THE HISTORY OF THE LIGHT INFANTRY

THE ORIGINS OF THE LIGHT INFANTRY

FORMATION OF THE NEW REGIMENT

THE EARLY YEARS

THE YEARS OF CONSOLIDATION 1979-1989

OPTIONS FOR CHANGE AND AFTER

LIGHT INFANTRY DRESS REGULATIONS

THE REGIMENTS

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The Rifles Capbadge

 

THE RIFLES

 

FORMATTION OF THE RIFLES

In November 2005 the four regiments of the Light Division agreed to form The Rifles and issued a Charter. The formation of The Rifles is taking place against a background of change and uncertainty in the international security environment, as well as in the Army. This situation is an opportunity for us to form a Regiment designed to excel on the operations of the 21st Century, rather as Sir John Moore did in forming the Light Division at the beginning of the 19th Century. We will create something new that, while it draws on the traditions and example of our past, is forward looking and can adapt to a dynamic operational environment. These principles set out the ethos and characteristics of The Rifles, and the path down which we will embark, recognising that the Regiment must have room to evolve in the future.

Pride of Regiment and love for the Regiment's history and tradition is the sacred Ark of the Covenant on which the British soldier depends in battle and on which Britain , through him, has again and again survived and won through to victory. The largest Regiment of Infantry in the British Army, The Rifles, was formed on Thursday 1 February 2007. The Rifles have formed through the merger of The Devonshire and Dorset Light Infantry, The Light Infantry, The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Light Infantry and The Royal Green Jackets. Local parades marked the event across the UK , as well as in Iraq , Afghanistan and Germany . In Iraq , Soldiers from all four regiments held a morning parade led by Brigadier Tim Evans, MBE at Basra Palace . This was followed by a daylight patrol across the city in the army's new Bulldog vehicle.

Brigadier Tim Evans, Commander 19 Light Brigade Iraq , said: "It's quite a historic moment which has a touch of sadness it's the passing of a regiment but also a really golden opportunity. Four regiments coming together to form the Rifles ? an excellent brand name and now one of the largest regiments and the best recruited, so really I think it's a golden moment, ready and looking to the future."

For the first time troops donned their new cap badge approved last May by Her Majesty The Queen Elizabeth II. The elegant cap-badge is simple and yet encapsulates the famous history of the four Regiments that now comprise the Light Division. As the largest Regiment of Infantry, the formation will bind all Riflemen together in a strong unifying brand, distinguished from the rest of the infantry. It will offer the widest possible opportunity to its Riflemen in terms of location, role and career options. Since the decision to form The Rifles was made, its battalions have been delivered fully manned to operations in Iraq and Afghanistan because of the manpower flexibility that the merger provides.

The Regiments have already introduced an assignment process that permits all of its officers and soldiers (collectively referred to as Riflemen) the opportunity to express their preference with regard to Infantry role and location for duty. Benefiting from the merger of six battalions into five and very buoyant recruiting (both officer and soldier), The Rifles will be over-strength and the best manned Infantry Regiment. The Rifles is an integrated Regiment that draws strength from the mutual support of its four pillars: Regular Soldiers, Territorial and Reserve Soldiers; affiliated Cadets; and its Associations and Clubs.

Regular and Territorial soldiers will now be serving alongside each other in Afghanistan . The Cadets affiliated to the former regiments have all been welcomed into The Rifles with the offer of increased support. The Associations and Clubs of the former regiments have opted to affiliate themselves to The Rifles. The Rifles depends on the traditional roots of its Forming Regiments. As such it will cherish its sense of place and be a Regiment of all its cities, counties and towns: proudly declaring itself as "A Devon Regiment, A Durham Regiment, A Gloucestershire Regiment, A London Regiment etc".

The Devonshire and Dorset Light Infantry The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Light InfantryFormed 1 RIFLES.

The Light Infantry Formed 3 & 5 RIFLES.

The former 2nd Battalion The Light Infantry is now the 3rd Battalion The Rifles (3 Rifles).

The former 1st Battalion The Light Infantry is now the 5th Battalion The Rifles (5 Rifles).

The Royal Green Jackets Formed 2 & 4 RIFLES

 

 

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