessels under threat of piracy. This reference also denotes the sea strike competency of the unit.
• The laurel wreath is associated with the prestigious acceptance into the task force subsequent to the completion of the rigorous selection process.





Citations and Medals


Medal Combating Terrorism

21st Anniversary Medallions