|Royal Green Jackets|
|Active||1 January 1966 – 1 February 2007|
|Part of||Light Division|
|Garrison/HQ||1st Battalion – Weeton |
2nd Battalion – Bulford
|Nickname(s)||"The Black Mafia"|
|Motto(s)||Celer et Audax (Latin: Swift and Bold)|
|March||Quick – Huntsman's Chorus/Italian Song|
Double Pass – The Road to the Isles
|Anniversaries||Waterloo (18 June)|
|Last Colonel-in-Chief||Queen Elizabeth II|
|Last Colonel Commandant||Lieutenant General Nick Parker|
The Royal Green Jackets (RGJ) was an infantry regiment of the British Army, one of two "large regiments" within the Light Division (the other being The Light Infantry).
The Royal Green Jackets was formed on 1 January 1966 by the amalgamation of the three separate regiments of the Green Jackets Brigade:
There were also two Territorial Army battalions made up as follows:
During the 1980s, the battalions were deployed to various parts of Northern Ireland (Operation Banner). The 1st, 2nd and 3rd battalions were also based in West Germany, Osnabrück (1RGJ), Minden (2RGJ) and Celle (3RGJ).
The regiment's greatest loss of life came on 20 July 1982 when seven RGJ bandsmen were killed by a Provisional Irish Republican Army bomb which exploded during a public concert featuring the music from Oliver! to 120 people at the bandstand in Regents Park.
In 1992, 1/RGJ was disbanded and 2/RGJ and 3/RGJ renumbered 1/RGJ and 2/RGJ respectively.
After the 1992 reorganisation, the unit was mostly based overseas in Dhekelia (Cyprus) and Paderborn (Germany), as well as in Northern Ireland. It also saw action in Bosnia and Kosovo during the Yugoslav Wars. Both battalions returned to the United Kingdom by 2002 and in 2003 the 1st Battalion served on Operation Telic 2 in Iraq.
On 24 November 2005, the Ministry of Defence announced that the regiment would be amalgamated with The Light Infantry, the Devonshire and Dorset Light Infantry and the Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Light Infantry to form a single large regiment to be called The Rifles. The reorganisation into The Rifles took effect on 1 February 2007 with the 1st Battalion Royal Green Jackets becoming the 2nd Battalion, The Rifles and the 2nd Battalion Royal Green Jackets becoming 4th Battalion, The Rifles.The 1st Battalion The Royal Green Jackets' final operational tour was in Basra, in Iraq, on Operation Telic in 2006-07.
The Royal Green Jackets (Rifles) Museum is based at Peninsula Barracks in Winchester.
Their motto was Celer et Audax (Latin: "Swift and Bold"). As they were used as shock troops and marksmen, they had to get to the front line of battle as fast as was possible; as a result the RGJ marched at 140 paces per minute (at a 30" pace) whereas other regiments march at just 120.
The regiment was classed as a 'rifle' regiment, having its lineage in the regiments of foot that were equipped with the first Baker rifles. Traditionally, rifle regiments wore rifle green tunics, an early form of camouflage, instead of the red jackets worn by line infantry, hence the regimental name.
The cap badge was a Maltese Cross, which was drawn from the badges of the King's Royal Rifle Corps and The Rifle Brigade, with a combination of some of their battle honours on its arms.
The battle honours are:
The King's Royal Rifle Corps was an infantry rifle regiment of the British Army that was originally raised in British North America as the Royal American Regiment during the phase of the Seven Years' War in North America known in the United States as 'The French and Indian War.' Subsequently numbered the 60th Regiment of Foot, the regiment served for more than 200 years throughout the British Empire. In 1958, the regiment joined the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry and the Rifle Brigade in the Green Jackets Brigade and in 1966 the three regiments were formally amalgamated to become the Royal Green Jackets. The KRRC became the 2nd Battalion, Royal Green Jackets. On the disbandment of the 1st Battalion, Royal Green Jackets in 1992, the RGJ's KRRC battalion was redesignated as the 1st Battalion, Royal Green Jackets, eventually becoming 2nd Battalion, The Rifles in 2007.
The 14th (Light) Division was an infantry division of the British Army, one of the Kitchener's Army divisions raised from volunteers by Lord Kitchener during the First World War. All of its infantry regiments were originally of the fast marching rifle or light infantry regiments, hence the title "Light". It fought on the Western Front for the duration of the First World War.
The division was disbanded by March 1919, and was not reformed in the Second World War.
The 2nd King Edward VII's Own Gurkha Rifles was a rifle regiment of the British Indian Army before being transferred to the British Army on India's independence in 1947. The 4th Battalion joined the Indian Army as the 5th Battalion, 8th Gorkha Rifles, where it exists to this day. As part of the British Army, the regiment served in Malaya, Hong Kong and Brunei until 1994 when it was amalgamated with the other three British Army Gurkha infantry regiments to form the Royal Gurkha Rifles. It is the only Gurkha regiment which did not have a khukuri on its cap badge.
The Rifle Brigade was an infantry rifle regiment of the British Army formed in January 1800 as the "Experimental Corps of Riflemen" to provide sharpshooters, scouts, and skirmishers. They were soon renamed the "Rifle Corps". In January 1803, they became an established regular regiment and were titled the 95th Regiment of Foot (Rifles). In 1816, at the end of the Napoleonic Wars, they were again renamed, this time as the "Rifle Brigade".
The Dorset Regiment was a line infantry regiment of the British Army in existence from 1881 to 1958, being the county regiment of Dorset. Until 1951, it was formally called the Dorsetshire Regiment, although usually known as "The Dorsets". In 1958, after service in the Second Boer War along with World War I and World War II, the Dorset Regiment was amalgamated with the Devonshire Regiment to form the Devonshire and Dorset Regiment. In 2007, it was amalgamated with the Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment, The Light Infantry and the Royal Green Jackets to form a new large regiment, The Rifles.
The Royal Green Jackets (Rifles) Museum is situated at Peninsula Barracks in Winchester, England. The museum is one of several regimental museums that form part of Winchester's Military Museums.
The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry was a light infantry regiment of the British Army that existed from 1881 until 1958, serving in the Second Boer War, World War I and World War II.
The 1st Green Jackets was an infantry regiment of the British Army that existed from 1958 to 1966. The regiment served in the Cyprus Emergency, Brunei Revolt, Indonesia-Malaysia confrontation and West Berlin. The regiment formed part of the Green Jackets Brigade and in 1963 was redesignated as a rifle regiment.
The Rifles is an infantry regiment of the British Army. Formed in 2007, it consists of four Regular battalions and three Reserve battalions, plus a number of companies in other Army Reserve battalions. Each battalion of The Rifles was formerly an individual battalion of one of the two large regiments of the Light Division. Since formation the regiment has been involved in combat operations, first in the later stages of the Iraq War and in the War in Afghanistan.
The Durban Light Infantry is a Motorised Infantry regiment of the South African Army. It lost its status as a Mechanised infantry regiment in 2010 in line with the rationalisation of resources. As a reserve unit, it has a status roughly equivalent to that of a British Army Reserve or United States Army National Guard unit.
A rifleman is an infantry soldier armed with a rifled long gun. Although the rifleman role had its origin with 16th century hand cannoneers and 17th century musketeers, the term originated in the 18th century with the introduction of the rifled musket. By the mid-19th century, entire regiments of riflemen were formed and became the mainstay of all standard infantry, and rifleman became a generic term for any common infantryman.
The 167th Brigade was an infantry formation of the British Territorial Army that saw active service in both the First and Second World Wars. It was the first Territorial formation to go overseas in 1914, garrisoned Malta, and then served with the 56th (London) Infantry Division on the Western Front. In the Second World War, it fought in the North African and Italian campaigns in the Second World War.
The 43rd Infantry Brigade was a brigade of the British Army during the First and Second World Wars, and later, as 43 (Wessex) Brigade, a regional headquarters from 1985 to 2014.
The Green Jackets Brigade was an administrative brigade of the British Army from 1946 to 1968, that administered the English rifle regiments.
The Middlesex Regiment was a line infantry regiment of the British Army in existence from 1881 until 1966. The regiment was formed, as the Duke of Cambridge's Own , in 1881 as part of the Childers Reforms when the 57th and 77th Regiments of Foot were amalgamated with the county's militia and rifle volunteer units.
The Northamptonshire Regiment was a line infantry regiment of the British Army in existence from 1881 until 1960. In 1960, it was amalgamated with the Royal Lincolnshire Regiment to form the 2nd East Anglian Regiment, which was amalgamated with the 1st East Anglian Regiment, the 3rd East Anglian Regiment and the Royal Leicestershire Regiment to form the present Royal Anglian Regiment.
The Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry (DCLI) was a light infantry regiment of the British Army in existence from 1881 to 1959.
The Imperial-Royal Landwehr, also called the Austrian Landwehr, was the territorial army of the Cisleithanian or Austrian half of the Austro-Hungarian Empire from 1869 to 1918. Its counterpart was the Royal Hungarian Landwehr. The two Landwehrs, together with the Common Army and the Imperial and Royal Navy, made up the armed forces of Austria-Hungary.
The Band and Bugles of the Rifles is a military band serving as the regimental band for The Rifles, the sole rifle regiment and the largest in the British Army. It is the senior most of three bands in the regiment and is the only one that is part of the regular army. Uniquely, it employs bugles at its front, a tradition that goes back to the conflicts of the 18th century. Major Séan O’Neill is currently serving as the Director of Music (DOM) of the band and bugles. It is part of the Royal Corps of Army Music.