The Royal Regiment of Scotland was formed on 28 March 2006. However, the heritage of The Royal Regiment of Scotland reaches back to 1633 when the first of the antecedent Scottish regiments, The Royal Scots (The Royal Regiment), were raised. Over the centuries the antecedent Scottish regiments have won fame around the world for their military exploits and fighting prowess. The Regiment is fiercely proud of this impressive military heritage and the 4 regular battalions, 2 reserve battalions and 1 independent rifle company retain and carry forward many of the fine traditions established by these antecedent regiments.
When the Regiment was initially formed in March 2006 it consisted of six regular battalions and 2 reserve battalions. The 1st Battalion’s formation was delayed until August as both The Royal Scots and King’s Own Scottish Borderers were deployed on operations when the Regiment formed on 28 March. The other battalions were formed from the remaining regiments of the Scottish Division. These were The Royal Highland Fusiliers, The Black Watch, The Highlanders, The Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, The 52nd Lowland Regiment and The 51st Highland Regiment respectively.
Of all of the newly formed regiments with the British Army, The Royal Regiment of Scotland is the only one where former regimental titles have been prominently retained with the new numbered battalion designations used as abbreviations. Each soldier in the Regiment wears the same cap badge, tactical recognition flash, stable belt, tartan and glengarry headdress but distinctively coloured hackles are worn on the Tam o’ Shanter headdress to indicate the battalion they belong to. Furthermore, the Pipes & Drums of each battalion continue to wear the ceremonial dress of their antecedent regiments.
On 2 July 2011 HM The Queen, who is Colonel-in-Chief of the Regiment, presented new Colours to the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th and 7th Battalions at Holyrood Park in Edinburgh.
The 4th Battalion, who were on operations in Afghanistan at the time, were presented with their new Colours by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, their Royal Colonel, on 3 December 2011 at RAF Kinloss.
In 2012, as part of the Army 2020 reform package, it was announced that the 5th Battalion, whilst not losing its name and history as The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, would be reduced to the status of an independent rifle company, similar to the three companies in the Guards Division, and would become a permanent public duties unit based in Scotland. This conversion from a full sized battalion to Balaklava Company took place in June 2013.
On 28 March 2016 The Royal Regiment of Scotland celebrated its 10 year anniversary. Its first decade has seen a high level of operational activity for the Regiment so that in addition to the impressive heritage of its antecedent regiments, it can now look with pride to its own recent history and accomplishments.
Operations the Regiment have participated in between 2006 and 2016
Operation BANNER: Northern Ireland
Operation TELIC : Iraq
Operation HERRICK: Afghanistan
Operation TORAL: Afghanistan (Successor to Op HERRICK – Kabul Protection Unit)
Operation TOSCA: Cyprus (Operations in support of the United Nations peacekeeping mission)
Operation VOCATE: United Kingdom (UK based training mission for Libya)
Operation ELGIN: Bosnia (Peacekeeping deployment as part of EUFOR)
Operation GRITROCK: Sierra Leone (Force protection humanitarian mission in fight against Ebola epidemic)
Operation COMET: United Kingdom (Military support to security of the Commonwealth Games)
The Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland
The 1st Battalion are a light role regular infantry battalion based at Palace Barracks in Belfast. The Battalion was formed by the merger of The Royal Scots and The King’s Own Scottish Borderers in August 2006. HRH Princess Anne (The Princess Royal) is the Royal Colonel. Soldiers of the Battalion wear a black hackle in their Tam O’Shanters.
1st Battalion Operational History
|Operation BANNER||March 2006 – July 2006|
|Operation TELIC||November 2007 – May 2008|
|Operation HERRICK 10||March 2010 – September 2010 (Minden Platoon attached to 3 SCOTS)|
|Operation HERRICK 11||September 2009 – April 2010 (B Company attached to 3 RIFLES)|
|Operation HERRICK 12||March 2010 – September 2010|
|Operation TOSCA||October 2012 – April 2013 (Platoon)|
|Operation HERRICK 17||September 2012 – March 2013|
|Operation ELGIN||June 2014 – August 2014 ( A Coy)|
|Operation GRITROCK||October 2104 – March 2015 (B Coy)|
|Operation TOSCA||September 2015 - to date|
The Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland
The 2nd Battalion are a light role regular infantry battalion based at Glencorse Barracks in Edinburgh. HRH Prince Andrew (The Duke of York) is the Royal Colonel. Soldiers of the Battalion wear a white hackle in their Tam O’Shanters.
2nd Battalion Operational History
|Operation HERRICK 8||April 2008 – October 2008|
|Operation HERRICK 13||October 2010 – March 2011|
|Operation HERRICK 18||April 2013 – October 2013|
|Operation TORAL||August 2015 – To date|
The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland
The 3rd Battalion are a light mechanised infantry battalion based in Fort George, Inverness. HRH Prince Charles (The Duke of Rothesay & The Prince of Wales) is the Royal Colonel. Soldiers of the Battalion wear a red hackle in their Tam O’Shanters.
3rd Battalion Operational History
|Operation BANNER||March 2006 – 31 July 2007|
|Operation TELIC 9||November 2006 – April 2007 (A (Grenadier) Company)|
|Operation TELIC 10||April 2007- November 2007 (13 Platoon attached to 2 Royal Welsh)|
|Operation HERRICK 10||April 2009 – November 2009|
|Operation HERRICK 15||September 2011- March 2012|
|Operation COMET||July/August 2014 (50+ men)|
|Operation VOCATE||Dates & Strength TBC|
|Operation TOSCA||March 2015 – Oct 2015|
The Highlanders, 4th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland
The 4th Battalion are a heavy protected mobility infantry battalion and are based at Borlon Barracks, Catterick. HRH Prince Philip (The Duke of Edinburgh) is the Royal Colonel. Soldiers of the Battalion wear a blue hackle in their Tam O’Shanters.
4th Battalion Operational History
|Operation TELIC 7||October 2005 – April 2006|
|Operation TELIC 12||March 2008 – October 2008|
|Operation HERRICK 8||March 2008– September 2008 (B Company attached to 5th Battalion)|
|Operation HERRICK 14||March 2011 – October 2011|
|Operation HERRICK 19||September 2013 – June 2014|
Balaklava Company, 5th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland
Balaklava Company are an independent rifle company (converted from a full sized battalion in June 2013) and are based in Redford Barracks, Edinburgh. They retain a light infantry role as well as perform public duties and state ceremonial tasks in Scotland. HM The Queen is the Royal Colonel and soldiers of the Battalion wear a green hackle in their Tam O’Shanters.
5th Battalion Operational History
|Operation HERRICK 4||July 2006 – October 2006 (B Company plus Reconnaissance Platoon)|
|Operation HERRICK 8||April 2008 – October 2008|
|Operation HERRICK 13||October 2010 – March 2011|
52nd Lowland, 6th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland
The 6th Battalion are a reserve light role infantry battalion. The Battalion’s headquarters are located in Glasgow and there are detachments in Ayr, Bathgate, Dumfries, Edinburgh, Galashiels and Motherwell. HRH Princess Anne (The Princess Royal) is the Royal Colonel and soldiers of the Battalion wear a grey hackle in their Tam O’Shanters.
6th Battalion Operational History
Officers and soldiers of the 6th Battalion have reinforced the regular battalions on most operations since 2006.
51st Highland, 7th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland
The 7th Battalion are a reserve light role infantry battalion. Battalion Headquarters is located in Perth and there are detachments in Dundee, Aberdeen, Kirkcaldy, Inverness, Elgin, Stornoway, Dumbarton and Stirling. HRH Prince Charles (The Duke of Rothesay & The Prince of Wales) is the Royal Colonel and soldiers of the Battalion wear purple hackles in their Tam O’Shanters.
7th Battalion Operational History
In addition to the Company strength deployment below, members of the Battalion have reinforced the regular battalions on most operations since 2006.
|Operation TELIC 9||November 2006- May 2007-Alamein Company|
Roll of Honour
Since 28 March 2006, 22 men of The Royal Regiment of Scotland have been killed whilst serving on operations. Each man’s name, respective battalion as well as date & place of death is listed in the table below.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
(Robert Laurence Binyon)
|Craig O’Donnell||5th Battalion||04/09/06||Afghanistan|
|Scott Kennedy||3rd Battalion||28/06/07||Iraq|
|Jamie Kerr||3rd Battalion||28/06/07||Iraq|
|John McDermid||2nd Battalion||14/11/07||Afghanistan|
|James Johnson||5th Battalion||28/06/08||Afghanistan|
|Jonathan Matthews||4th Battalion||28/07/08||Afghanistan|
|Barry Dempsey||2nd Battalion||18/08/08||Afghanistan|
|Sean Binnie||3rd Battalion||07/05/09||Afghanistan|
|Robert McLaren||3rd Battalion||11/06/09||Afghanistan|
|Kevin Elliott||3rd Battalion||31/08/09||Afghanistan|
|Stuart Millar||3rd Battalion||31/08/09||Afghanistan|
|Thomas Mason||3rd Battalion||25/10/09||Died in the UK from wounds sustained in Afghanistan|
|Sean McDonald||1st Battalion||07/02/10||Afghanistan|
|Johnathan Moore||1st Battalion||07/02/10||Afghanistan|
|Joseph Pool||1st Battalion||05/09/10||Afghanistan|
|Joseva Vatubua||5th Battalion||01/01/11||Afghanistan|
|Michael Pike||4th Battalion||03/06/11||Afghanistan|
|Scott McLaren||4th Battalion||04/07/11||Afghanistan|
|Walter Barrie||1st Battalion||11/11/12||Afghanistan|
|Samuel Flint||2nd Battalion||30/04/13||Afghanistan|
|Robert Hetherington||7th Battalion||30/04/13||Afghanistan|
|William Savage||2nd Battalion||30/04/13||Afghanistan|
Honours & Awards
Members of the Regiment have gained numerous awards for gallantry and distinguished service over the past decade. These include 5 Distinguished Service Orders, 13 Military Crosses and 1 Queen’s Gallantry Medal.
New Dress Regulations 2018
A new set of dress regulations were published by the Regiment in 2018. All those interested can view/download a copy by following the link here.