THE FORMATION OF THE RIFLES
You will be aware of the Army Board’s initial decision on
RGBWLI and the DDLI will form 1st Bn The Rifles [1RIFLES] based at Chepstow, the other battalions will be based as follows:
· 2nd Bn The Rifles - Ballykinler
· 3rd Bn The Rifles - Edinburgh
· 4th Bn The Rifles - Bulford
· 5th Bn The Rifles - Paderborn
· 6th Bn The Rifles - TA battalion, with HQ in Exeter
· 7th Bn The Rifles - TA battalion, with HQ likely to be in Brock Barracks in Reading
The cap badge of The Rifles will be a Light Infantry style Bugle, and the Back Badge will be carried forward into the new regiment and worn on No 1 Dress Hats of all battalions; we will continue to argue to wear the Back Badge on all forms of dress.
Despite our preference, to be consistent with Rifle history, the Rifles will not have Colours. Battle honours will be incorporated in a Maltese Cross, inscribed with representational honours from the four founding Regiments, to be worn on the Cross Belt (officers) or Belt Buckles (soldiers) as appropriate.
The Rifles will have a single Colonel Commandant – a senior serving officer. He will appoint Deputy Colonels Commandant to assist him in his duties in respect of the battalions and counties. There will be a Deputy Colonel Commandant specifically for RGBWLI and our four counties.
Regimental Headquarters of The Rifles will be at Winchester. However, The Rifles will continue to have a number of outstations, including Gloucester and Salisbury; thus, the formation of the new regiment is likely to have little effect on our museums – the Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum, and the RGBW Museum at The Wardrobe in Salisbury will continue to be the homes of our heritage.
We shall continue to maintain close links with our counties, cities and towns; the ending of arms-plotting will mean that 1RIFLES will be based at Chepstow when not on operations. However all soldiers currently serving with 1RGBWLI, if they wish, may find a place in any of the regiment’s battalions. With regular battalions based at both Chepstow and Bulford, we will be able to provide close support to our TA battalions, affiliated ACF detachments and CCF contingents.
The Regimental Association will, in due course, be part of a much larger association. It is hoped that branches in the same town or city will attend each other’s functions, but change will be evolutionary rather than revolutionary. We will retain our branch standards which will continue to be of great importance in carrying forward our heritage.
The future is clear; we are now set on course to merge with 1DDLI in Chepstow in 2007 to form 1RIFLES. We have the opportunity to take with us into the new regiment, the professionalism and excellence that has made the RGBW so successful in the last few years, whether on operations or in sports. Much work needs to be done to sort out the detail, but I am confident that our excellence will be carried forward into the 1st Bn The Rifles, and that all who serve in The RIFLES will have an even greater opportunity for a rewarding, fulfilling, and enjoyable career.
Colonel of the Regiment
REGIMENTAL COUNCIL'S RESPONSE - 03 NOVEMBER 2005
FORMATION OF THE RIFLES –
RGBWLI REGIMENTAL COUNCIL MEETING HELD ON 28 OCT 05
Earlier this year, the Regimental Council agreed to support the Army Board’s desire for the Infantry to reorganise into large Regiments. The Council met most recently to consider the implications of the decisions made at the meeting of the Colonels of the Light Division on Wednesday 19th October 2005. The Council’s views were as follows:
§ Strongly supported the creation of a large regiment to be called The RIFLES.
§ Welcomed the retention of strong links with our Counties and the appointment of a Deputy Colonel Commandant for Gloucestershire, Bristol, Berkshire and Wiltshire.
§ Welcomed the recent appointment of Lt Col David Brown, RGBWLI to be the first Commanding Officer of 1RIFLES to be based in Chepstow on its formation in 2007.
§ Welcomed the decision to wear the Back Badge across the new regiment on No 1 Dress Hats but urged the Colonel of the Regiment to continue to argue for the Back Badge to be worn on all forms of dress within all battalions of The RIFLES, and affiliated Cadet detachments.
§ Argued for the Brandywine Flash to be incorporated into the uniform of The RIFLES.
§ Noted with disappointment that The RIFLES would not carry Colours; however, it was recognised that Colours would not be compatible with the new regiment which is to be founded on a Light/Rifle regiment ethos.
§ Acknowledged that the Regimental Headquarters of the new regiment would be in Winchester, but welcomed that Gloucester and Salisbury would be outstations.
§ Stressed the importance of the continued support of the Branches and members of our Regimental Association.
The Regimental Council recognised that the Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire & Wiltshire Light Infantry was but one element of the new regiment. This made it difficult for our negotiating teams to carry the day on many things that we held to be important.
Finally, the Regimental Council acknowledged that there was much still to be done. The RGBWLI Future Working Group will be consulting and making recommendations to the Colonel of the Regiment on such matters as customs and traditions, dress and the implementation plan over the coming months.
SOME THOUGHTS ON THE FUTURE OF THE BACK BADGE