Today the Colonel of the Regiment, Major General (Maj Gen) Nick Borton DSO MBE awarded medals to officers and soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, the Royal Regiment of Scotland (2 SCOTS) who returned from operational deployment of Op Toral in Afghanistan early in 2021.
The parade took place at Glencorse Barracks, the home of 2 SCOTS. Also in attendance were the Lord Lt of Midlothian, Lieutenant Colonel (Lt Col) Richard Calander LVO OBE TD, Maj Gen (Ret’d) Euan Loudon CBE and Commander Edinburgh Garrison, Lt Col Hugo Clark MBE. Cpl Cruachan IV, the mascot of the Royal Regiment of Scotland and the Pipes and Drums of 2 SCOTS lead the parade.
In mid-April 2020 soldiers from 2 SCOTS deployed to provide military assistance with COVID-19 testing at an established Regional Testing Centre at Glasgow Airport. Other elements were deployed, following a training package, to Mobile Testing Units in various parts of Scotland to assist local councils with public testing – including the Isle of Arran, Dumfries and Galloway.
Swiftly following this, in Autumn 2020, some 300 members of 2 SCOTS deployed to Afghanistan as part of Operation Toral. Working as part of the NATO Coalition they formed the Kabul Security Force, which provided Advisor Force Protection and a Quick Reaction Force for coalition forces in Kabul. 2 SCOTS had to significantly adapt their pre-deployment training due to the pandemic, testing their agility as a professional and disciplined Infantry Battalion.
Deploying to Afghanistan saw 2 SCOTS taking over from 4 SCOTS and on departure handing over to 3 SCOTS. The deployment marked the fifth time the Battalion has deployed to Afghanistan since 2008.
The next 12 months will see 2 SCOTS complete specialist training in their role as a Light Mechanised Infantry Battalion. This will culminate with a four-month deployment to Oman as part of the Army’s Regional Land Hubs forward presence around the globe. Following this, they will begin training for operational deployments.
2 SCOTS is an Army Light Mechanised Infantry Battalion based at Glencorse Barracks in Penicuik. 2 SCOTS is currently commanded by Lieutenant Colonel (Lt Col) Oli Dobson and their role is to provide infantry support to 4th Infantry Brigade and Headquarters North East, the UK’s Adaptable Force Brigade.
2 SCOTS can trace its lineage back to 1678 and the raising of a Regiment by the Earl of Marr for service against the Covenanters. A union of two separate Regiments in 1959 (The Royal Scots Fusiliers and the Highland Light Infantry) formed the RHF (Royal Highland Fusiliers). From 2006 to the present the Battalion is known formally as The Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland. 2 SCOTS draws its manpower predominantly from Glasgow and Ayrshire.
The Royal Regiment of Scotland (SCOTS) is the senior line infantry regiment and only Scottish infantry regiment of the British Army. Formed on 28 March 2006 and founded on the fighting heritage of historic Infantry Regiments. Today the Royal Regiment of Scotland consists of four regular and two reserve battalions, plus an incremental company.
The Regiment’s motto is Nemo Me Impune Lacessit (No One Assails Me With Impunity), which is the motto of the Order of the Thistle, Scotland’s highest order of chivalry, and was also the motto of four of the pre-existing Scottish regiments. The Regiment’s Colonel-in-Chief is HM The Queen.
The Regimental mascot, Cruachan IV, is a Shetland pony and took up his role in October 2012. The first Shetland pony mascot was presented to the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (one of the historic antecedent Regiments) in 1929 by HRH Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll. The pony was named after Ben Cruachan, a mountain in the Argylls' namesake lieutenancy, and the war cry of Clan Campbell, of whom the Duke of Argyll was chief. When the original Cruachan retired, he was replaced with another black Shetland who took over the role and named Cruachan II. The tradition of having a Shetland pony continued when the antecedent Regiments amalgamated in 2006: the current pony took over the role following the retirement of the much loved Cruachan III.