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The Rifles' History

The Rifles created the notion of the modern Infantryman that continues today. Picture shows Riflemen leading the British Army across the River Alma in 1854.

The Rifles

Our history is about four of the most famous Regiments in the British Army coming together in 2007 to form The Rifles and, just as importantly, the awesome part that Riflemen have played in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere since. The Rifles holds an incredible 913 battle honours, world record 117 Victoria Crosses (VC) and has a living history that is second to none. http://riflesmuseum.co.uk/
VC (History Page)

The Future

As the next 250 years are certain to be as action packed as the last, there will be more than a few challenges to be faced by tomorrow’s Riflemen. When confronting these challenges, it would be wise to take advice from the Regiment’s Founding Father, Sir John Moore,  over 200 years ago: 

“Do everything that is necessary and nothing that is not”.

This modern approach continues to define The Rifles today, with Riflemen showing a unique blend of attitude, humour, banter, innovation and a professional informality amongst all ranks. 

The Rifleman

The first Riflemen were created at the beginning of the 19th Century, when the British Army needed to produce quick-thinking, intelligent, fit and tough sharpshooters capable of fighting on their own initiative. In our Regiment today, from the most senior general to the newest recruit, we all consider ourselves to be foremost Riflemen. When asked who we are, or what we do, both officers and soldiers reply saying, “I am a Rifleman”.
Hyde (History)

Regimental Battle Honours

As a Rifle Regiment, battalions of The Rifles do not carry flags, known as 'colours'. Instead battle honours are entrusted to each and every Rifleman, who wears a representative selection on his belt badge. The Rifles’ Collection explains this as it takes you through our remarkable history. Of special note is the blank scroll in the bottom right of the belt badge. This scroll will always remain blank - waiting for tomorrow's Riflemen to follow their forefathers into the unique history of a Regiment that has always looked forward and been famous for its professional excellence on the battlefield.
Belt Badge (History)

The Last Word

The Battle of the Alma took place during the Crimean War (1854). In July 1908 Colonel Willoughby Verner visited a dying Crimean veteran, Rifleman Salter, in the Infirmary of the Royal Hospital, Chelsea:

“Now, Salter, we’ll drink to the ‘Victory of the Alma’ and ‘Success to The Rifles!”
I held the cup to his lips and, as he drank, he muttered, “And many more of ‘em …And many more like ‘em!”

Join as a Soldier

*Join Us Tertiary

Whether you want to join, rejoin or transfer as a Regular Soldier within the Army, The Rifles offers an unmatched range of Infantry opportunities.

Join as an Officer


Command in The Rifles is exercised by officers with a lightness of touch, underpinned by strong, confident and knowledgeable leadership.

Join as a Reserve Soldier


Whether you want to join, rejoin or transfer as a Reserve Soldier within the Army, The Rifles offers an unmatched range of Infantry opportunities.

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