Portal:British Army

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The British Army

Flag of the British Army (1938-present).svg

The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom, a part of British Armed Forces. , the British Army comprises just over 81,500 trained regular (full-time) personnel and just over 27,000 trained reserve (part-time) personnel.

The modern British Army traces back to 1707, with an antecedent in the English Army that was created during the Restoration in 1660. The term British Army was adopted in 1707 after the Acts of Union between England and Scotland. Although all members of the British Army are expected to swear (or affirm) allegiance to Elizabeth II as their commander-in-chief, the Bill of Rights of 1689 requires parliamentary consent for the Crown to maintain a peacetime standing army. Therefore, Parliament approves the army by passing an Armed Forces Act at least once every five years. The army is administered by the Ministry of Defence and commanded by the Chief of the General Staff.

The British Army has seen action in major wars between the world's great powers, including the Seven Years' War, the Napoleonic Wars, the Crimean War and the First and Second World Wars. Britain's victories in these decisive wars allowed it to influence world events and establish itself as one of the world's leading military and economic powers. Since the end of the Cold War, the British Army has been deployed to a number of conflict zones, often as part of an expeditionary force, a coalition force or part of a United Nations peacekeeping operation. Read more...

Selected article

Flag of the British Army - Regular and Territorial
The Territorial Army (TA) is the principal reserve force of the British Army, the land armed forces branch of the United Kingdom, and composed mostly of part-time soldiers paid at the same rate, while engaged on military activities, as their Regular equivalents. It forms about a quarter of the overall strength of the Army. Its original purpose was home defence although the establishment of the Territorial and Army Volunteer Reserve in 1967 involved a restructuring and revised doctrine leading to provision of routine support for the Regular army overseas. The Indian Territorial Army is based on its British counterpart.

Territorial soldiers, or Territorials, are volunteers who undergo military training in their spare time either as part of a formed local unit or as specialists in a professional field. TA members have a minimum commitment to serve 27 training days per annum, with specialists only required to serve 19 days, which normally includes a two-week annual camp. As a volunteer military reserve raised from local civilians, the TA may be considered a militia and several units bear the title "militia", although historically, the British official term Militia designated a specific force, distinct from the Volunteers and the Yeomanry. Territorials normally have a full-time job or career, which in some cases provides skills and expertise that are directly transferable to a specialist military role, such as NHS employees serving in TA Royal Army Medical Corps units. All Territorial personnel have their civilian jobs protected by employment law should they be compulsorily mobilised. There are currently approximately 34,000 serving members in the TA, although it has a target established strength of 42,000.

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Selected biography

Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinborough at NASA in 2007
The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (born Prince Philippos of Greece and Denmark, 10 June 1921), is the husband and consort of Queen Elizabeth II.

Originally a royal Prince of Greece and Denmark, Prince Philip renounced these titles shortly before his marriage, though he retains the Greek flag (white cross on blue field) on his Shield of Arms. At the time of his engagement he was known as Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten. On 20 November 1947, he married Princess Elizabeth, the heiress presumptive to King George VI. Prince Philip is a member of the Danish-German House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, which includes the royal houses of Denmark and Norway and the deposed royal house of Greece.

The day before his marriage, King George VI granted him the style of His Royal Highness and, on the morning of the marriage, created him Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich. In 1957, Philip was created a Prince of the United Kingdom by Queen Elizabeth II.

In 1952, the Duke was given the rank and titles Admiral of the Fleet, Field Marshal, and Marshal of the Royal Air Force. He was also made the Captain-General of the Royal Marines. As was the established tradition with all previous monarchs, the Queen as Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces outranks, by virtue of being Sovereign, all military personnel.

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Selected unit

British Army Spartan TAnk (as used by the Light Dragoons)
The Light Dragoons (LD) is a cavalry regiment in the British Army.

It was formed in 1992 from the amalgamation of two regiments, becoming the first dragoon regiment in the British Army for over twenty years:

The Light Dragoons are a Formation Reconnaissance Regiment with a history in the reconnaissance role which dates back to the early 18th century. Currently based in Swanton Morley, Norfolk, they are commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Angus Watson MBE.

They are highly experienced operationally with 14 tours of the Balkans during the 1990s. They have deployed twice to Iraq on Operation Telic in 2003 and 2005.

C Squadron deployed on a six-month operational tour of duty in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, on Operation Herrick 5 with 3 Commando Brigade, Royal Marines.

In April 2007 the majority of the Regiment including elements of HQ Squadron, B Squadron complete and specialists from D Squadron were deployed for a six-month tour in Afghanistan with 12 Mechanised Brigade on Operation Herrick 6.

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Selected equipment

ApacheWAH64.jpg

The Westland WAH-64 Apache is a licence-built version of the Boeing AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopter, for the British Army. The first eight helicopters were built by Boeing, the remaining 59 were assembled by Westland at Yeovil from kits purchased from Boeing. The WAH-64 is designated Apache AH Mk 1 or AH1 by the UK's Ministry of Defence.

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Blues and Royals Trooper
Credit: Adrian Pingstone
A Trooper of the Blues and Royals on mounted duty in Whitehall, London, England.


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