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The Irish Guards

On the frontline, home and abroad

The Irish Guards – known affectionately throughout the Army as ‘The Micks’ – is an Irish Regiment which has proven its loyalty and grit on many tough operations. It's soldiers have the privilege of guarding the Royal Family. They recruit from the island of Ireland, United Kingdom and beyond.




1 April 1900






Light Role Infantry

our skills

Soldiers in the Irish Guards are experts in infantry combat: reconnaissance, engaging enemy troops with machine guns and mortars, sniping and more. As part of the Guards Division, they also have a ceremonial role as protectors of the royal palaces.

  • Reconnaissance 
  • Operating machine guns
  • Sniping
  • Operating mortars
  • Tactical communication
  • Driving vehicles
  • Anti-tank operations
  • Guarding royal palaces

On operations in Iraq and South Sudan

2019/20 will see the the Irish Guards deploy on operations in the Middle East and in Africa. Some of the Regiment will be on Operation SHADER in Iraq, working alongside the Iraqi Security Forces in the ongoing mission against Daesh. The rest of the Irish Guards will be on Operation TRENTON, the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan.

Past Deployments:

  • Operation HERRICK (Afghanistan)
  • Operation TELIC (Iraq)
  • Operation TOSCA (Cyprus)

Our People

As the name suggests, many soldiers in the Irish Guards are drawn from Northern Ireland and the Republic – but you don’t need to be Irish to be an Irish Guard. Whether they’re from Belfast or Brixton, all are united by a proud history of loyal service and a sporting heritage.

Lance Sergeant Corey Reagan - Section Commander and Gaelic Football Player

Cavalry Barracks

Cavalry Barracks

The Irish Guards is based in Hounslow, west London.

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The Irish Guards

I enjoy my job, including the challenges it throws at me Connor, 21

Our Role

The Irish Guards – known affectionately throughout the Army as ‘the Micks’ – is an Irish regiment which has proven its loyalty and grit on many tough operations. Its soldiers also have the privilege of guarding royal palaces.

St Patrick’s Day is the traditional celebration of the Irish Guards. On this day each year members of the regiment are presented with fresh shamrock from HRH Prince William.

When they're not deployed on operations the Irish Guards can be found all over the world training and exploring. They can also be found at royal palaces from time to time sporting the famous red tunic and bearskin cap.

Past to Present

The Irish Guards was formed on 1 April 1900 by Queen Victoria in recognition of the many acts of courage and bravery performed by Irish regiments during the Second Boer War. Since then, the regiment has continued to prove its mettle in numerous major conflicts.

  1. 2003

    Iraq (Op TELIC), combat operations.

  2. 2007

    The Irish Guards deploys to Iraq on Operation Telic 10.

  3. 2010

    Irish Guards deploys to Afghanistan on Operation Herrick 13.

  4. 2013

    Brigade Operations Company Afghanistan. 

  5. 2014

    Irish Guards patrol the buffer zone in Cyprus as part of Operation Tosca 20.

  6. 2017-2018

    Irish Guards deploy to the Falkland Islands as the Roulement Infantry Company.

Our Location

Explore our equipment

L129A1 Sharpshooter Rifle

7.62mm The rifle fires a 7.62mm round and has enhanced accuracy of engagement during longer-range firefights.

Small arms and support weapons

L115A3 Long Range 'Sniper' Rifle

600 metres They are designed to achieve a first-round hit at 600 metres and harassing fire out to 1,100 metres.

Small arms and support weapons

Grenade Machine Gun

Mounted The GMG is usually mounted on WMIK Land Rovers but can also be used from ground-based tripods.

Small arms and support weapons

Heavy Machine Gun

12.7mm The powerful L1A1 12.7mm (.50) Heavy Machine Gun (HMG) is an updated version of the Browning M2 Fifty-cal.

Small arms and support weapons

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Become a Guardsman

Contact details

1st Battalion Irish Guards

Cavalry Barracks