4th Battalion The Rifles (4 RIFLES)
4 RIFLES is a Regular Infantry Battalion based in Aldershot, Hampshire. It is one of just two infantry units to pilot the new and exciting Specialised Infantry (Spec Inf) Role. Spec Inf Battalions are expeditionary by design, capable and credible. 4 RIFLES has Riflemen working in small and capable teams always deployed on operations.
4 RIFLES has been given the British Army's Spec Inf responsibility for the Middle East and North Africa and began training for its new role in 2017. 4 RIFLES trains, advises, assists, mentors and accompanies the soldiers of overseas partners, helping them to develop their own capability and prevent crisis.
4 RIFLES consists of around 250 soldiers, mainly officers and NCOs, with Riflemen drawn from across the other battalions of The Rifles - giving all soldiers in the Regiment the opportunity to serve in the exciting Spec Inf role. Selection for service in 4 RIFLES involves an assessment to identify Riflemen that are physically robust, culturally diverse and comfortable operating on their initiative.
Since The Rifles formed in 2007, 4 RIFLES has deployed on five tours to Iraq and Afghanistan, together with numerous other operations and training missions worldwide
- The likelihood of an operational deployment whilst serving with 4 RIFLES is high, with bespoke language, military training and a readiness cycle organised to match the Battalion's specialised role. With Riflemen currently serving in Afghanistan, 4 RIFLES will also be sending Riflemen on an exercise to Morocco in the next few months.
- 4 RIFLES hosts the Regimental Shooting Team. This year, one of its Riflemen placed 2ndin the Army’s Top 100 shots, with the team achieving 2nd place in the event overall.
- Aldershot, being close to London, has very good transport connections to the whole of the UK.
4 RIFLES is based in Aldershot Hampshire
Aldershot is world-famous as the home of the British Army and offers a fascinating insight into military history as well as extensive barracks for today's soldiers. Its history is well-documented at various local museums.
The presence of the Army has a significant daily influence on the town where it is regarded very much as part of the community. Each year Aldershot Army Show attracts 60,000 visitors to the area, with spectacular arena displays, exhibitors and traders, as well as a grand displays of military vehicles and equipment.
A range of hand-on interactive activities about military life can be found at both the Parachute Regiment and Airborne Forces Museum and the Aldershot Military Museum.
Key leisure attractions include Princes Hall theatre, West End Centre, Alpine Snowsports dry ski slope and Aldershot Pools and Lido complex. Basingstoke Canal runs through the area and is a popular area for walking, cycling, boating, picnicing and fishing.
Corporal Mark Simon
"It’s a really exciting time to be in 4 RIFLES. We’ve got Riflemen deployed all over the world just from our company alone. Since we became Specialised Infantry, opportunities to travel have opened up everywhere. With the guarantee of going on an operational tour, it’s definitely the place to be at the moment. We’re given a huge amount of responsibility and are allowed to really own our specialisation. We are trusted to keep ourselves at the top of our game and share that knowledge with the rest of our team."
Lieutenant Jamie Robertson
"Being a Specialised Infantry Team Commander is a really exciting new role. For me it’s an absolute dream; I command a small team of highly motivated professionals, all experts in their own fields. Through the team, I’m able to learn new skills and specialities that you otherwise would not get the exposure to as an Officer. Added to this, being based in Aldershot offers a great mix of work and play. We've got good access to some great training areas and sports facilities, and it’s also easy to get into London to see friends."
4 RIFLES was the first Infantry Battalion to pioneer the Specialised Infantry Battalion concept and as such is setting the tone for the rest of the Army to follow. 4 RIFLES currently has Riflemen deployed in Afghanistan, helping to train and accompany the Afghan security forces on missions. This is a fantastic opportunity for the Riflemen, as it means that they are extremely likely to deploy on combat operations, and have that experience that not many in the British Army might currently enjoy. Because of this, the Riflemen receive specialist training to enable them to operate in small teams often at a great distance from their headquarters.
4 RIFLES host the Regiment’s shooting team. They compete annually in the Army Operational Shooting Competition at Bisley, with the aim of getting as many Riflemen into the highly coveted Army’s top 100 shooters. Aldershot, where 4 RIFLES is based, is the home of Army Sport; all of the sports facilities that the Riflemen are lucky enough to use are of an international standard. This year, the Infantry once again won the Army Swimming and Water Polo Championships, with the majority of the team consisting of Riflemen. Aldershot is also just outside of London, making trips into the capital inexpensive and easy to enjoy.
4 RIFLES Timeline
1st Feb 2007
Iraq 2007 -
2 Tours of duties
Afghanistan 2007 -
3 Tours of duties
Falklands and Sierra Leonne.
India, Kenya, France, Canada and Belize
Will be conducting Specialised Infantry tasks and operations across the Middle East.