Original Research - Special Collection: HTS 75th Anniversary Maake Masango Dedication

Practical guidelines to ameliorate the effects of internal and external deployments on the marriages of soldiers

Velile E. Mtshayisa, Rantoa Letsosa
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 75, No 4 | a5641 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v75i4.5641 | © 2019 Rantoa Letsosa, Velile E. Mtshayisa | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 05 July 2019 | Published: 04 November 2019

About the author(s)

Velile E. Mtshayisa, Department of Practical Theology, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
Rantoa Letsosa, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa


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Abstract

This article critically looks at the challenges that are incumbent in the deployment of married soldiers who work for the South African National Defence Force (SANDF). The SANDF previously deployed soldiers outside the borders of South Africa for a period of 6 months or less. But currently, the SANDF has a deployment period of 12 months. This period is twice that of the earlier period, which means that soldiers and their families have to spend 12 months apart from one another. This has an adverse effect on the marriages of soldiers and makes the SANDF appear as an uncaring institute because its military operations tend to impact family lives. Using a qualitative research approach, this article explores the emic experiences of married soldiers who were deployed, and concludes by suggesting some pastoral guidelines that may prove useful for a multi-professional team handling the issues of deployment.

Keywords

deployment; soldiers; South African national defence force; marriage; peacekeeping

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