THE RIFLES

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SWIFT AND BOLD

The Rifles is a large regiment with 5 Regular and 3 Reserve Battalions. We offer our people the widest range of Infantry roles and locations in the British Army.

Our officers and soldiers have the greatest opportunities to be based close to their home, the widest career options and the high likelihood of deployments overseas.

Looking to join The Rifles? for more information, fill out an Expression of Interest Form: HERE

Our Five Regular Battalions

1 RIFLES - Light Infantry

1 RIFLES is a Regular Light Infantry Roled Battalion of around 620 Riflemen, based in Beachley Barracks, Chepstow, on the border between Wales and Gloucestershire. It operates within the 1st Division at continual readiness to deploy on operations and training missions worldwide. Since 2007, 1 RIFLES has deployed on five tours to Iraq and Afghanistan, together with numerous other operations, particularly in the Middle East, North and West Africa and Eastern Europe. In 2021 alone the battalion has had Riflemen deployed to The Gambia, Kenya, the Falkland Islands, Nigeria, Canada, the Caribbean, Estonia and the USA. The battalion was significant committed to the national COVID effort, with Riflemen deployed across the UK. 1 RIFLES will shortly deploy to Cyprus on a UN peacekeeping tour, and is poised to deploy small teams of thinking fighting Riflemen on overseas missions at short notice in line with the UK’s updated Defence strategy.

The battalion is ideally placed to avail of excellent training facilities located close by, with Brecon, Caerwent and the Salisbury Plain training areas all within a one hour’s drive. 1 RIFLES occupies its own camp in Beachley Barracks alongside The Rifles Training Team, allowing our Riflemen to hone their skills with excellent facilities at hand. The battalion has very strong rugby and cycling teams, competing at the highest level of Army sport in these disciplines.

Being based in Chepstow, between Cardiff and Bristol, means that the battalion has very good transport connections to the whole of the UK.

2 RIFLES - Light Infantry

2 RIFLES is a Light Infantry Battalion based in Northern Ireland. We are aligned to the Middle East and East Africa, creating exciting opportunities for exercising overseas and operational deployments- Kenya, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Jordan to name a few. The Light Infantry Role means we often train on foot and in complex terrain; from African scrubland to dense urban areas - we are at the cutting edge of soldiering and skirmishing.

2 RIFLES is home to the Regimental Boxing Team, which competes across the Army and is always recruiting. To assist movement home from Northern Ireland, Riflemen are entitled to 12 travel-warrants annually to cover air/ferry/rail costs, and when in barracks, Riflemen receive an additional £7.58 extra pay daily (approx. £220 a month), alongside four long weekends annually. Of course, for married Riflemen there is always the opportunity to move families with you to service accommodation. For those who wish to explore ‘Game of Thrones’ country, Belfast is only a short drive, whilst the coast is surf-ready!

3 RIFLES - Mechanised Infantry

3 RIFLES is a Regular Infantry Battalion of around 745 Riflemen, based in Dreghorn Barracks, Edinburgh, and operates within 3rd (UK) Division - 'The Iron Division' - the only division at continual operational readiness in the UK. Since 2007, 3 RIFLES has deployed on five tours to Iraq and Afghanistan, together with numerous other operations and training missions worldwide, particularly in the Middle East and Eastern Europe.

3 RIFLES is one of just three selected 'Strike' Infantry Battalions within the British Army and will be equipped with the new BOXER vehicle to provide a better, more protected and agile force that will be able to self-deploy thousands of kilometres with minimal logistical support. This exciting new role plays to the strengths of The Rifles, in which Riflemen have always been known for their ability to operate on their initiative, deep in the battlefield.

Edinburgh has very good transport connections to the whole of the UK. In particular, Riflemen from Scotland, North East England and Yorkshire find it easy to get home most weekends.

4 RIFLES - Specialised Infantry

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. 

5 RIFLES - Armoured Infantry

5 RIFLES is based in Bulford, Wiltshire as an Armoured Infantry battalion, equipped with the Warrior Armoured Fighting Vehicle. As one of the most potent war-fighting infantry battalions, it is a part of the 20th Armoured Infantry Brigade within 3rd (UK) Division.

Having been the last unit in Afghanistan in 2014, it was the first to be deployed in NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence in Estonia (Operation CABRIT). The Battalion has previously served in Iraq, and has a reputation for being the first in and last out on operations.

As the largest of The Rifles Regular Battalions, 5 RIFLES has supported the other Battalions for overseas exercises in the US, Kenya and Belize, in addition to its own regular training commitments in Canada and the USA.

5 RIFLES is the Regiment’s champion for cross-country and cricket but maintains a host of sports teams including rugby and football. Adventurous Training is also popular, and during the first deployment in Estonia, the Battalion sailed a yacht out to the Baltic from the UK, before returning at the end of Op CABRIT 1.

Our Locations

  • 1 RIFLES

    Beachley Barracks, Beachley Road, CHEPSTOW, Wales, NP16 7YG Telephone: 01291 645 220

  • 2 RIFLES

    Thiepval Barracks, Magheralave Road, LISBURN, Northern Ireland, BFPO 801 Telephone: 02892 262 133

  • 3 RIFLES

    Dreghorn Barracks, Redford Road, EDINBURGH, Midlothian, EH13 9QW Telephone: 0131 102 727

  • 4 RIFLES

    New Normandy Barracks, Evelyn Woods Road, ALDERSHOT, Hampshire, GU11 2LZ Telephone: 01252 347 609

  • 5 RIFLES

    Ward Barracks,Bulford Station, SALISBURY, Wiltshire, SP4 9NA Telephone: 01980 672 794

Our Equipment

Warrior

388 Warrior infantry fighting vehicles currently in active service

Combat vehicles

Foxhound

112 kph Foxhound has a top speed of 112 kph but can still protect against improvised explosive devices thanks to its v-shaped hull.

Protected patrol vehicles

Husky

Support Husky is a protected support vehicle, providing a highly mobile and flexible load carrying vehicle.

Protected patrol vehicles

Mastiff

90 kph Mastiff is a heavily armoured, 6 x six-wheel-drive patrol vehicle with a top speed of 90 kph.

Protected patrol vehicles

RWMIK Land Rover

800km The RWMIK has the capacity to support itself and its crew over 800km.

Protected patrol vehicles

SA80 Individual Weapon

Tests On its introduction, it proved so accurate that the Army marksmanship tests had to be redesigned.

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

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

81mm Mortar

5650 metres High explosive, smoke and illuminating rounds to a maximum range of 5650m.

Small arms and support weapons

Combat Shotgun

12 gauge The Combat Shotgun is a semi-automatic, tubular magazine-fed weapon chambered for the 12 gauge cartridge.

Small arms and support weapons

General Purpose Machine Gun

GPMG The general purpose machine gun (GPMG) can be used as a light weapon and in a sustained fire role.

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

Quad Bike

Speed The ATV's alone can reach speeds of up to 75kph

Logistic vehicles

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

Light Machine Gun

300 metres It provides the section commander with the capability to impose sustained suppressive fire on to an objective out to 300m.

Small arms and support weapons

SA80 Individual Weapon

Our Benefits

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Pay

The pay you'll receive each month is just one element of the package.

Earn £15,985 during training. When you have completed 26 week’s service or finished basic trade training – whichever comes first, your pay will rise to £20,400.

You will also receive access to a free gym and a non-contributory pension.  We offer unique early promotion opportunities that allow you to move up the pay scale swiftly after completing training. This means you can promote to the rank of Lance Corporal earlier than in any other infantry regiment. 

The professional courses we offer allow you to develop your skills and increase your potential. Completing these courses means you can take on more responsibility and potentially earn more money.   

#WeReleasePotential

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Qualifications and Training

As a Rifleman you will work alongside some of the finest infantry soldiers in the world; our battle worthiness, marksmanship and field craft are second to none. We also want you to be skilled in other areas, which is why we encourage our soldiers to continue their education through vocational and practical courses:

  • All driving licences
  • ILM Team Leading Award
  • Public Services Apprenticeships in Security,
  • Communications, Engineering, Carry and Deliver Goods, and Storage and Warehousing
  • BTEC Level 2 Certificate in Relief Operations Skills
  • NVQ Level 2 Public Service

#WeAreSkilled

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HEALTHCARE

During service you'll receive free dental care and free prescriptions as well as support from the British Army's physiotherapy and rehabilitation teams if required.

 

ACCOMMODATION

The Army will provide you with housing if required. The Future Accommodation Model is currently reviewing the service housing offering, making sure that it's fit for 21st century families.

Joining as a Regular

Find out more about the Soldier Recruitment Process

Interested in becoming a RIFLES Officer? Find out more about the Officer Recruitment Steps

Looking to join The Rifles? For more information, fill out a Recruiting Interest Form

  1. Submit online application

    Once you've registered your interest to join, you will be asked for details including your nationality and age. This will tell you what type of role you can apply for (or if you can't join). You'll then need to apply online, which will get you started on your Army journey.

  2. Career Centre Visit

    Now that you've applied, you'll be given a local Recruiter and a Candidate Support Manager (CSM), who may ask you extra questions. You can also follow your progress online. Normally, you'll be invited to your local career centre, where you'll be given a personal development plan to follow to help you get ready for the Assessment Centre. You'll also learn more about the Army - and have the chance to ask questions. 

  3. Assessment Centre

    Your assessment will last for 2 days and will take place in one of our Assessment Centres in the UK. We will pay for your travel to get there and back.

    This is your chance to see whether the Army is right for you, and for us to see whether you're suitable to join.

  4. After Assessment Centre

    Once you’re through assessment there’s just some final paperwork to do before you’re ready to begin your Initial training (Phase 1)

  5. Attend Basic and Infantry Training

    You start with a Combat Infantry Course (28 weeks) at The Infantry Training Centre Catterick (ITC(C)). Here, you do your basic training and your Infantry training. 

    If you’re aged under 17 years and 5 months, you’ll do your basic training at the Army Foundation College Harrogate for 49 weeks. You’ll then go to ITC(C) to complete your Infantry training over 10 weeks.

    During your Infantry Training you will go through the regimental allocation process where you will be assigned to your future regiment. 

Infantry Training Centre Catterick

THE BAND AND BUGLES

WHAT WE DO

The Band and Bugles of The Rifles are based in Sir John Moore Barracks, Winchester, in Hampshire. It is a unique military band that is defined by traditions dating back over 200 years, including the use of the silver bugle and the distinctly fast marching speed of 140 paces per minute.

The musicians within the Band are members of the Corps of Army Music, which assigns soldiers to Winchester as part of their career development. The Buglers that perform and march in front of the Band are Riflemen drawn from across 1-
5 RIFLES that are trained to blow the bugle and march in the traditional Rifle Regiment fashion – including the unique and world famous ‘Double’.

The Band and Bugles of The Rifles perform worldwide and across the UK, often stealing the show because of their unique dress, style and traditions.

FACTS AND FIGURES

The Band and Bugles of The Rifles is the fastest military marching band in the world, marching at an official tempo of 140bpm.  This speed, however, is often increased with the band regularly marching at a flying tempo of 156bpm and The Buglers Doubling and playing at 180bpm!
 

The Band and Bugles of The Rifles wear rifles green ceremonial uniforms. This traditional uniform honours The Rifles antecedent regiments with the green colour being one of the first forms of rudimentary camouflage in the military.
 

The Band and Bugles of The Rifles represent the British Army’s largest Infantry Regiment, it consists of professional musicians from the Corps of Army Music and Buglers on a two-year attachment from the five Regular Battalions.  Together we perform as one, both nationally and internationally.

REGIMENTAL MUSIC

The bugle has traditionally been used in the past to communicate with, and to direct Riflemen. The bugle was adopted for use in the eighteenth century as it was light and easy to use unlike the cumbersome drum and carried its note clear for up to three miles whereas a drum signal became indistinct. It was originally an ox bugle but later made in silver which gave a clearer note. The bugle is central to The Rifles’ musical traditions, but music has been carried forward from all of our forming regiments. Daily routine in the battalions is marked by bugle calls, and The Rifles sound, rather than beat, Retreat.

The three Marches are:

  • Quick March  –  Mechanized Infantry – David McBain
  • Slow March  –  Old Salamanca – Chris Willis
  • Regimental Double Marches – Keel Row/Road to the Isles – Traditional

There are standard songs used in The Rifles, these were more prevalent in the forming regiments but still carried forward by The Rifles. These are:

  • Widdecombe Fair (Devonshire & Dorset Light Infantry)
  • Farmer’s Boy (Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Light Infantry)
  • Blaydon Races (The Light Infantry)
  • Over The Hill and Far Away (Royal Green Jackets)
  • Hearts of Oak (Royal Navy & Royal Marines)

Band and Bugles Inspection

THE BRITISH ARMY'S LARGEST INFANTRY REGIMENT

The Rifles is looking for quality people just like you right now. To speak to someone about joining the infantry and becoming a Rifleman, please get in touch with The Rifles’ Engagement Team.

RIFLES Engagement Warrant Officer can be contacted by Phone, Text or WhatsApp - 07971 893807 or on [email protected] 

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