Scotland’s newest Infantry regiment will, this weekend, celebrate the 15th anniversary of its formation.
Although it is but a teenager, the regiment was formed, on 28 March 2006, of some of the oldest and most famous regiments ever to serve in over 400 years of the British Army, including The Black Watch and The Royal Scots.
The amalgamation saw each of the antecedent regiments become a battalion of the new regiment, still maintaining a connection – a “golden thread”- linking each battalion with their traditional recruiting areas in Scotland.
A new cap badge and uniform was worn, from the formation parade in Edinburgh Castle’s Crown Square, and is now one of the most famous emblems in Scottish military history.
Formation day saw the new battalions of the Royal Regiment of Scotland scattered all over the world, including Iraq, Cyprus and Northern Ireland, and those who could not be in Edinburgh for the formation parade, marked the historic day with their own parades, and handed out the new cap badge to every member of the newly formed Regiment.
Since then, battalions of the regiment have served in every major theatre of operations, with both NATO and UN allies, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, South Sudan and on the Green Line in Cyprus. They have covered public ceremonial duties at royal visits, outside royal palaces and have kept both athletes and spectators safe at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Their pipes, drums and band have entertained millions across the globe at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo and their pipers and drummers have taught the best of the best to carry on the ancient tradition of bagpiping and highland drumming.
They have assisted the public in adverse weather, including the infamous “Beast from the East” snow storms and have, most recently, protected the communities from which they come, in support of NHS and other public service colleagues, by setting up and running COVID Mobile Testing Units, vaccination sites and logistic hubs, as part of the military support to the Scottish Government’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Currently, the Regiment comprises four regular battalions, (1,2 3, and 4 SCOTS), two Army Reserve battalions (6 and 7 SCOTS) and one regular public duties incremental company (Balaklava Company, 5 SCOTS).
All continue to train together and deploy together, regular alongside reserves, to take specialist skills and experience to our allies in the form of Specialist Training Teams and Defence Engagement exercises with our allies across the world, representing all that is best in Scottish soldiering.
Colonel of the Regiment, Major General Nick Borton said “It is with immense pride that I congratulate all of the members, past and present, on the 15th Anniversary of the formation of The Royal Regiment of Scotland. We are a modern, adaptable Regiment who have served with distinction on operations, continue to provide great service to the Nation and uphold the reputation forged by our predecessors.”
Battalions of the regiment will take over from each other in Afghanistan, supporting the NATO training and mentoring mission in Kabul, with 2 SCOTS, who have been deployed since October 2020, handing over to 3 SCOTS in the middle of April.