One of the revelations in the recently published MoD document ‘Future Soldier’ that has received relatively little publicity has been the demise of the 1st Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland, The Royal Scots Borderers, known as 1 SCOTS in army parlance.

On December 1st this year they became the 1st Battalion, The Rangers (1 RANGERS), part of the new four battalion Ranger Regiment. 


The author, Stuart Crawford, was a regular officer in the Royal Tank Regiment for twenty years, retiring in the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in 1999. Crawford attended both the British and US staff colleges and undertook a Defence Fellowship at Glasgow University. 

This article is the opinion of the author and not necessarily that of the UK Defence Journal. If you would like to submit your own article on this topic or any other, please see our submission guidelines


Sadly, this is yet another step in the dismantling of the historical, some would say traditional, Scottish infantry regiments, and we need to go back a few years to get a proper handle on what’s actually going on here. At the end of the twentieth century there were six regular infantry regiments in the administrative grouping known as the Scottish Division; they were the Royal Scots, the Royal Highland Fusiliers (RHF), the King’s Own Scottish Borderers (KOSB), the Black Watch, The Highlanders, and the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders. These were themselves in most cases the result of previous amalgamations.

In the late 1990s the idea was mooted that the Royal Scots and KOSB should amalgamate, an idea driven largely by poor recruiting figures at the time and the fact that their traditional recruiting areas were contiguous. Although this decision was temporarily rescinded, it was eventually implemented as part of the ‘Options for Change’ reforms, and on 1st August 2006 the traditional Scottish regiments were amalgamated into the amorphous Royal Regiment of Scotland. As part of that process the Royal Scots and KOSB joined and became The Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion, Royal Regiment of Scotland (RRS).

This was all driven through by the MoD and the Chief of the General Staff at the time, General Sir Mike Jackson, in the teeth of a fairly energetic and vociferous campaign to keep the traditional Scottish regiments in which I was intimately involved. In the end, aided by a fairly supine Council of Colonels Commandant of the Scottish regiments, the forces of darkness prevailed. One of our main arguments had been that it was easier, politically and emotionally, to cut one unit from a multi-battalion regiment (which the RRS became) than it was to axe one of the historic regiments.

And so it has come to pass. Only six years after the formation of the RRS, the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders (5 SCOTS) was reduced to single company strength – Balaklava Company – to be used for ceremonial duties in Scotland. Thus were the descendants of the famous “Thin Red Line” of Crimean War folklore and every war fought by Britain since reduced to what amounts to no more than a small support unit for VisitScotland.

Now it has happened again. The Borderers, 1 SCOTS, has become one of the four regular infantry battalions from which the new Ranger Regiment will be “seeded” as it is stood up. In time anyone from across the army can apply to join the Rangers, and if they successfully complete an eight week, two part assessment process then recruits will be posted to the new Regiment and undergo a further eight months of additional training before they are good to go. 

Whether the Ranger Regiment will live up to the hype remains to be seen, but the current Chief of the General Staff (CGS), General Sir Mark Carleton-Smith, has more or less staked his reputation on it being a success. For Scottish readers, however, a few more details of what this actually means for us should perhaps be underlined. First of all, obviously the RRS loses another battalion, down from an initial five to three plus one company. On top of this, each Ranger battalion will be only 250 strong, half that of 1 SCOTS. 

Furthermore, the new battalion will, as far as I can ascertain, sport the grey beret and other accoutrements designated for it, and there would appear to be no record left of its previous “Scottishness”, subject to confirmation at time of writing. So, essentially, another Scottish infantry battalion has been lopped off the order of battle in a smoke and mirrors operation that would make any magician proud. 

Does any of this matter? Well, it depends on your point of view. I have always believed that those currently serving are the custodians of the history of those who went before and the future of those who are yet to come. Our military should not be changed and re-organised at the whim of those currently in command; after all, they work for us, the electorate, not the other way around.

What is not in doubt is that the Scottish element of the British army has once again been diminished. What is also clear is that, up to this point, no politician of note from any of our political parties has said anything about it publically.

Does it just not matter to them anymore?

Stuart Crawford was a regular officer in the Royal Tank Regiment for twenty years, retiring in the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in 1999. Crawford attended both the British and US staff colleges and undertook a Defence Fellowship at Glasgow University. He now works as a political, defence and security consultant and is a regular commentator on military and defence topics in print, broadcast and online media.
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Ian Skinner
Ian Skinner
1 month ago

I always got the impression that the Scottish regiments had recruitment problems; is this still the case?

Rob_B
Rob_B
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian Skinner

Absolutely. You only have to look at the photo to see that the RRoS is still having to recruit from abroad to keep up numbers. The Commonwealth guys make a valuable contribution, but do not have that connection to the Golden Thread.
I am ex Gordons/Ex Highlanders and have a real passion for the Scottish Regiments, but with under recruiting, this is inevitable.

George Parker
George Parker
26 days ago
Reply to  Rob_B

How much of it is due to wee Jimmy Cranky and her SNP shenanigans.
I’ve always maintained that if HM.Gov wanted full recruitment and a waiting list. They could do it almost overnight. All it takes is the correct incentives/benefits package.

RHE
RHE
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian Skinner

I was Adjt 1 KOSB 99-01. We deployed to Cyprus for a 2 year posting. At the time of deployment we were fully manned to establishment. The problem for us was that 1RS were having understandable recruitment issues (their area was smaller and more affluent than ours), and their problem was always going to be ours.

Tim
Tim
19 days ago
Reply to  Ian Skinner

It’s also about numbers scotland used to have loads of different regiments and Scotland has a population of about 5 million it’s about the same amount as east anglia yet the royal anglian are only 2 battalions and 1 reserve so it stands to reason Scotland is going to struggle to fill so many different battalions

Josh Peckham
Josh Peckham
1 month ago

As per Ian below, I’ve always understood that one of the criteria the Army had when reducing establishment was which regiments were under-recruited and were at risk of becoming ineffective. My view on this is that the Army must stay relevant in the modern day and that cannot be subservient to being slaves to history. You preserve where you can but change where you must.

James Fennell
James Fennell
1 month ago

One battalion cap-badged regiments are somewhat anachronistic in a 73,000, 21st century army, surely? Pretty much all of our peers have a Corps of Infantry of some sort. By all means keep the traditions alive, but not to the detriment of the efficiency and agility of our armed forces. In the RAF famous squadrons are no more than ‘number plates’ these days for aircrew managed centrally, the RN has mulitple crews who rotate through ships and has long since made it’s ‘flotillas’ purely administrative lables. The Army must do the same.

Last edited 1 month ago by James Fennell
David haggart
David haggart
1 month ago
Reply to  James Fennell

I left school 1975 my school friends joined marines army. They joined RHF.as lots of soldiers joined from ayrshire.it seems mod are making a mockerybof our great lads by cutting back regiments and changing other regiments .no member of Parliament has had a voice in all the changes do sad .

James M
James M
1 month ago

I’m surprised this hasn’t kicked up a bit of a political stir. I’m definitely no expert, but the state of the Union is not great at the moment and the dismantling of Scottish historical regiments could be seen as a negative action taken by the MoD to diminish Scottish influence in the armed forces. What do you think?

Paddy Singh
Paddy Singh
1 month ago
Reply to  James M

One would have expected politicians who are ex forces to have objected. Sad, they stayed quiet

Mark B
Mark B
1 month ago
Reply to  James M

Who would make trouble? Politicians? The SNP would rather inherit something small or non-existant on the military side so they do not get critised for cutting it.

In the next significant conflict I’m sure all the old regiments will return.

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago

The SNP has made politic out of Scottish Regts for ages – that had to change. The Scots have had problems recruiting – that had to change. It’s changed. I doubt that the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment will last much longer – KORBR+QLR+KR were merged to form it. Society is changing, the offer has been spurned and a new rank concept needs to be formulated, especially in such a small defense force and that will mean far fewer ex Captains/Majors/Colonels and Brigs floating around writing articles and drawing a pension and hopefully a modern, fully equipped, enabled, and supported fighting… Read more »

Ian Skinner
Ian Skinner
1 month ago
Reply to  David Barry

I think a Ranger regiment will have far more appeal to a generation brought up on Call of Duty; the regimental system has been both a source of strength and weakness for the British Army, it needs to be adapted to fit the 21st century.

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian Skinner

It will sound good at the start, and with plenty of volunteers who want to be a bit “ally” but without the graft of certain other arduous courses, such as selection, SRR etc, but let me assure you the Ranger concept will be pretty much the same chuff as the “engagement Battalions” and while the spin will be good the job will turn out to be a round of training commitments, similar to the old BATTs. Its a simple excuse to keep the same number of Battalions but have over a third of the Infantry in 250 man units. Cheap,… Read more »

Paddy Singh
Paddy Singh
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian Skinner

In India, the Skinners Horse still stands tall and proud and no generation appeal or adaption would ever be allowed by Army Chief. And cadets when they go to train, aspire to join the old regiments because of their history

Phil
Phil
1 month ago

Frankly it’s about time. The Cap-Badge Mafia/Hysteria has done more to destroy the British Army and render it unfit to fight for decades than even the politicians. The Royal Navy and the RAF don’t go around behaving like this when ships and squadrons are decommisioned or stood up. Only in the Army do we keep on setting out orders of battle that are irrelevant to function, simply to keep some cap badges alive.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Phil

I hear this comment a lot, but I think the comment is overblown. I served in the army from 1975-2009 and have kept abreast of army matters since. Over this time, the number of amalgamations and disbandments of famous name regiments has been an absolute flurry. Why claim that extraordinary and irrational efforts are made to keep famous names alive (to the prejudice of effectiveness and efficiency) when so many famous names have actually been lost.

Bob Mileham
Bob Mileham
1 month ago

With the army now being so small is there really 1000+ high quality individuals of all ranks “spare” in the non SF and Parachute Regiment parts of the army to fill these posts? This project reminds me of the 2009 plan that was going to turn 1 Rifles into “Army Commandos” as part of a beefed up 3 Commando Brigade. That cunning plan soon ran out of steam!

BobA
BobA
1 month ago
Reply to  Bob Mileham

I served in 1 RIFLES over the whole period. The plan was never to create Army Commandos -the RM didn’t want or need that, The Rifles didn’t want or need that. The sole aim was to add a fourth manoeuvre unit to the Brigade so that it could maintain a 3 unit HERRICK rotation AND a Lead Commando group at readiness. Once the Bde came off the HERRICK cycle it was no longer needed so we ‘left’ the Bde.

Joe Jarvie
Joe Jarvie
1 month ago

So what happens if hardly anyone transfers over from 1 Scots. Will they be given the opportunity to transfer over to another battalion? Also, 205 Sc Field Hospital is to vanish and amalgamate with another medical unit.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe Jarvie

Several of the current Field Hospitals are. They are becoming Multi Role Medical Regiments!

Another rebranding that might change in years to come.

louis
louis
16 days ago

I know this is a bit late but I just wanted to know what will change in the rebranding of the field hospitals

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
15 days ago
Reply to  louis

Lots I’d expect. Some are merging, others disappearing.

Once their internal make up is outlined we will know more. Squadrons will vanish, amalgamate and form I expect.

Ally McNaughton
Ally McNaughton
1 month ago

You can’t go and make changes to a grade 1 building without everybody agreeing, however when it comes to people’s jobs or regiment they can do what they want. 22 years service and proud to have been 1st BN The Black Watch.

Amir
Amir
1 month ago

The Royal Scottish Rangers with batallions or companies named after the old cap badges…. Boom, problem solved.

P.Paybe.
P.Paybe.
1 month ago
Reply to  Amir

Good idea and said before keep the badges and repurpose and as people say just form new corps or multi battalion.regiments.Good idea and think it should work.Get army back up to a sensible size is beyond common sense to look the idea over?For many even youngsters tradition does mean more than call of duty vids.My dad etc served in and so on.Any way good luck to them all.

Christopher Fletcher
Christopher Fletcher
1 month ago
Reply to  Amir

Ideal suggestion. Top of the range concept !!

Tim Hirst
Tim Hirst
1 month ago
Reply to  Amir

And you just perpetuate the problem. Clean break start the Rangers fresh without ANY historical baggage.

Amir
Amir
1 month ago
Reply to  Tim Hirst

Why is retaining some of the history a “problem”?

Ron
Ron
1 month ago
Reply to  Amir

Its not, in fact the British Army had Rangers back in the time of the American war of Independence, I think they were called the Queens Rangers. I also seem to remember the Royal Irish Rangers and the Sherwood Rangers. I think but I might be wrong but the rank of Ranger still exists in the Royal Irish Regt. As for training and skill set for the new Ranger Regt, base it on Commando, Gurkha and possibly the old LRDG skills. I’m not 100% sure but I think in some ways that was a job for the old rifles, to… Read more »

GeoOxford
GeoOxford
30 days ago
Reply to  Ron

WW1 and my grandpa was in the Connaught Rangers!

Tim
Tim
19 days ago
Reply to  Ron

Commandos do a commando role ok but Gurkhas don’t do anything different from a line infantry regiment

SwindonSteve
SwindonSteve
1 month ago
Reply to  Amir

Exactly what I was thinking. The history lives on at company level and can be spun off to form a live battalion/regiment if we ever see an expansion of the Army.

Robin Burrell
Robin Burrell
1 month ago

Sorry but Ranger doesn’t sit well with me, too American! I’d much rather the name Army Commando could have been expanded on.
And as for the Grey beret and that cap badge that looks like it came out of a Xmas cracker.

Phil
Phil
1 month ago
Reply to  Robin Burrell

Britain had Rangers before America was even invented 😉

Robin Burrell
Robin Burrell
1 month ago
Reply to  Phil

I know mate, we had them during the War of Independence. But the Yanks have adopted the name for them selfs.
Still think it should be Army Commando.

Amir
Amir
1 month ago
Reply to  Robin Burrell

Commando is actual a Boer term used during the Boer War and used long before we used it. No one word in the English language belongs to one country anymore than another. We have the Royal Irish Rangers for one.

MR E J PURVIS
MR E J PURVIS
1 month ago
Reply to  Phil

I recall they were called Roger’s Rangers – Hollywood did a movie about them with Spencer Tracy in the lead role in the 1930s – early 1940’s. I recall as a kid watching it on TV and I think it was about fighting what is now refered to as the Red Indians.

Andrew Munro
Andrew Munro
1 month ago

So Bde of Guards have got their way Royal Scots gone lets them say they are the oldest Regt in army we know Royal Scots where Pontius Pilate s body guard.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago

I don’t see why they don’t keep battalion names and just have the ( Ranger ) designation after. Like the battalions of RRS now since the earlier amalgamations when they kept their names.

James Fennell
James Fennell
1 month ago

Because they want to create someting new – with it’s own unique identity, CONOPS and esprit d’corps.

the_marquis
the_marquis
1 month ago

Hi Daniele, yeah I was wondering about this, why not just keep them as they are and train them for the ranger role, or take these new special role battalions and brigade them as Rangers, as a administrative, non-deployable brigade, responsible for training.

Also, the Borderers aren’t the only historic battalion to be disappearing, isn’t 4 Rifles going as well, which is the direct descendant of the original 95th Rifle Regiment…

And also, would the Rangers be the only multi-battalion infantry regiment outside the Paras where all constituent battalions specialise in the same role?

Ginge
Ginge
1 month ago

English regiments gave always suffered more, being diluted to eventually mean very little. I joined the prince of wales division, with 9 battalions, 7 english, 2 welsh. None exist in the same format today

Tim Hirst
Tim Hirst
1 month ago

This is in a nutshell why the army is such a mess. All about tradition and the past and nothing about the future.

Wideman
Wideman
1 month ago

It may not be of any consequence but the QARANC suffered the same fate. All tradition lost. Identity lost. Consigned to history. Many brave women gave their lives but to what end. Amalgamate, save money, be one, of what?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Wideman

? The QAs are still going.

Jimbo
Jimbo
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

They are. I work with them every day.

Stuart Crawford
Stuart Crawford
1 month ago

Thank you all for your comments. Of course I don’t always get it right, and of course people are perfectly entitled to have a pop, but I don’t mind. The debate is the important thing. Keep it coming!

Ian
Ian
1 month ago

Thank you for your article Stuart. Is there not a straight forward mathematical way of looking at this? The British army has, I understand, 33 regular battalions (of which 2 Gurkha). Scotland makes up 8% of the UK population to provide for 5 SCOTS battalions + Scots Guards, i.e. 18% to 19% of infantry battalions. Now one could debate whether some battalions (e.g. Para) should be in or out of the above calculation, however at some point demographic gravity takes over.

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago

Pretty much disagree with everything he says. We have far to many Infantry Battalions with no real role, not fully manned, and no old school regional recruiting grounds remaining to justify a “local connection”. The “Cap Badge Mafia” so to speak need to understand that while Regimental history is important, so is future capability, and with so many unusable Battalions the Infantry have become a paper tiger. Regimental history can and should be remembered, by utilising “Regimental/Battalion History rooms” etc, but that history cannot and should never dictate the future shape of the modern and hopefully progressive British Army. Unfortunately… Read more »

Tim Hirst
Tim Hirst
1 month ago
Reply to  Airborne

Absolutely, when people start worrying and the colour of the uniform cap as being important you know they’ve lost the big picture.

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago
Reply to  Tim Hirst

Correct mate, we need to be making harsh but sensible choices in all areas of the Army, but most certainly in the Infantry.

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago
Reply to  Airborne

A sensible comment. Thank goodness; I was about to sign up for bereavement counselling……

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Cheers mate….save the bereavement counselling for the usual Troll target stories, the F35s and the Carriers lol

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Airborne

Just found this. Nail on head mate. CS & CSS all the way. Cut at least 6 battalions and create RS, RA, RE, RLC, RAMC regiments with the PIDS to enable another DEPLOYABLE brigade.

11 SFAB the perfect example. 4 “LBCT” is a golf bag, nothing more.

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago

Roger that mate, got to be tough choices made! Tough but essential to dig the Army out of its home made mess!

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
1 month ago

I do fail to see the point of these articles. Many regiments have disappeared over the centuries, including my namesake Gordon Highlanders. My dad served with the regiment including during the Malaya Emergency. So I have that pride. Indeed, inspired me to join the services, though the RN, being raised in Pompey. The regiment’s history has not disappeared, being readily accessible in books and physically at the museum. It seems to me that the Army has far more valid concerns confronting the realities of it’s modern role:- force structure, recruitment pool and equipment balance. It lags behind and cannot afford… Read more »

Challenger
Challenger
1 month ago

Time for a root and branch reform of The British Army. A Corps of Infantry with fewer but larger regiments that have historic but non-geographical names – The Rifles, The Fusiliers, The Grenadiers etc.

It wouldn’t solve all of the problems but it would be a big step in the right direction by enabling the infantry to be trimmed back to fewer full strength battalions and a properly balanced field force of 5 or 6 deployable brigades rather than the 1 or 2 we have now due to the chronic lack of enablers and modern equipment.

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago
Reply to  Challenger

Agreed mate for sure.

Jona120
Jona120
1 month ago
Reply to  Airborne

Good luck trying that with the Gaurds.

the_marquis
the_marquis
1 month ago
Reply to  Challenger

You could also merge a number of regiments into a large national regiment, akin to the Royal Australian Regiment, with the usual custom of old honours and traditions of historic regiments incorporated into the new regiment. In terms of the wider issue of too many no role light infantry battalions, would it help to devote all battalions of these new whole regiments to a single role, rather than different battalions fulfilling different roles? i.e. all battalions of the Rifles would be light infantry, Fusiliers would be mechanised infantry, Grenadiers armoured infantry, etc. or would that no make a difference? Just… Read more »

DaveNBC
DaveNBC
1 month ago

Given how tribal we are in Scotland I think a certain number of young folk are going to find it hard to join anything called ‘The Rangers’. Don’t think there’s much clue down south about this.

Tim Hirst
Tim Hirst
1 month ago
Reply to  DaveNBC

Change has eventually to come to everywhere and everyone. Those that don’t adapt don’t survive. Are you saying Scotland isn’t capable of adapting to live in the modern world.

DaveNBC
DaveNBC
1 month ago
Reply to  Tim Hirst

Not at all. I don’t know which part of the UK you’re in but I don’t think you understood my comment. Up here, ‘The Rangers’ means something entirely different and some recruits seeing ‘The Rangers’ may think of a football club and either be happy to join or head straight for another part of the army. It’s that polarised.

Ian
Ian
1 month ago
Reply to  DaveNBC

Hi DaveNBC
I think the idea has come from “down south” !!
Ian

geoff
geoff
1 month ago

The British Army has derived much strength over the years from the Regimental system giving a sense of pride, of continuity, of belonging to individual soldiers not to mention reputations to maintain in battle. Obviously the modern era has different challenges which necessitate the loss of some famous names, but as a Commonwealth Brit looking from the outside I would say that the UK has to maintain as much of that history as possible. The retention of famous names and the ‘esprit de corps’ they engender is critical in boosting morale. Here in Kwazulu-Natal as with many other parts of… Read more »

Jack
Jack
1 month ago

What about the other 4 English battalions??!!!!

dr Charles Caplan
dr Charles Caplan
1 month ago

Tradition is hard to earn ..soldiers fight for their friends and some times an intangible sense of being a special group or unit.. tact with .eg a tartan beret would certainly allowed to natural option of recreating the regiments if a ..hopefully never..need arises.

Jacko
Jacko
1 month ago

I really can’t see what these ‘battalions’ are going to offer that a normal one could not achieve with a bit of ‘specialist’ training whatever that will entail! The rest of the Army is going to regard these rangers with a good bit of derision if I’m not wrong.

Barry O’Connell
Barry O’Connell
1 month ago

I like what was said, the trouble is, boots on the ground days are dimming out, same at sea, when one saw the fleet review of 1953 at the Queens Coronation it is unbelievable size. The RAF has shrunk to almost zero. The problem is long projected war has gone, it is about drones, gizmos unbelievable stuff. The Afgan war, or conflict showed that you cannot have men and women maimed minus legs arms, less of all leave the country still in a mess. War to day is to be so swift so fast sneeze and it has gone. Myself… Read more »

Livio
Livio
1 month ago

I’m captain in the Italian Army and reenactor in 11eme leger (napoleonic)… so I give my opinion as”foreigner”…I think that it is not good to cancel very old tradition for new Army model..ok now each army wolud like to have Rangers..also we italian have trasformed Paratroops for Mountain Troops (Alpini) in Ranger but we have called it “4° Regiment Mountain Paratroops Ranger”…ranger is a specialization (old time the name was light infantry)…this title could be given to old battalion without cancel old tradition…English Army could form 4 battalions of old light infantry (for example the Rotal Green Jackets heirs of… Read more »

Rob
Rob
1 month ago

Sad to see 1 SCOTs go (and with it the lineage of the Royal Scots and the KOSBs). However the Royal Regiment of Scotland is under recruited. That is why 5 SCOTs (Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders) is now a Coy. Look at the above photo; Lots of Commonwealth guys (thanks fellas) but you can’t sustain a Regiment or even a Battalion if the home grown recruits aren’t there. Meanwhile some Regiments (Like the RRF or PWRR) who are recruiting well lose Battalions too – I wonder why??

Kwame Mketsi
Kwame Mketsi
1 month ago

It’s just a total coincidence all the BAME guys are at the front of this picture, they didn’t engineer it at all, which would be humiliating for all concerned. Not at all. Nope. Nooo.

Something Different
Something Different
1 month ago

Cap badges shouldn’t be sacred, tradition has its place but to the average soldier does the history of their unit have any impact on their ability to do do their job? The airforce and particularly navy seem to fix run just fine with out the nostalgia glasses. Otherwise there would always be a Warspite, Ark Royal or Ajax.

Antony Dean
Antony Dean
1 month ago

What about the following, which doesn’t affect the modern operational plan one jot.

1st Bn The Rangers
(Royal Scots Borderer Rangers)
2nd Bn The Rangers
(Queens Royal Tiger Rangers)
3rd Bn The Rangers
(Kings Lions of England Rangers)
4th Bn The Rangers
(Rifles Rangers or Ranger Rifles)

This plan, using either seed regimental titles, old divisional or nicknames retains the thread of tradition within, and not to the detriment of the new Rangers identity.

James Fennell
James Fennell
1 month ago
Reply to  Antony Dean

Each Ranger Battalion will be affiliated with one of the new Divisions of Infanty (essentially regiments). So one each from Queen’s, Union, Light and Guards and Para Divisions. Presumably they will then offer places to sucessful applicants from across those divisions. So keeping a cap-badge might be useful, but probably serves little purpose and the Rangers will be recruited from across the army like SF and originate from many cap badges.

Last edited 1 month ago by James Fennell
BobA
BobA
1 month ago
Reply to  Antony Dean

If you look at the last round of Infantry amalgamations, those that were successful did away with individual Bn identities and when all in (ie The Rifles). Those that tried to maintain an individual Bn identity such as the SCOTS and MERCIANS faired less well. The important thing is to get an identity to which everyone feels a part. That doesn’t have to be a purely historical identity. You need to remove division to be successful.

Matt C
Matt C
1 month ago

While I sympathise for this obviously painful incident – and no doubt most of us commenting here would like nothing better than to see a restoration of a 150,000-plus strong, credible British Army with all required support units in all its capbadged glory – the sad fact is that this is not currently achievable given the current (lack of) public support for funding and we must cut our cloth to suit the taxpayer’s will. The current situation is that too few bodies are spread over too many infantry units. One additional consideration is that there is a lack of combat… Read more »

Paddy Singh
Paddy Singh
1 month ago

When lower ranks in the army are underpaid, there will be recruitment problems. In India regiments raised during thre British rule still stand proud – armoured, infantry and even Sapper regiments. If there is a recruitment problem from among the Scots, there is no reason to disband a regiment as immigrants have settled down all across the UK. No harm them being taken in to serve Queen and Country, but let the regiment stay. In India the Assam Rifles carry out recruitment from among the Gurkhas mainly

Paul Bestwick
Paul Bestwick
1 month ago

Is the lack of recruitment reflective of the Scottish political environment, where the influence of the SNP and some of their more extreme supporters view the British Army as an English Army despite the regiment names. If you put their support overall at 45% in the wider electorate. Then even if only half of their supporters who might have otherwise joined don’t join then that is recruitment down some 22%. If you support the SNP, but bemoan the reductions in the Scottish regiments then you might want to look at your whole stance v the British Army and the wider… Read more »

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
1 month ago

My 10 bobs worth is, I think the British army has to reinvent itself, it has been a political whipping boy for the last 3 decades and is seen as the poor cousin to the RN and the RAF. We still need people to stand and fight, put them selves in harms way, dig in to stop the other side from advancing, and generally be a pain in the backside for any one who wishes to do harm to the UK. It is not romantic and if you what to be good at it then it take’s a lot out… Read more »

Marked
Marked
1 month ago

The army can’t cling onto every regiment with a history just because of history. History is based primarily on light infantry regiments and there are far too many of them compared to the heavier armored regiments which the army desperately needs. The army is criticality short of hard hitting firepower.

Sean
Sean
1 month ago

Don’t stop with the regiment, let’s go back to the Victorian policy and rename “Scotland” as “North Britain”

Mark Forsyth
Mark Forsyth
1 month ago

I might have a different opinion to the author, despite both having served with the RTR. For my sins, I am ex REME, and when I joined there were 4 RTR’s, in the RAC, along with the Scots Dragoon Guards (recruiting in Scotland) and Queens Dragoon Guards (recruiting in Wales), plus other Cavalry Regts. The RTR is now down to just 1 Regt, whilst SDG and QDG have survived any attempts to cut them. If that isn’t the “Mafia” then I am not sure what is. To quote “Simmerson” in Sharpe: “Don’t you know I have friends in Horse-guards. Everyone… Read more »

Ian M
Ian M
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Forsyth

No sin being ex R.E.M.E Mark!

Richard Thornton
Richard Thornton
1 month ago

It is indeed sad that another regiment with a glorious history has been used to fill ‘another’ idea by an outgoing CoDS. But this isn’t new, and dare I say it, the army is, for better or worse, evolving. And if things don’t evolve they die. That is the same for all branches of the military. I personally think that these historic regiments have been badly handled over the years, but poor recruitment is a sure fire way of deducting that there is (still) a problem with recruitment per se, but also that there are areas of the UK that… Read more »

Darren hall
Darren hall
28 days ago

Does this man do nothing but moan? Yet again, Stuart Crawford, unleashes his anger at the changing face of the British Military. This time about the loss of History and Tradition… Well Stuart, I’m sure if you had been around when the ‘County’ system was implemented in place of the numbering system, you would have been against it, after all, why change what had worked since 1660!, Why use names instead of Numbers! The British Army cannot afford to stagnate under ‘Tradition’ when the young men and women who will be in the regiments will be putting their lives in… Read more »