The following Law and Policy on Special Forces Proficiency badges applies


Please note that at the core of each South African Special Forces operator (past and future) are awarded proficiency badges that they have earned by successfully completing the full operator’s, and in some instances the attack diver’s, training cycle in the SA Special Forces and therefore qualify to operate as a members of the SA Special Forces. The SA Special Forces’ policy on proficiency badges is implemented and controlled by the SA Special Forces Head Quarters and regulated by the South African National Defence Force. In this regard the Association, works very closely with the Special Forces HQ on the alignment of policy, regulations and guidelines.  The Operator's badges are unique:


    That they are only awarded and issued once to a specific operator

   They may in not be duplicated or copied in any way and will always remain the rightful and legal property of the one who issued it or received it

    They are numbered in a numerical sequence and therefor strictly controlled by the SA Special Forces HQ 

    By law (Defence and State Heraldry) a proficiency badge, such as the operator's badge, may only ever be worn by the person who earned it and to whom it was awarded


From the above it is already clear that the proficiency badges may not be used, worn or duplicated by just anyone. Clearly they may only be worn by the one to whom it was legally issued according to the policy of the Department of Defence. This is the reason why these badges were legally registered with the State Herald in 1985 ((Ref 2MG(42) 406/3/38/1-4)) and 1987 (CSL/DLE/R/406/3/38/4).  The motivation for this is captured in the following paragraphs:


    One of the most important messages that we both communicate to all operators, past and present, is that it is unethical to sell or trade a badge that was awarded and issued to a member. It is a sad moment if an operator has to consider the exchange of his badge owing to financial problems or any other reason.  This is more from an emotional perspective that involves pride and loyalty. Fact is, that the qualified operator / diver should never let go of his badge. Please note that both the full time component and veteran structures continuously engage with their members on the importance of protecting the integrity of these badges and not to let go of them for any reason.

    There are those outside of Special Forces who blatantly source these proficiency badges and will do anything to get their hands on such items.  Sadly these badges then also get duplicated or replicated for the purpose of falsely projecting the validation of such badges.  This is an obvious criminal offense and perpetrators will be exposed by the SA Special Forces community.  Many of these badges then also fall into the hands of so called ‘bogus operators’, a practice that is taking place around the world and more and more international Special Forces organisations are cooperating to expose these perpetrators. 

    Bottom line is that these badges should stay the sole property of the operator to whom it belongs and that this is not debatable. The badge can never be worn by anyone else and duplication of these items is illegal.


Please note that we the Special Forces Association will happily guide members, their families or next of kin, who may be uncertain regarding the handling of the legal issues concerning badges and anyone is welcome to engage with us directly on possible alternatives.  

Any collector of militaria and insignia needs to take note of the above. Should false or duplicated badges, as referred to above, be found in anyone’s possession or displayed in any manner, the collector will be approached to prove how that particular numbered badge allocated to an operator is in his or her possession. The result of the explanation could then lead to the inclusion of the particular collector or member on the Special Forces Association Wall of Shame which has an international audience. All collectors’ guilds and organisations are to warn their members of unscrupulous individuals who sell bogus badges and insignia to collectors and individuals. This can have a negative effect on the credibility of collectors. Should members of collectors’ guilds and organisations come across any of these insignia, they should inform the South African Special Forces Association accordingly and we will verify the authenticity of the particular proficiency badge. Possession of any such badge by anyone who cannot prove legitimate ownership and authenticity, is to be regarded as a stain on the credibility of that individual.


Recce trade mark.  Please note that the name RECCE or Recce is trademark registered and may not be used outside of the business entity: Recce Incorporated (Pty) Ltd.


South African Special Forces Association insignia.  The name South African Special Forces Association is trademarked with its logo (badge) and may not be used by anyone for any reason without the permission of the Association.

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