The Stress Position

Many of the National Servicemen veterans will remember (or quickly try and forget) this “stress position” used during various phases of “Punishment” Physical Training – commonly known as a “Oppie” (colloquial military term meaning “op fok”).

This stress position was designed to build strength and familiarity when carrying an assault rifle, however what most of us will remember is the sweat, dust, heat and just how heavy a 4.3 kilo R4 assault rifle can become when held in this position for a long time.

This is not the average image you would find in a magazine or newspaper of the time, but it in many respects drives home exactly what basic training in the SADF looked and felt like.

Story for the South African Legion by Peter Dickens


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