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Formal Ranks & Reporting

Non-Commissioned Officers

• Police Student
• Constable
• Lance Sergeant
• Sergeant
• Staff Sergeant
• Warrant Officer

Commissioned Officers

• Lieutenant
• Captain
• Major
• Lieutenant-Colonel
• Colonel
• Brigadier
• Major-General
• Lieutenant-General
• General
• Commissioner of Police

Political Appointments:

• Deputy Minister of Police
• Minister of Police
• Vice President
• President of the Republic of South Africa

Informal Special Task Force Ranking and Terminology

The informal ranking and terminology used within the Special Task Force was and is a vital part of the culture as is the case in any other specialised unit world-wide. This is exclusively intended for use within the unit and the purpose is not to degrade or insult any person or institution. Most of these terms are Afrikaans, an extremely descriptive language, and these should not be considered in isolation as they may be misinterpreted or misunderstood. This terminology transcends commissioned rank and is used to assert status and to foster a sense of belonging and group camaraderie. We refer to this terminology as ‘Takie’ language and reiterate that these terms should only be used within the appropriate context.

Informal Ranking

Number XX

While on Special Task Force selection, the recruit is awarded a number by the course director which serves as a means of identification. At this early stage, the recruit is not considered as an individual but is rather assigned a number. Recognition is only gained by surviving the ‘Takie’ selection process and overcoming the hardships associated with training.


This is the term used for a youngster who has recently completed his selection course although he may not, yet, have received his wings and operator’s badge. The term is used to remind the fledgling that he lacks the necessary knowledge and has much to learn and it is reiterated that he requires considerable practical experience before being accepted as an operator. Although these youngsters are considered ‘inferior’, the older and more experienced operators will fiercely defend them against any outside threat.

Jong Hond
(Young Dog)

This term refers to a member of the previous year’s selection course. Although he may not have received his operator’s badge yet, he is no longer the initiate. His status has improved due to the arrival of a new selection group. In addition, the young dogs are approximately a year ahead of the new arrivals as relates to operational experience.

Wilde Hond
(Wild Dog)

These are the experienced members who, through endurance and character, have earned their stripes. These esteemed operators have not relented and continue to remain in peak physical condition. In addition, they would be able to rival any Njotter without effort. In some instances, this phase is never outgrown.

Ou Hond
(Old Dog)

These are the wise older recruits with ample knowledge and experience. They possess the battle scars to substantiate their status. Generally, these old dogs will express strong opinions about almost everything and are generally the unit members who will gladly point out that they had ‘told you so’.

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