|Royal Corps of Signals|
|Active||1920 – present|
|Garrison/HQ||Blandford Camp, Dorset|
(Swift and Sure)
"Technical First, Soldier Always"
|March||Begone Dull Care (Quick); HRH The Princess Royal (Slow)|
|Colonel-in-Chief||The Princess Royal|
|Master of Signals||Major General Sharon Nesmith|
|Tactical Recognition Flash|
|Arms of the British Army|
|Combat Support Arms|
The Royal Corps of Signals (often simply known as the Royal Signals – abbreviated to R SIGNALS) is one of the combat support arms of the British Army. Signals units are among the first into action, providing the battlefield communications and information systems essential to all operations. Royal Signals units provide the full telecommunications infrastructure for the Army wherever they operate in the world. The Corps has its own engineers, logistics experts and systems operators to run radio and area networks in the field.It is responsible for installing, maintaining and operating all types of telecommunications equipment and information systems, providing command support to commanders and their headquarters, and conducting electronic warfare against enemy communications.
In 1870, 'C' Telegraph Troop, Royal Engineers, was founded under Captain Montague Lambert. The Troop was the first formal professional body of signallers in the British Army and its duty was to provide communications for a field army by means of visual signalling, mounted orderlies and telegraph. By 1871, 'C' Troop had expanded in size from 2 officers and 133 other ranks to 5 officers and 245 other ranks. In 1879, 'C' Troop first saw action during the Anglo-Zulu War.On 1 May 1884, 'C' Troop was amalgamated with the 22nd and 34th Companies, Royal Engineers, to form the Telegraph Battalion Royal Engineers; 'C' Troop formed the 1st Division (Field Force, based at Aldershot) while the two Royal Engineers companies formed the 2nd Division (Postal and Telegraph, based in London). Signalling was the responsibility of the Telegraph Battalion until 1908, when the Royal Engineers Signal Service was formed. As such, it provided communications during the First World War. It was about this time that motorcycle despatch riders and wireless sets were introduced into service.
A Royal Warrant for the creation of a Corps of Signals was signed by the Secretary of State for War, Winston Churchill, on 28 June 1920. Six weeks later, King George V conferred the title Royal Corps of Signals.
Before the Second World War, Royal Signals recruits were required to be at least 5 feet 2 inches tall. They initially enlisted for eight years with the colours and a further four years with the reserve. They trained at the Signal Training Centre at Catterick Camp and all personnel were taught to ride.
During the Second World War (1939–45), members of the Royal Corps of Signals served in every theatre of war. In one notable action, Corporal Thomas Waters of the 5th Parachute Brigade Signal Section was awarded the Military Medal for laying and maintaining the field telephone line under heavy enemy fire across the Caen Canal Bridge during the Allied invasion of Normandy in June 1944.
In the immediate post-war period, the Corps played a full and active part in numerous campaigns including Palestine, the Indonesia-Malaysia confrontation, Malaya and the Korean War. Until the end of the Cold War, the main body of the Corps was deployed with the British Army of the Rhine confronting Soviet Bloc forces, providing the British Forces' contribution to NATO with its communications infrastructure. Soldiers from the Royal Signals delivered communications in the Falklands War in 1982 and the first Gulf War in 1991.
In 1994, The Royal Corps of Signals moved its training regiments, 11th Signal Regiment (the Recruit Training Regiment) and 8th Signal Regiment (the Trade Training School), from Catterick Garrison to Blandford Camp.
In late 2012, 2nd (National Communications) Signal Brigade was disbanded.Soldiers from the Royal Corps of Signals saw extensive service during the eight years of the Iraq War before withdrawal of troops in 2011, and the 13 years of the War in Afghanistan before it ended in 2014.
Under Army 2020 Refine a number of changes planned for the Corps were made public in 2013-14.A presentation by the Master of Signals indicated that 16 Signal Regiment would shift from 11 Signal Brigade to 1 Signal Brigade and focus on supporting communications for logistic headquarters. Similarly, 32 and 39 Signal Regiments were planned to shift to 1 Signal Brigade. 15 Signal Regiment would no longer be focused on Information Systems but would support 12th Armoured Infantry Brigade, while 21 and 2 Signal Regiments were planned to support the 1st and second Strike Brigades respectively. Furthermore, a new regiment, 13th Signal Regiment, was planned to form up under 1st Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Brigade and work with 14th Signal Regiment on cyber and electromagnetic activity.
In 2017 the Royal Signals Motorcycle Display Team, then in its 90th year, was disbanded; senior officers had complained that it "failed to reflect the modern-day cyber communication skills in which the Royal Signals are trained".
On 28 June 2020, the Royal Corps of Signals marked the 100th anniversary of its foundation. km for the Royal Signals Charity. The Princess Royal, the Colonel-In-Chief of the Corps, delivered a video message of congratulations, and the Foreman of Signals Course students successfully took a photograph of the Royal Signals 100 badge in space, completing a challenge that was set for them.Constrained by COVID-19 rules, many Royal Signals 100 celebrations were organised online, including the #100for100 challenge that involved hundreds of members of the Corps running 100
Royal Signals officers receive general military training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, followed by specialist communications training at the Royal School of Signals, Blandford Camp, Dorset. Other ranks are trained both as field soldiers and tradesmen. Their basic military training is delivered at the Army Training Regiment at Winchester before undergoing trade training at 11th (Royal School of Signals) Signal Regiment. There are currently six different trades available to other ranks,each of which is open to both men and women:
Staff Sergeant & Warrant Officers work in one of five supervisory rosters:
Whilst SSgts are generally regarded as being Regimental Duty, this roster does not start until WO2 and therefore all SSgts in the Royal Signals who are not supervisory are still employed "in trade".
The Royal Signals Museum is based at Blandford Camp in Dorset.
The Corps wears a blue and white tactical recognition flash. This is worn horizontally on the right arm with the blue half charging forward.
Airborne elements of the Royal Signals wear a Drop Zone (DZ) flash on the right arm of their combat jacket. It is square in shape with its top half white and the bottom half blue. When 5 Airborne Brigade was re-formed for the Falklands War, Signal elements adopted the Airborne Bridges Headquarters DZ Flash but this changed back to its original colours in the mid 1980s.
The flag and cap badge feature Mercury (Latin: Mercurius), the winged messenger of the gods, who is referred to by members of the corps as "Jimmy". The origins of this nickname are unclear. According to one explanation, the badge is referred to as "Jimmy" because the image of Mercury was based on the late mediaeval bronze statue by the Italian sculptor Giambologna, and shortening over time reduced the name Giambologna to "Jimmy". The most widely accepted theory of where the name Jimmy comes from is a Royal Signals boxer, called Jimmy Emblem, who was the British Army Champion in 1924 and represented the Royal Corps of Signals from 1921 to 1924.
It is one of the eight chalk hill figure military badges carved at Fovant, Wiltshire. It is the latest one to be made, as it was placed in 1970 following the Corp's 50th anniversary.
On Nos 2, 4 and 14 Dress, the Corps wears a dark blue lanyard on the right side signifying its early links with the Royal Engineers. The Airborne Signals Unit wears a drab green lanyard made from parachute cord. This dates back to the Second World War, when, following a parachute drop into France, the unit's Commanding Officer ordered all Signal personnel to cut a length of para-cord from their chutes in the event they may need it later in the fighting.
The Corps motto is "certa cito", often translated from Latin as Swift and Sure . It is easily seen on any of the Corps Badges.
The Colonel in Chief is currently the Princess Royal.
The Corps deploys and operates a broad range of specialist military and commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) communications systems.The main categories are as follows:
There are now two signal brigades:
The structure of the Royal Signals changed under Army 2020.The listing below shows the present location of units and their future location.
The Royal Corps of Signals reserve component was severely reduced after the 2009 Review of Reserve Forces, losing many full regiments, with their respective squadrons mostly reduced to troops.
The Royal Corps of Signals is the sponsoring Corps for several Army Cadet Force and Combined Cadet Force units, such as in Blandford Forum, home to the Royal School of Signals.
The units of the British Army are commanded by the Chief of the General Staff. This is broadly similar to the structures of the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force, in that the four-star (general-equivalent) commanders-in-chief have been eliminated since 2011 and service chiefs are given direct command of their respective services and are responsible as Top Level Budget (TLB) holders. Army Headquarters is located in Andover, Hampshire. There is a Commander Field Army and a personnel and UK operations command, Home Command.
Options for Change was a restructuring of the British Armed Forces in summer 1990 after the end of the Cold War.
The Royal Yeomanry (RY) is the senior reserve light cavalry regiment of the British Army. Equipped with Supacat Jackal variants, their role is to conduct mounted and dismounted formation reconnaissance. The Regimental Headquarters is located in Leicester, with squadrons in Fulham, Nottingham, Dudley, Croydon, Telford, and Leicester.
British Forces Overseas Hong Kong comprised the elements of the British Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force stationed in British Hong Kong. The Governor of Hong Kong also assumed the position of the Commander-in-chief of the forces and the Commander British Forces in Hong Kong took charge of the daily deployment of the troops. Much of the British military left prior to the handover of Hong Kong to China in 1997. The present article focuses mainly on the British garrison in Hong Kong in the post Second World War era. For more information concerning the British garrison during the Second World War see the Battle of Hong Kong.
Redford Cavalry and Infantry Barracks is located on Colinton Road, near the Edinburgh City Bypass, east of the suburb of Colinton in Edinburgh, Scotland.
The 2nd Signal Brigade, was a military formation of the British Army composed of Royal Corps of Signals units. The brigade was first formed following the reorganisation of the old Territorial Army in 1967, and was disbanded in 2012 under the Army 2020 programme. However, later the 2nd Signal Group was formed continuing the lineage of the old brigade, before it was disbanded in 2018.
36th (Eastern) Signal Regiment was a Territorial Army (TA) signal unit of the British Army's Royal Corps of Signals (RCS). The regiment was formed following the formation of the TAVR in 1967, and was disbanded in 2009 following a reorganisation in the RCS. Though not disbanded, the regiment continues its lineage as a squadron, with its own former squadrons forming troops within said squadron.
71 Yeomanry Signal Regiment is an Army Reserve regiment in the Royal Corps of Signals in the British Army. The regiment forms part of 11th Signal Brigade, providing military communications for national operations.
39 (Skinners) Signal Regiment (Volunteers) is an Army Reserve regiment in the Royal Corps of Signals in the British Army. The regiment forms part of 1 Signal Brigade, providing military communications for national operations. The Lynx badge is a reminder of the unit's connection with the Worshipful Company of Skinners.
37th Signal Regiment is an Army Reserve regiment in the Royal Corps of Signals in the British Army. The regiment forms part of 11th Signal Brigade, providing military communications for national operations.
The 11th Signal Brigade and Headquarters West Midlands is a signal formation of the British Army's 3rd UK Division. Its headquarters is located at Venning Barracks, in Donnington in Shropshire.
The 14th Signal Regiment is a part of the British Army's Royal Corps of Signals. The regiment's role is to provide Electronic Warfare (EW) capability in support of deployed Land Commanders, in order to enable operations in the electronic battlespace. It is the only British Army Regiment capable of conducting sustainable electronic warfare in support of national operations worldwide. The regiment is currently based at Cawdor Barracks, on the site of the former RAF Brawdy, near Haverfordwest, in South Wales.
The 1st Signal Brigade, formerly known as the 1st Signal Group, is a brigade of the British Army. The group was first formed in 1968 as a result of the 1966 Defence White Paper which expanded support for NATO and the British Army of the Rhine. In 1987 the group was disbanded and merged into the 2nd Signal Brigade. In 1995 the brigade was reformed and has since deployed on operations across the globe in support of NATO and HQ Allied Rapid Reaction Corps.
The 36 Engineer Regiment is a regiment of the Corps of Royal Engineers within the British Army. The regiment trace their history back to before World War II as 36 Army Engineer Regiment. The regiment today is a general support engineer regiment provided force support within 12 Engineer Group.
The British Army as a result of the Army 2020 and Army 2020 Refine reforms has been organised into two main commands, Field Army and Home Command, each commanded by a lieutenant general.
The following is a hierarchical outline for the structure of the British Army in 1989. The most authoritative source for this type of information available is Ministry of Defence, Master Order of Battle, and United Kingdom Land Forces, HQ UKLF, UKLF ORBAT Review Action Plan, HQ UKLF, 1990.
The 13th Signal Regiment is a specialist signals unit of the Royal Corps of Signals of the British Army. Originally formed in 1934, the regiment had a long history of service before being disbanded in 1994 following the initial Options for Change reforms. The regiment was be reformed in June 2020 as part of 1st Signal Brigade.
The 15th Signal Regiment is military communications unit of the British Army's Royal Corps of Signals.
The Gurkha Allied Rapid Reaction Corps Support Battalion, or simply the ARRC Support Battalion is a combat support unit of the British Army, and one of only three units permanently assigned to NATO. For administrative purposes, the ARRC Support Battalion falls under the oversight of the Royal Logistic Corps, though employs members from many other cap badges.
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