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Army 2020 Refine

Army 2020 is the transformation of the British Army for the 2020s and beyond, in response to the strategic challenges it is likely to face in the future.

Update December 2016


This video features Brigadier Roly Walker, Army Head of Strategy, talking about the changes to the Army’s structure as a result of the Army 2020 Refine announcement. It sets out what the changes are, what they mean for the Army and explains the rationale behind them. Army 2020 Refine is an evolutionary process and more videos will be produced as it progresses.


Army 2020 Refine is the implementation of the Government’s Strategic Defence and Security Review SDSR commitments. Before SDSR 15, Defence policy required an army designed for an enduring operation at the brigade level; new policy demands that we are able to field a modernised division, capable of fighting as the principal output of the Army. From this structure the Army must routinely be able to reorganise for a range of other tasks and operations, at increased readiness.

As a result of this, the Army’s structure will change. 3rd (UK) Division will be reorganised to form two Armoured Infantry and two STRIKE brigades, one of each held at high readiness. We have re-designed four infantry battalions, with a fifth to follow, to become Specialised Infantry. These battalions will become experts in Train, Advise, Assist, Mentor and Accompany operations with indigenous forces.

The introduction of Specialised Infantry capability will mean some re-organisation of the infantry divisional structure from seven to six divisions. The Royal Regiment of Scotland, the Royal Welsh Regiment and the Royal Irish Regiment will be grouped together into a single administrative division called The Scottish, Welsh and Irish Division, however there will be no changes to the Regimental construct of any of those regiments.

Army Reserve

Army 2020 Refine continues the investment in the Army Reserve and sustains the successful pairing strategy between Regular and Reserve units. It will see the creation of two new Reserve infantry battalions from 2017 and will mean continuity for many.

Changes to the Army structure will be implemented over the next 10 years and have been aligned with the Better Defence Estates Strategy (BDES) announced in early November 2016. All cap badges are retained in the new structure and there will be no reduction in the Army’s manpower.

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