24 Commando Regiment (United Kingdom)
|24 Commando Engineer Regiment|
|Size||2 regular, 1 reserve squadron, 1 REME workshop|
|Part of||3 Commando Brigade|
|Garrison/HQ||Chivenor, North Devon,|
The regiment was formed in April 2008. The regiment is one of two British Army units attached to 3 Commando Brigade, Royal Marines, the other being 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery. It was announced on 4 July 2012 that 24 Commando Engineer Regiment was to be disbanded under Army 2020. Members of the unit were to be dispersed to other British Army units and 59 Independent Commando Squadron would be re-formed to replace it. In a contrasting statement on 10 April 2014, the Minister for Defence Mark Francois, stated that this withdrawal would not take place. The unit was to be retained but reduced in size.
In August 2014 it was agreed that 131 Independent Squadron would resubordinate from 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines to become part of 24 Commando Engineer Regiment. This change took place on Friday 2 October 2015, making the regiment a hybrid Regular/Reserve unit, like its counterpart in 16 Air Assault Brigade, 23 Parachute Engineer Regiment.
Location and role
Based in Chivenor, North Devon, 24 Commando Engineer Regiment is required to conduct operations across the spectrum of conflict in support of 3 Commando Brigade, meaning that each member must be trained in amphibious assaults, as well as know how to operate in the jungle, across deserts, over mountainous terrain and under arctic conditions.
The regiment comprises three squadrons:
- 54 Commando Squadron
- 59 Commando Squadron
There is an attached REME Workshop.
The Commando Course
All individuals who volunteer to join the regiment have the opportunity to complete the nine-week All Arms Commando Course, after receiving pre-course coaching to develop their strength and endurance. Progressive in nature, this pre-course conditioning package focuses upon developing the individual to undertake the arduous activities of the Commando course. The "train-in" not "select-out" ethos of the course, provides the individual with the best chance of success.
The Green Beret
The coveted Green Beret, the distinctive hallmark of Commando trained troops, is worn by the regiment, recognising those who have completed the gruelling and physically demanding tests of endurance, whilst displaying the Commando spirit. On passing the Commando course, other ranks (ORs) wear the Commando Green Beret with a blackened Royal Engineers cap-badge, whilst officers wear the officers' flaming grenade cap-badge with a green base material, sewn onto the Commando Green Beret.
Other Uniform Emblems
Both officers and ORs wear the Army Commando shoulder titles on each sleeve, which have replaced the All-Arms Commando badge (a small red dagger on a dark blue background) on the upper left sleeve in No. 8 Temperate Combat Dress, (PCS-CU,) uniform only. All other orders of dress retain the All-Arms Commando badge. The Royal Engineers stable belt is differentiated by a Commando Dagger emblem on the clasp. Additionally, the 3 Commando Brigade RM Tactical Recognition Flash, (TRF,) a black Commando Dagger on an olive green square, is worn on the right arm of shirt and combat jacket.
Prior to the formation of the regiment, both 59 Independent Commando Squadron and 131 Independent Commando Squadron (Volunteers) provided support to 3 Commando Brigade.
59 Independent Commando Squadron Royal Engineers
59 Independent Commando Squadron Royal Engineers represented the Commando-trained, regular unit of the Corps until the formation of 24 Regiment in 2008. Soldiers were drawn from the regular units of the British Army's Corps of Royal Engineers. The Squadron formed the core of 24 Commando Regiment and is currently based at Barnstaple (RMB Chivenor).
131 Independent Commando Squadron Royal Engineers
131 Independent Commando Squadron Royal Engineers was the Army Reserve unit affiliated to 24 Commando Engineer Regiment until 1 October 2015. Since 1978, the unit had been on the order of battle of 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines, providing combat engineer support to the Brigade. This role had seen the Squadron exercise and operate worldwide, often sending small sub-units or individual soldiers to support the Brigade wherever it was training. Unit members had deployed alongside 59 Sqn/24 Regt for every operational deployment from 2002 onwards. The Squadron formally became a full part of 24 Commando Engineer Regiment on 2 October 2015.
- "Transforming the British Army" (PDF). Reserve Forces and Cadets Association. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 June 2013.
- "Disbanded, but not going away entirely". North Devon Journal. Retrieved 17 April 2016.
- "House of Commons Hansard Ministerial Statements for 10 Apr 2014 (pt 0001)". Retrieved 17 April 2016.
- "131 Commando Squadron Royal Engineers". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 17 April 2016.