Cap and Back badges of The Rifles
|Active||1 February 2007 –|
|Role||1st Battalion—Light Infantry
2nd Battalion—Light Infantry
3rd Battalion—Light Protected Mobility Infantry
4th Battalion—Mechanised Infantry
5th Battalion—Armoured Infantry
6th Battalion—Army Reserve
7th Battalion—Army Reserve
1st Battalion—Beachley Barracks, Gloucestershire
2nd Battalion—Thiepval Barracks, Lisburn
3rd Battalion—Dreghorn Barracks, Edinburgh
4th Battalion—New Normandy Barracks, Aldershot Garrison
5th Battalion—Alanbrooke Barracks, Westfalen Garrison
6th Battalion—Wyvern Barracks, Exeter
7th Battalion—Brock Barracks, Reading
|Motto(s)||"Celer et Audax" (Latin)
"Swift and Bold"
|March||Quick: Mechanised Infantry
Double Past: Keel Row/Road to the Isles
Slow: Old Salamanca
|Colonel in Chief||HRH The Duke of Edinburgh|
|Colonel Commandant||General Sir Nicholas Parker KCB CBE|
|Tactical Recognition Flash|
|Arm Badge||Croix de Guerre
From Devonshire and Dorset Light Infantry
The Rifles is an infantry regiment of the British Army. Formed in 2007, it consists of five Regular and two Reserve battalions, plus a number of companies in other Army Reserve battalions. Each battalion of The Rifles was formerly an individual battalion of one of the two large regiments of the Light Division (with the exception of the 1st Battalion, which is an amalgamation of two individual regiments). Since formation the regiment has been involved in combat operations, first in the later stages of the Iraq War and in the War in Afghanistan.
The Rifles was created as a result of the Future Army Structure. Under the original announcement, the Light Division would have remained essentially unchanged, with the exception of the Light Infantry gaining a new battalion through the amalgamation of two other regiments, and both gaining a reserve battalion from within the Territorial Army (TA) as it was then called. However, on 24 November 2005, the Ministry of Defence announced that the four regiments would amalgamate into a single five-battalion regiment. The Rifles was formed on 1 February 2007 by the amalgamation of the four Light Infantry and Rifle Regiments of the Light Division:
- The Devonshire and Dorset Light Infantry
- The Light Infantry
- The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Light Infantry
- The Royal Green Jackets
- South Yorkshire
The 2nd Battalion, the 3rd Battalion and the 4th Battalion were all deployed in Basra in Iraq during some of the worst fighting of the Iraq War including the withdrawal from Basra Palace in September 2007.
In May 2009 the 5th Battalion was one of the last British Army units to leave Iraq.
In Summer 2009 the 4th Battalion provide reinforcement cover for the elections in Afghanistan and to take part in Operation Panther's Claw. At the same time the 2nd Battalion was deployed to Sangin and was relieved in due course by the 3rd Battalion.
In October 2011 2nd and 5th battalions of the Rifles returned for a six-month tour of duty in Afghanistan serving in the Nahri Saraj District.
The regiment has five regular and two reserve battalions, each configured for a specific infantry role:
- 1st Battalion, an amalgamation of the 1st Battalion, Devonshire and Dorset Light Infantry and the 1st Battalion, Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Light Infantry. Initially configured in the light role as part of 3 Commando Brigade, it moved to 160th Infantry Brigade and Headquarters Wales under Army 2020. Personnel were based at Beachley Barracks, Chepstow.
- 2nd Battalion, a redesignation of the 1st Battalion, Royal Green Jackets. Initially configured in the light role as part of 19 Light Brigade, it moved to 38th (Irish) Brigade under Army 2020. Personnel are based at Thiepval Barracks, Lisburn.
- 3rd Battalion, a redesignation of the 2nd Battalion, The Light Infantry. Initially configured in the light role as part of 52nd Infantry Brigade, it moved to 51st Infantry Brigade and Headquarters Scotland under Army 2020. Personnel are based at Dreghorn Barracks, Edinburgh.
- 4th Battalion, a redesignation of the 2nd Battalion, Royal Green Jackets. Initially configured in the mechanised role as part of 1 Mechanised Brigade, it remains with that brigade which is now designated 1st Armoured Infantry Brigade. Personnel are based at New Normandy Barracks in Aldershot Garrison.
- 5th Battalion - redesignation of the 1st Battalion, The Light Infantry and configured in the armoured role as part of 20th Armoured Brigade. Personnel are based at Alanbrooke Barracks, Westfalen Garrison but are due to move to Bulford Camp in Summer 2016. It will remain as a Warrior battalion under Army 2020.
- 6th Battalion - redesignation of the Rifle Volunteers. It comes under 160th Infantry Brigade and Headquarters Wales and is paired with 1 RIFLES. Personnel are based at Wyvern Barracks in Exeter with sub-units at Gloucester, Taunton, Dorchester, Shrewsbury, Hereford and Truro.
- 7th Battalion - redesignation of the Royal Rifle Volunteers, minus the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment company, plus the Royal Green Jacket companies of the London Regiment (the descendants of the 4th (V) Battalion the Royal Green Jackets). It comes under 38th (Irish) Brigade and is paired with 2 RIFLES. Personnel are based at Brock Barracks in Reading with sub-units at Abingdon, Mayfair, West Ham, High Wycombe, Swindon, Windsor and Aylesbury.
In addition to the seven battalions above, two companies wear Rifles cap badges but are sub-units of reserve battalions other infantry regiments:
- D (RIFLES) Company, 5th Battalion Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (includes Y (RIFLES) Platoon), a redesignation of C (Light Infantry) Company, Tyne-Tees Regiment and Minden (Light Infantry) Company, East and West Riding Regiment. Designated to reflect the historic relationship with Durham and Yorkshire, the Company has a presence at Bishop Auckland, Consett, Sunderland, Washington, Doncaster and Pontefract.
|1st Battalion, The Rifles||HRH The Duke of Kent (ex-Colonel-in-Chief, DDLI)|
|2nd Battalion, The Rifles||HRH The Earl of Wessex|
|3rd Battalion, The Rifles||HRH Princess Alexandra, The Hon Lady Ogilvy (ex-Colonel-in-Chief, LI)|
|4th Battalion, The Rifles||HRH The Duchess of Cornwall|
|5th Battalion, The Rifles||HRH The Countess of Wessex|
|6th Battalion, The Rifles||HRH The Duke of Gloucester|
|7th Battalion, The Rifles||HRH The Duchess of Gloucester|
The Band and Bugles
The regular element of The Rifles maintains a single regular regimental band, the Band and Bugles of The Rifles. This was formed by renaming the Band and Bugles of the Light Division, which in itself was an amalgamation of four separate bands:
- The Corunna Band of the Light Infantry
- The Salamanca Band of the Light Infantry
- The Peninsula Band of the Royal Green Jackets
- The Normandy Band of the Royal Green Jackets
In addition, the two Army Reserve Battalions maintain their own bands:
- The Salamanca Band of the Rifles - 6th Battalion (formerly the Band of the Rifle Volunteers)
- The Waterloo Band of the Rifles - 7th Battalion (formerly the Band of the Royal Rifle Volunteers)
As a rifle regiment, a private soldier in The Rifles is known as a Rifleman and Serjeant is spelt in the archaic fashion; the regiment wears a Rifle green beret. A number of golden threads have been brought into the new regiment from each of its founder regiments:
- Croix de Guerre - the French Croix de Guerre ribbon awarded to the Devonshire Regiment in World War I, and subsequently worn by the Devonshire and Dorset Light Infantry, and also awarded to the King's Shropshire Light Infantry in 1918, is worn on both sleeves of No. 1 and No. 2 dress.
- Back Badge - the badge worn on the back of headdress reads Egypt. This was awarded as an honour to the 28th Foot and subsequently worn by the Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Light Infantry. It is worn on the forage cap and side hat; and on the shako of the regimental band and bugles.
- Bugle Horn - the bugle horn badge of the Light Infantry, now surmounted by St. Edward's Crown, is the regiment's cap badge.
- Maltese Cross - the Maltese Cross of the Royal Green Jackets is worn as a buckle on the cross belt, and will contain the regiment's representative battle honours; currently one space is kept free for future honours. In accordance with the tradition of rifle regiments, the regiment does not carry colours.
- Black Buttons - the traditional black buttons of a rifle regiment are worn on all forms of dress with the exception of combat dress.
The following battle honours are a representation of the total honours awarded to the regiments which formed The Rifles. These are inscribed on the regiment's belt badge:
- Gibraltar, Copenhagen, Plassey, Dettingen, Minden, Quebec, Martinique, Marabout, Peninsula, Waterloo, Afghanistan, Jellalabad, Ferozeshah, Delhi, Lucknow, New Zealand, Pekin, South Africa, Inkerman
- Great War: Nonne Boschen, Ypres, Somme, Vittorio Veneto, Megiddo
- Second World War: Calais, First Battle of El Alamein, Second Battle of El Alamein, Kohima, Pegasus Bridge, Normandy, Italy 1943–45, Anzio
- Imjin, Korea, Iraq 2003
Order of precedence
Royal Gurkha Rifles
|Infantry Order of Precedence||Succeeded by
Special Air Service
- "History of the Light Infantry". Retrieved 26 April 2014.
- "6 RIFLES". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 30 April 2016.
- "7 RIFLES". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 30 April 2016.
- "The Rifles forged in battle - An overview of the first three years". Care for Casualties. Retrieved 26 April 2014.
- "20th Armoured Brigade takes command of Task Force Helmand". Ministry of Defence. 10 October 2011. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
- "Army basing announcement" (PDF). Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 26 April 2014.
- "1 RIFLES". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 30 April 2016.
- "Transforming the British Army: An Update" (PDF). Ministry of Defence. p. 9. Retrieved 30 April 2016.
- "Transforming the British Army: An Update" (PDF). Ministry of Defence. p. 7. Retrieved 30 April 2016.
- "Riflemen train for post-Afghanistan deployments". Ministry of Defence. 13 March 2013. Retrieved 26 April 2014.
- "D Company". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 30 April 2016.
- "The Rifles Regimental Who's Who 2007". British Armed Forces. Retrieved 30 April 2016.
- "The Band and Bugles of The Rifles". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 30 April 2016.
- "Golden Threads". Shropshire Regimental Museum. Retrieved 26 April 2014.
- Ben Barry A Cold War: Front-line Operations in Bosnia 1995 - 1996 ISBN 1-86227-449-5. An account of the end of the Bosnian Civil War by the CO of the 2nd Battalion the Light Infantry
- Les Howard Winter Warriors - Across Bosnia with the PBI ISBN 1-84624-077-8. A TA Royal Green Jacket on operations with the 2nd Bn the Light Infantry
- Swift and Bold: A Portrait of the Royal Green Jackets 1966-2007 ISBN 1-903942-69-1.
- Steven McLaughlin Squaddie: A Soldier's Story ISBN 1-84596-242-7. A Royal Green Jacket's account of modern-day basic training, battalion life & culture, and operational tours in Iraq and Northern Ireland.
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