| 1 May 1933 – present|
South African Army
| South Africa|
| South African Armoured Formation|
1 Special Service Battalion (usually abbreviated to 1SSB) is an armoured regiment of the South African Army and only one of two such in its regular force. The Regiment is based at Tempe near Bloemfontein.
It was previously known in Afrikaans as 1 Spesiale Diens Bataljon (1 SDB).
1 Special Service Battalion Wikipedia
Following World War II, the Special Service Battalion was re-organised into 2 battalions - 1 Special Service Battalion and 1 South African Infantry Battalion.
When the South African Armoured Corps was thus officially proclaimed in 1946 and Special Service Battalion was included in the corps as the only full-time unit, its symbols and colours were incorporated.
1SSB also took part in the South African Border War, serving in South-West Africa and Angola.
More recently, the unit also took part in Operation Boleas, which was a South African intervention in its neighbouring country of Lesotho in 1998.
1SSB had a sister unit for a number of years in the post-World War II era, designated 2 Special Service Battalion, which was based in the town of Zeerust. This unit has now been disbanded.
1SSB also detached squadrons to various battlegroups in the South West African campaignLt. Col. GE Poole. DSO. May 1933 - Nov 1933
Lt. Col. P de Waal. Dec 1933 - Jan 1934
Lt. Col. WHE Poole. Feb 1934 - Apr 1935
Lt. Col. J Danie. May 1935 - Jan 1936
Maj. JR Wocke. Feb 1936 - Dec 1937
Lt. Col. HB Klopper. Jan 1938 - Sep 1939
Lt. Col. HP van Noorden. Oct 1939 - Dec 1939
Lt. Col. GCA van Dam. Jan 1940 - Jun 1940
Lt. Col. CEG (Papa) Brits. DSO. Jun 1940 - Aug 1946
Lt. Col. GN Nauhaus. OBE. Sep 1946 - May 1949
Maj. EE Fodred. MC. Jun 1949 - Aug 1949
Maj. PE Ferguson. MC. Sep 1949 - Jan 1951
Cmdt. CS Leisegang. DSO. Feb 1951 - Sep 1953
Cmdt. WR van der Riet. MC. W.R. Van Der Riet (Later Lt Gen W.R. Van Der Riet SSA SD MC). Oct 1953 - Dec 1960
Cmdt. S Hugo. SM. Jan 1961 - Jun 1963
Cmdt. JJ Wahl. MC. Jul 1963 - Oct 1964
Cmdt. JR Dutton. SSA. SD. Nov 1964 - Nov 1967
Cmdt. WH Matthews. SM. Dec 1967 - Nov 1968
Cmdt. MB Anderson. Dec 1968 - May 1969
Cmdt. WC Meyer. Apr 1969 - Sep 1972
Cmdt. PJ van Schalkwyk. Oct 1972 - Jul 1973
Maj. AJ Snyman (acting) Aug 1973 - Nov 1973
Cmdt. APR Carstens. Nov 1973 - Nov 1976
Cmdt. R Otto. Dec 1976 - Dec 1979
Cmdt. FA Botha. Jan 1980 - Nov 1981
Cmdt. AJ van Niekerk. Dec 1981 - Nov 1983
Cmdt. HT Heinze. Dec 1983 - Nov 1986
Cmdt. AJ Kriel. December 1986 - May 1989
Cmdt. AJ van Jaarsveld. Jun 1989 - Nov 1989
Cmdt. BC Gildenhuys. Dec 1989 - Dec 1993
Col. GM Louw. HC. MMM. Jan 1994 - unk
RSM J Whammond. MC. DCM. MM. May 1933 - Feb 1934
RSM LJ van den Heever. Mar 1934 - May 1934
RSM BS Scheepers. Jun 1934 - May 1935
RSM SP Conje. Jun 1935 - Aug 1936
RSM CEG Brits. Sep 1936 - Mar 1937
RSM JO van Blommenstein. Apr 1937 - May 1940
RSM JW Hamilton. Jun 1940 - Jan 1943
WO1 S du Plessis. MM. Feb 1943 - Aug 1946
WO1 WE Wocke. Sep 1946 - Oct 1951
WO1 s du PlLessis. MM. Nov 1950 - Sep 1953
WO1 WJ van der Merwe. SM. Oct 1953 - Dec 1965
WO1 BJP Ehlers. PMM. Jan 1966 - Oct 1972
WO1 MA Booyens. PMM. MMM. Nov 1972 - Sep 1976
WO1 JP. O'Neill. Oct 1976 - Nov 1978
WO1 PH Rohrbeck. PMM. Dec 1978 - Jan 1979
WO1 GD van Baalen. PMM. MMM. Feb 1979 - Nov 1984
WO1 IJ Prinsloo. Jun 1984 - Nov 1988
WO1 WF Snyman. PMM. MMM. Dec 1988 - Nov 1993
WO1 JAB van Zyl. Dec 1993 - unk
The regiment is equipped primarily with Ratel infantry fighting vehicles and Rooikat armoured cars.
Under Project Hoefyster, the SANDF will eventually replace the Ratel family of vehicles with the Badger system. Five versions are contemplated of which two are earmarked for 1 SSB:Missile (turreted Denel ZT3 Ingwe)
Fire Support (turreted 30mm cannon, but with more ammunition than the section vehicle)
The cap badge is a spray of three protea flowers, bound by a ribbon bearing the initials and motto.
Regimental motto: Eendrag Maakt Mag (Unity is Strength)
Regimental communications icon :
Regimental deployment strength : 1,000 soldiers
Regimental honour roll : Soldiers who died during active combat duty and soldiers who died during training. See 1 SSB Roll of Honour
Regimental traditional contact meeting :Pantseraksie once a year
United Kingdom - 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards
Italy 1944 - 1945
South-West Africa 1975 - 1976
South-West Africa 1976 - 1989
Battle of Cuito Cuanavale from 1987-1989 being one of the largest land battles in Africa since World War II.
This unit will together with 1 SA Tank Regiment form the Armoured Brigade of the new Mechanized Division to be formed under Army vision 2020.