Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has announced today that The First Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland will lead the British Army’s new Ranger Regiment.

This is part of a major shake-up of the British Army.

British Army undergoing ‘most significant’ shake up in 20 years

According to a news release:

“This boost for Scotland comes under new plans announced as part of ‘Future Soldier’, the Army’s most radical transformation in over 20 years. 1 SCOTS will become 1st Battalion, The Ranger Regiment and will operate alongside three other battalions.

The Ranger Regiment sits at the heart of the Army’s new expeditionary posture and will be routinely deployed alongside partner forces around the world to counter extremist organisations and hostile state threats. It is part of the newly established Army Special Operations Brigade. Training and selection will commence from the 1st December 2021.”

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said:

“Future Soldier is reinforced by the ambition outlined in the Defence Command Paper to transform the Army into a more agile, integrated, lethal, expeditionary force. We have underpinned this generational work with an extra £8.6bn for Army equipment, bringing the total investment to £41.3 billion. Our army will operate across the globe, equipped with the capabilities to face down a myriad of threats from cyber warfare through to battlefield conflict.”

The British Army’s new Ranger Regiment – What will they be used for?

The Ministry of Defence also say that the 2nd and 3rd Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland will continue to be based in Scotland with 2 SCOTS staying in Edinburgh and 3 SCOTS staying in Inverness until 2029 before moving to Leuchars – forming an integral part of a new Security Force Assistance Brigade. The Scots Dragoon Guards will remain as a Light Cavalry Regiment based out of Leuchars.

Glencorse Barracks has been saved from closure, and an additional sub-unit will be based at Kinloss. Redford Barracks closure has been delayed by four years to 2029, with plans to close Fort George, Inverness continuing as planned.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
91 Comments
oldest
newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Rob
Rob
5 days ago

I doubt the Royal Regiment of Scotland and the other Regiments affected, are that thrilled at losing a Battalion?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
5 days ago
Reply to  Rob

The regular army has been cut about once or twice a decade since the end of the Korean War. I expect they are glad they have survived being axed, and just have to change their capbadge.

Robert Billington
Robert Billington
5 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

We aren’t ruling an empire

dave12
dave12
4 days ago

No but it would be nice to have an army with strength in size so it can actually do its task properly.

Mark B
Mark B
4 days ago
Reply to  Rob

Why Rob? They should never knock having more work to do. The Scots having a long and distinquished war fighting history – long may it continue in whatever form it is needed.

Mark Forsyth
Mark Forsyth
1 day ago
Reply to  Mark B

They may have a long and distinguished history, the biggest problem is a lack of recruits. Most of the RRofS is under-mannned or full of Fijians.

Airborne
Airborne
5 days ago

Due to the fact it has always struggled to be fully manned and it’s an easy cop out!

Rob
Rob
5 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

The Scots amalgamated 6 historic Regiments but kept their names at Battalion level. All politics; Westminster can’t give the nationalists the ammunition of cutting historic names otherwise they would have. I’d love to see the recruitment numbers for each Regiment. For example the RRF lost a battalion at the last defence review despite being one of the most recruited regiments!

hogstable@hotmail.com
5 days ago
Reply to  Rob

That’s politics for you. How can Yorkshire and Scotland, both the same size have such different numbers of battalions

Jack
Jack
5 days ago

Population.

Daniel
Daniel
5 days ago
Reply to  Jack

This would be a good point, if Scotland and Yorkshire didn’t have very similarly sized populations at around 5 million.

Robert Billington
Robert Billington
5 days ago

More people live in London that Scotland!

Matthew Hewitt
Matthew Hewitt
4 days ago
Reply to  Rob

The Scots battalion you’re speaking about has already been annexed from the rest of the regiment for a couple of years now, just the name has remained until now.

James Fennell
James Fennell
4 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

This

Airborne
Airborne
4 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

This what?

Tommo
Tommo
5 days ago

Two things the first What happens if Bonnie Nichola gets her Indie Ref ,the Second Lads who Support Celtic aren’t going too be impressed

Tams
Tams
4 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

They’ve thankfully shut up about that nonsense as recent polling has showed a decline in support for independence.

criss whicker
criss whicker
5 days ago

Sadly i can see all these so called upgrades improvements and cut-backs are going to end badly,
just my opinion.

Tom Keane
Tom Keane
5 days ago

Pathetic nonsense. Every regiment in the army is understrength. So now they dream up some kind of garbage ranger outfit. Why? What for? To what end?

The last time the British Army had rangers was in 1754 or thereabouts, in the Anglo French wars in north America.

Distraction tactics taking eyes off the ball of the serious problems and issues that the Army has been facing for years.

criss whicker
criss whicker
5 days ago
Reply to  Tom Keane

Agreed

Robert Billington
Robert Billington
5 days ago
Reply to  Tom Keane

Because you have private companies doing it leaching the guys from the army. And the way forth isn’t large formations no more. We aren’t ruling a quarter of the world and anyone will tell you, you let your allies slog it out firstly before we send in our lot. Look at the JEF for example and all the Northern European nations included in that.

Tom Keane
Tom Keane
4 days ago

It’s not private companies that make 4 year service young soldiers decide to leave, its crap pay, crap conditions, crap food to name but 3.

Robert Billington
Robert Billington
4 days ago
Reply to  Tom Keane

Hailing from a uksf family – The pay is lower to keep an army of volunteers not an army of opportunists. You remember what happened to the romans.

Andrew Davidson
Andrew Davidson
2 days ago
Reply to  Tom Keane

They are bringing back the Army Catering Corps!

Tams
Tams
4 days ago

So now those apparent soldiers who would leave for PMCs would stay?

Bollocks. Getting nice toys to play with and fun exercises/operations to go on is only a minor, if even a reason, they leave.

No, they leave mainly due to being offered much better pay (easy to be out and done in a few years) wnd generally better conditions.

Robert Billington
Robert Billington
4 days ago
Reply to  Tams

Again, hailing from a uksf family, the reason it’s lower is to retain an army of volunteers not an army of opportunists. As you well know, the Russians have said we breed an army of warriors not conscript wets.

Tams
Tams
4 days ago

And with that brings some moving onto private security work.

Now, it’s probably the best balance, but you were claiming it would decrease that flow. It won’t as pretty much nothing will have changed that causes people to go private.

Airborne
Airborne
4 days ago
Reply to  Tams

Spot on! I chinned off the LE route half way through to go and work as a PMC! Money better, same banter with the blokes, bit of adrenaline as well, as the UK just ending combat ops in Afghan and the Army was starting to get back to its peacetime bullshit once more!

BigH1979
BigH1979
4 days ago
Reply to  Tom Keane

Royal Irish Rangers in existence until 1992. Anyway the Army is a very different beast now from the Monolithic organisation that i joined in 1996. Practicing Grand armoured warfare in Germany for a war that hadn’t been a likelihood for the last 10 years. The Army stagnated in this mindset until until we got pulled up pretty sharply with the insurgencies in Iraq and Afghan. At least this Ranger Regiment (although my pride can’t stand the US analogy) is an attempt for us to try and get ahead or at least level with the game. Why waste resources trying to… Read more »

Levi Goldsteinberg
Levi Goldsteinberg
4 days ago
Reply to  BigH1979

I agree. If nothing else, this new direction breaks the malaise

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 days ago
Reply to  BigH1979

That BAOR armoured warfare practice was surely useful in Gulf War 1 and 2.
The conventional war against a peer won’t just be us – it’ll be a US-led coalition or most/all of NATO.

dave12
dave12
4 days ago
Reply to  Tom Keane

yep I cant believe the madness of what has become the british army and the tories will have to take the blame.

Mickey
Mickey
4 days ago
Reply to  Tom Keane

The British Army had the Connaught Rangers that existed for well over a hundred years as a specialist force who fought all over the Empire.

C. Street
C. Street
4 days ago
Reply to  Tom Keane

Royal Irish Rangers 1968-1992?

Ulya
Ulya
5 days ago

Could someone please explain what ’emotional intelligence’ means? I know the meaning of each word but don’t understand the meaning in context to these rangers and google is not being very helpful

Robert Billington
Robert Billington
4 days ago
Reply to  Ulya

Means these guys have the cultural awareness to appreciate local traditions and customs. Look at the likes of TE Lawrence, Percy Fawcett. They appreciated the land they were in. As you well know, British soldiers have had a poor reputation for public relations! I steer you toward the chronicles of army history since the Seven Years War. Did not the Govt empty the prisons and hire Germans to fight our own people in America?! Hardly a legacy.

Airborne
Airborne
4 days ago

Absolutely disagree with the cultural awareness comment in regard to British soldiers! Policy at Government level is one thing but seeing the average bloke on the ground doing what they do, cultural awareness was utilised and in operation.

Robert Billington
Robert Billington
4 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

Well it’s expected at officer level. No one passes if they don’t know current affairs etc.

Airborne
Airborne
4 days ago

Its expected at every level and is taught pre-deployment in regard to that nations culture and sensitivity. And is that DE or LE? As Sandhurst syllabus incorporates many many requirements but as an LE, “current affairs” as such isn’t on the syllabus.

Robert Billington
Robert Billington
4 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

I guess the army just wants it’s troops to be more aware generally of others and other cultures and even our own lot. Given the reports of uksf and the like executing prisoners, it’s no wonder. As with everything though there are always two sides.

Airborne
Airborne
4 days ago

Troops have always been taught the cultural sensitivities of nations we intend to deploy to, certainly since my time. As for talk of execution of prisoners, shit does happen, that’s not so much a cultural thing but a combat thing. War is a nasty, smelly, dirty business and individuals react in different ways to it, both at that time and 10 years later on mate.

simon richards
simon richards
5 days ago

Army ranger regiment is a good idea but army is to small

Robert Billington
Robert Billington
4 days ago
Reply to  simon richards

Doesn’t need to be. We aren’t fighting in columns

Airborne
Airborne
4 days ago

But we need depth and the ability to reinforce and take losses of both people and equipment, and at the moment we are to small and to sparsely equipped.

Steve R
Steve R
4 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

To be honest, 85,000 in the army would be fine as long as they were fully equipped, with a decent amount of tanks, helicopters, artillery, armoured vehicles etc.

Small but armed to the teeth.

Robert Billington
Robert Billington
4 days ago
Reply to  Steve R

That’s all we’ve ever had. The BEF in 1914 for example. 90k men thereabouts?

Steve R
Steve R
4 days ago

Not a problem as long as they are armed to the teeth, however. The current army is a far cry from that.

  • 50 x Apaches
  • 148 x Challenger 3
  • Ajax… Just no!
  • Not enough and outdated artillery
  • Not enough helicopters
Airborne
Airborne
4 days ago

And look where that went! Robert I can’t believe you used that for it example!

AV
4 days ago
Reply to  Steve R

Spot on.

Robert Billington
Robert Billington
4 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

Attritional losses for what? Why would we attempt to fight Russia on equal terms when we have several countries closer to Russia and China with more soldiers than us? UK brings the expertise as we have always. Nelson didn’t win by numbers did he?

Airborne
Airborne
4 days ago

Really? Additional losses in war! This may come as a surprise even small number of losses at Coy level will negate that Coys effectiveness (as we saw on Afghan and we only had that ongoing as a single operation) You may not think we will fight Russia, we wouldn’t alone, but any military organisation needs depth to be able to sustain even low level repetitive losses and to think any other way is a very civvy way of thinking I’m afraid! As for Nelson come on it’s a bit of an out of date comparison don’t you think!

Robert Billington
Robert Billington
4 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

Omg, Britain will always fight the clever war. Even Radakin said that this year. Read his speeches from 2021 for the IR and on the forces websites.

Steve R
Steve R
4 days ago

It would be foolish to assume that we’ll always outsmart our enemies. That’s a recipe for disaster. We do need depth in numbers – both of personnel and equipment – to be able to sustain losses in combat, which would be a certainty in a war against the likes of Russia or China. This is something that our forces, as a whole, have lost. The RAF and Royal Navy are similar; we lost ships in 1982 in the Falklands War but we had ships to replace them. We could sustain a few losses. Nowadays the loss of a single ship… Read more »

Airborne
Airborne
4 days ago
Reply to  Steve R

👍!

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 days ago
Reply to  Steve R

Good point. I have heard alarm at the loss of just one F-35B into the Med recently.

Steve R
Steve R
4 days ago

We fought the clever war against Germany in WW2, we still lost a quarter of a million troops, nearly 300 major warships were sank and over 8,000 RAF aircraft shot down.

Robert Billington
Robert Billington
4 days ago
Reply to  Steve R

1940 was won by radar. Later the griffon engine, 1945 the atomic bomb that we’d shipped from north wales to the US along with our war production. Thankfully we have a US that doesn’t want to spitefully end our days and is again a team player in the great English speaking project!

Steve R
Steve R
4 days ago

What the hell are you talking about?!

1940 was won by radar, yes. But guess what; we still lost a ton of planes. Radar would have meant bugger all if we had so few aircraft as to make a difference, or couldn’t replace our losses.

Technical advantages only buy you so much advantages. Eventually the small numbers would be overwhelmed, or we’d lose assets and, very quickly, operational effectiveness.

Airborne
Airborne
4 days ago
Reply to  Steve R

Steve see my answer above in contribution to your answer 👍! Robert is thinking the same as us, the UK needs a professional, high tech deployable force able to fight and move, but has maybe a different way of describing it!

Robert Billington
Robert Billington
4 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

Yeah I think we are on the same page mate, as Radakin said we can’t compete with mass so best go with tech to fight the upper hand. Obviously why Boris wants more investment from uk investors and more r&d

Robert Billington
Robert Billington
4 days ago
Reply to  Steve R

About 600 if I remember right.
Hey pal, we were on the back foot for a long while, the griffon engines made in USA were a great help. Those fw190 and bf109 chewed us up rotten. Radar was the clever war!

simon
simon
3 days ago

The FW190 didn’t serve on the western front until mid 1941

Robert Billington
Robert Billington
3 days ago
Reply to  simon

That’s right and we couldn’t match it until the griffon.

Airborne
Airborne
4 days ago

1940 was won by the channel and the BF109s limited range and endurance, coupled with radar, a decent amount of spitfires, the ability to rotate pilots into and out of 10/11 group, and the control room at Uxbridge….,amongst many other smaller contributions such as Polish and Czech piloted etc

Airborne
Airborne
4 days ago

No war is clever let me assure you! And by saying that you are assuming we will be smarter than the future enemy, another arrogant assumption that will ensure people will die and kit will be lost! As I’ve stated, depth is required to sustain any ongoing operation at every level. So God isn’t involved at any stage.

John Pickford
John Pickford
4 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

can someone tell this old soldier why you young guys call Afghanistan ‘Afghan ?

Airborne
Airborne
4 days ago
Reply to  John Pickford

Mate not sure, probably laziness if I’m honest, I did 2001/2003/2006/2008/20011 and 3 years as a PMC and always called it Afghan! Although do dislike the term some use “the ghan” ! Cheers mate.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
4 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

I would of thought it’s as the first part of Afghanistan is afghan. Less syllables when speaking. Is there something wrong with saying afghan?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

I have heard ‘Stan’ very occassionally – trouble is there are quite a few differnt ‘Stans’.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 days ago
Reply to  John Pickford

The army abbreviate or shorten everything – you must remember that: eg. ‘compo’ for composite ration etc

dave12
dave12
2 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

You would think that would be bloody obvious to the people who run this country , its bloody criminal the state of the army at the moment , defense is the prime responsibility and they keep selling the global Britain ethos while stretching our armed forces to its limits.

Tom Keane
Tom Keane
4 days ago

The biggest threats today other than terrorism, is China and its confrontation with Taiwan and the rest of the world, plus Russia having a pop at Ukraine again … and the tory party decide again to reduce the size of the Army. Reality check, the Army has been haemorrhaging personnel for years. There isn’t the interest nor the will to stop people leaving the army. No one asks nor cares why a 24 year old in the prime of his life decides to leave the Army, and try their luck in the outside world. Last one out of the barrack… Read more »

Steve R
Steve R
4 days ago
Reply to  Tom Keane

A potentially bigger problem is getting them to join the Army in the first place. Capita makes it even harder when applications take forever now.

I applied to join the army in 2012 and was told best-case would be 3 months from application to starting training, worst-case 9-12 months. I think now, 12 months would be the most optimistic timeframe.

Didn’t matter for me, sadly I failed the medical and had to have a hip replacement shortly after.

Airborne
Airborne
4 days ago
Reply to  Steve R

Mate sorry to hear that, missed opportunity but not your fault! Good thought process and keep that chin up!

Antony Dean
Antony Dean
4 days ago

I think the plans are the best of a bad job considering we have reduced spending from 5% plus of GDP in the late 1980s to just 2% of GDP today. The problem with a democracy is that defence spending buys few votes at a General Election! What worries me most is will 1st Bn The Rangers retain the historic title of Royal Scots Borderers – the oldest regiment in the UK – the original 1st Regiment of Foot – known as “Pontius Pilate’s Bodyguard” because they are so ancient. Under the Royal Regiment of Scotland they kept their ancient… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 days ago
Reply to  Antony Dean

The same concern is there for the other three Rangers battalions.

George
George
4 days ago

Hi folks hope all is well. Upon reading the articles on this subject, I do have concerns that our actual army personnel are reduced. It all sound very encouraging to hear the announcement of the new Rangers Regiment, however, it seems to be at the sacrifice of other army assets. As ever I’m going to be guided by you experts on this site. What worries me is what is going to happen if this country is faced with a threat. While politicians are debating who to partner with, we have to act fast before being overwhelmed in the conflict zone.… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 days ago
Reply to  George

I am suspicious of the thought process that concluded we needed a 1,000 strong Ranger Regiment of 4 battalions. Is it because there are to be 4 (administrative) divisions of Infantry and one Ranger bn is drawn from each – thus the maths looks neat. Or is it to preserve 4 under-strength battalions in the Orbat (I hear that Ranger battalions are only 250-strong rather than a standard bn being a bit over 500). Is there enough work for 4 Ranger bns? If they are all out around the world doing good work, then that is 4 battalions less for… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I’d have thought a company of each would be deployed forward, much like FCF will operate.

Paul
Paul
4 days ago

Why the hell are we forming a new regiment of rangers and spending all this money for them to do a job the paras could and have been doing 🤔

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 days ago
Reply to  Paul

1 PARA is lead component in SFSG; 2 and 3 PARA are early-entry forces, and need to be in the UK at high-readiness. They are not available to perform this world-wide Ranger role, and they are probably not best suited to the job – it is far more than teaching foreign armies how to be aggressive warriors with rifle, bayonet and Gimpy.

Sean McIlvenie
Sean McIlvenie
4 days ago

Once again Scots regiments get the sh***y end of the stick.

John Pickford
John Pickford
4 days ago
  • not another ‘ Special Elite’ unit ? Any normal ,regular units left?
sramshaw
sramshaw
3 days ago

They are going to take a regular Infantry Battalion, give it a new cap badge and it’s going to be “special?’ Really? Plus have they spoken to the families of all these Rangers who are going to be on deployment so much? Can’t see them being overly thrilled about it.

Tommo
Tommo
3 days ago

Just watched a programme called Elite Regiments, one episode was about the US ARMY Rangers, formed and trained for the first time in of all places Northern Ireland 1942/43

Gogs
Gogs
3 days ago

Gogs KOSB, the regt and all Borderers
Young and old are not happy with this

Gogs
Gogs
3 days ago

Gogs. The hierarchy obviously don’t think the “regular ” Army are capable of dealing with the future conflicts what ever may come . So Iraq Afghanistan Falklands or NI better hope they don’t start again?

Bill
Bill
2 days ago

So as per usual the Scots take precedence as some sort of appeasement to the independence movement. As if anything this govt does matters one iota to that woman. A lot of nonsense being written about this regiment which is really 2, not 4 battalions. What happens to the 300 men in each battalion that doesn’t cut it for the ‘Rangers’? Are they for the chop? 500 troops ‘saved’. Whoopsie do. 9,500 still binned though by 2025 or sooner if Wallace gets his way. A smaller army than the smallest it’s ever been is apparently a more lethal weapon. The… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
2 days ago
Reply to  Bill

The headline is misleading. A battalion of the Ranger Regiment is being formed from each of the new 4 (admin) divisions of Infantry. The Scots (RRS) contribution is for just one of those 4 bns. There will only be 300 spare men if a given battalion re-assigned to Ranger is at full-strength and most of them are not – however I am sure that any spare men will be re-distributed. You are right about the overall cuts to the army – we have heard it is the smallest since the Peninsular Wars for quite a few years now – and… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

2 Brigades plus the DAG! Our Divisions have had 3 brigades for as long as I remember.

I find the idea of 7 LMBCT and 4 LBCT having 5 and 6 battalions of infantry ludicrous.

Each should have 3 full size battalions and cut the rest and reinvest the manpower into CS and CSS to support 4 LBCT.

Marti.M
Marti.M
8 hours ago

Just a way to get Scotland and Scots out of the Titles. Britishness must reing it seems.