Soldiers from Edinburgh based 3 RIFLES spent three days completing a 40-kilometre route across the Pentland Hills, while carrying up to 25kg, say the British Army.

According to a news release:

“Junior Non-Commissioned Officers (NCO) led their teams of eight soldiers across the route, stopping at 13 stances along the way and completing a range of military skills activities.

Each of these tests involved tasks that Riflemen are expected to excel at, including light weapons knowledge, navigation, communications and an individual 80 metre river crossing. The Junior NCO leading the best performing team (best scores on the test stands and quickest time) was awarded the ‘Best Corporal’ award.”

Captain Rhys Evans, the Battalion Training Officer, said:

“The main thing that the Sections are getting out of this is mutual understanding. They are building an esprit de corps and are being pushed to the point of failure in a controlled environment.”

The British Army say that the Battalion is currently acting in the role of the NATO Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) ready Battalion.

“This means that they stand ready to move at short notice to provide immediate support to NATO in any areas of developing crisis, especially in eastern Europe. They can perform peace-support operations, protect critical infrastructure and support disaster relief.”

You can read more here.

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TrevorH
TrevorH
1 month ago

“3 Rifles” … A meaningless phrase.

The only ‘rifles’ I know of is 95th Rifles.

The army have demoted and diluted the British regimental system.

Y Ddraig Goch
Y Ddraig Goch
1 month ago
Reply to  TrevorH

You are right of course that the regimental structure has been massively diluted but the Army didn’t have much choice in the face of defence cuts after cuts after cuta.

TrevorH
TrevorH
1 month ago
Reply to  Y Ddraig Goch

Yes it did. This change was done years and years ago. Wasn’t it Mike Jackson’s (?) idea.

I’m fed up of apologists for the army making excuses.

Julian1
Julian1
1 month ago
Reply to  TrevorH

I agree with the (Welsh?) guy. Yes it came under Jackson but in an attempt to try to give soldiers and their families more stability. If cap badges go, yes it’s a shame but if you’re instructed to reduce from 120 to 110 then 90 then 80k how do you do it? He could have resigned but the next man in would have done it. Managed decline.

TrevorH
TrevorH
1 month ago
Reply to  Julian1

There have been amalgamation, and some names disappearing… But why not have something called say a Light Brigade (in this insance) made up of regiments which have some identifiable provenance. I remember Think Defence blog saying it was at that time (2015) ‘a bit of a dogs breakfast’ ‘The Rifles’ concept itself seems to gave no coherency at all, it’s based all over the country and it’s not clear to me that there is any great affinity to the word “Rifle” (I do know The Greenjackets are part of it). We will soon have these large regiments with battalions dotted… Read more »

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago
Reply to  TrevorH

Part of the problem mate, in my eyes, is that the Regimental system has been protected (understandably so) by all the Regimental Mafias, leading to a fear of cutting a Battalion with a historic name, and subsequent bad press etc, which then leads to the easier option to be “removed” such as CS and CSS. Head sheds can gob off about how good we are as we still have “x” amount of Battalions, but in reality most are undeploybale in theatres other than benign due to the severe lack of enablers and support arms. Its a sad thing to say… Read more »

TrevorH
TrevorH
1 month ago
Reply to  Airborne

Fair comments indeed.
Given organisation of these BCTs, and if we want historic regiments, then appropriately named regiments can be associated with these Brigades. Given the grouping of supporting services, I do not see why individual battalions cannot be smaller, preserving heritage and more regimental names, within flexible brigades. And units have possibly more firepower as well. Maybe my explanation is not a good one, but there we go.

I think our organisation is caught in two stools.

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago
Reply to  TrevorH

I’m a big supporter of the BCTs, we can be more flexible and adaptable, training in formations that will fight together, and still be able to keep up historical names and Regimental titles at Company/Sqn level. We shouldn’t lose sight of our history but it shouldn’t dictate the future. Cheers.

BobA
BobA
1 month ago
Reply to  TrevorH

I think you need to pull yourself out of the stone age a bit and understand the reality. I was a Rifleman for 10 years; the regimental bond to the ‘new’ regiment is every bit as strong as those to the old ones. It is the ethos that is important. But if you think history is being lost, don’t forget that the original naming of regiments only started in 1888 and with it the defined geographical linkage. Before that, regiments were numbered and only had ‘nick names’. People lament the loss of eg The Light Infantry, but that was only… Read more »

TrevorH
TrevorH
1 month ago
Reply to  BobA

Proud of our Riflemen down the ages. In terms of Light Infantry, rifle regiments as examples, we have 43rd 52nd 60th 95th regiments. Long history. Units evolve but no need to throw away history.

As far as numbers, we have some iconic divisional and corps numbers and names.

BigH1979
BigH1979
1 month ago
Reply to  TrevorH

Why a meaningless phrase? Its an identity the same as other units have in the regimental system and it has some historical connotations. Its better than 1st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Regiment etc.

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago
Reply to  TrevorH

But sad to say it needed to be diluted as far to many Battalions, not enough men and slots, therefore amalgamations happen. And even after so many, we need to rethink the Regimental system. I agree with it, lived and loved it, but, we need to be thinking on more modern lines, but still respecting the heritage of each Battalion.

Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  Airborne

Worth also thinking about how the blokes feel about it, outside of the Paras and maybe the Rifles (and as much as I rag on the Paras one of the things I geniuenly think they do well is regimental pride [although for some a bit too much]) I think there is a lot more ambivilence about Regiments these days. Sure there’s pride in individual regimental and battalion histories, but for the majority I think if a Battalion identiy changes there will be a shrug. Also, a Battalion name change doesn’t mean the end of a Battalions History. Did the Duke… Read more »

Rob
Rob
1 month ago
Reply to  TrevorH

Under the SDSR the Army are about to form new Ranger Regt of 4 Btns. I think this is nuts. Look we have already diluted the identity of our regimental system to such a degree that it’s roots are barely recognisable. Why not just let them keep their cap badges and call them ‘Army Commandos’? Do we really need a whole new Regiment?

TrevorH
TrevorH
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob

I sympathise with that. But I do agree with the Ranger concept. Indeed the Ranger idea to me harks back to the ethos of the 95th Rifles.

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago
Reply to  TrevorH

Agreed.

Rob
Rob
1 month ago
Reply to  Airborne

Airborne we may fall out over this but I mean no disrespect to the Paras. In WW2 the Parachute Regt was formed from the Army Commandos and then, when expanded, by making formed county Btns into Paras thus 10 Para was actually the 10th Btn the Royal Sussex Regt and the others were the same (especially the Btns in 6th Airborne Division). We didn’t actually need a new Regt then and we don’t now. Keep all the county affiliations & historic Regts then label them by role, in brackets, Ranger, Airborne. Light. Mechanised etc. If we go down the road… Read more »

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob

We won’t fall out lol, but I’m aware of my Regimental history etc. The airborne concept was a necessity borne out by previous Russian and German experience. But that’s another waffle for later. However my understanding of the new Ranger formation was that it wasn’t going to classed as “elite” more of a dedicated fixed and useable formation for non SF OPs (SFSG will still have that role) to include the full spectrum of “other than war” tasks. It will be interesting however to see how it is developed as Army formations love to be different and love to be… Read more »

Rob
Rob
1 month ago
Reply to  Airborne

Good answer. Creeping excellence is always good and not a problem. My argument is why can’t the Rangers be badged by Regt, i.e 2nd Btn PWRR (Army Commando), rather than creating a whole new Regiment? As for the Paras we all know that we up our game when serving alongside them so maybe the new air maneuver Bde needs a third regular Btn (maybe a parachute Guards Btn)? I know the Gurkhas are great and I wouldn’t start a fight ever with them but I do remember watching a drop on Salisbury Plain when the Gurkha Coy seemed to be… Read more »

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob

Creeping excellence is good if officially led, but can be negative if DS led with the “it was hard in my day etc” making little things harder, but yet again another chat for another time. Can’t see an issue with your badging thought process, keeping the heritage and still relevant. The third Bn is essential as the rule of three should always apply, but we know it doesn’t. And the leg bags is the equipment, gets lowered from your waist once canopy deploys, used to be from hooks, now a lanyard, on a 20 foot rope, supposed to ease the… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob

I agree with this Rob.

Would have no impact on the formation of the S Ops Bde, which I support, along with the Ranger concept.

Para Reg itself is split into 2 conventional Para battalions 2 PARA and 3 PARA ( with one in role forming AATF/Lead Coy Gp or whatever its called these days ) while 1 PARA is itself in a “S Ops” role in effect as forming the bulk of the SFSG.

So why not have “Army Commando” as a role ( Ranger ) and keep the battalions as part of their regiments?

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
1 month ago
Reply to  TrevorH

Just as place names and street names are being ‘changed’ – that is, having meaning and significance stripped from them. Why? It’s a terrible stupidity to lose touch with one’s own history.

Karl
Karl
1 month ago

Interesting discussion. What’s in a name? A lot of history for sure, and recruits do learn about their predecessors. Traditions are still carried on at the regimental level in most cases. I was “black button mafia” as was my dad so felt a tinge when it passed into history. My granddad was a Koyli. Point? The army is a dynamic organisation, change is inevitable, which means cap badges will go as it gets smaller and more specialised. Rather than having a rant, just be proud and remember. After all, being a Ranger will be better than “Huberts 45th Foot and… Read more »

Rfn_Weston
Rfn_Weston
30 days ago

I joined 2LI back in the day then around early 2007 I think it was… The 1st & 2nd battalion Light Infantry, 1st & 2nd Battalion Royal Green Jackets, Devon & Dorset Light Infantry and Royal Gloucester, Berkshire & Wiltshire Regiment amalgamated into the 5 RIFLES Battalions we have today. 3 RIFLES stayed in the LI role which is what I transferred into by default. I was and still am proud of being in both 2LI & 3 RIFLES. The change in name was a hark back to the days of breaking from traditional methods of infantry warfare… For instance..… Read more »