The SCOTS on exercise in the Scottish Highlands

Our history

The Royal Regiment of Scotland (SCOTS) is the senior line Infantry regiment of the British Army. Formed on 28th March 2006, it was founded on the fighting heritage of historic Scottish Infantry Regiments representing over 390 years’ continuous service to the crown. Our motto is 'Nemo Me Impune Lacessit' (No one provokes me with impunity) – shared with the Order of the Thistle, Scotland’s highest order of chivalry.

The Royal Regiment of Scotland was initially made up of six regular and two Army reserve battalions on amalgamation of six proud historical Scottish Infantry Regiments. In August 2006 two of the regular battalions were merged and in 2012 one of the regular battalions was reduced to a company strength with sole responsibility for Scotland’s State Ceremonial and Public Duties. In December 2021 our 1st Battalion was selected to become the 1st Battalion of the new Ranger Regiment. We continue to provide SCOTS soldiers and officers to support its specialist role in the Army Special Operations Brigade.

Today the Regiment is made up of three regular battalions, one regular incremental company and two Army reserve battalions. The Regimental Headquarters is located in Edinburgh Castle, and SCOTS regular and reserve battalions are based across Scotland and Northern England. The Regiment is structured, equipped and trained for operations in the 21st Century.

It draws particular strength and extraordinary cohesion from the uniquely glorious history of its antecedent Regiments. The Regiment is one of the key custodians of Scottish martial history and remains fiercely proud of its heritage; each Battalion carries forward the history, traditions and fighting spirit of its forebears with uncompromising pride, courage and passion. Scotland has a tradition of producing courageous, resilient, tenacious and tough infantry soldiers, and their reputation throughout the Army and within the community continues to be second to none.

Our Role

We are a large Scottish infantry regiment bound by our unified purpose - to deliver a modern infantry fighting capability for the UK and its Defence requirements around the world.

Each of our regular battalions have specialist operational roles whether fighting on foot or mounted on the Army’s latest armoured vehicles. They work with our two Reserve battalions to ensure that the Regiment is balanced and adaptable, ready for all future operations.

The Regiment is a disciplined, resilient and professional team with an unrelenting focus on the pursuit of excellence. A team within which all people are valued and empowered to do their best. A team that has the humility to learn from each other and other people.

The period since formation of the Regiment has been dominated by a consistent outstanding contribution to demanding military operations.  The soldiers and officers of the Regiment who have served since March 2006 have done so with tremendous distinction.

our battalions

Since its formation the regiment has deployed to almost every theatre of operations the British Army has been involved in; conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia and Northern Ireland, supporting peace operations in Cyprus, West and North Africa, disaster relief in the Caribbean and giving support to UK Civil Authorities to deal with wild-fire, flooding and the COVID-19 pandemic.  In recent years, SCOTS soldiers have had key roles in NATO Response Forces, partnered US forces in training in the US and Europe.

Young Officers from the Royal Regiment of Scotland are trained and prepared during a 12-month arduous training package at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and the soldiers (Jocks) complete their initial 6 month training at the Infantry Training Centre, Catterick. There are several specialist skills within the infantry – Driver, Physical Training Instructor, Commander, Gunner,Rifleman/Sniper, Team Medic and Musician.

Less for ceremonial occasions, each regular battalion wears a different coloured hackle as a battalion identifier, to distinguish them today and link them to their particular antecedent lineage: 2 SCOTS wear White (as did the Royal Highland Fusiliers), 3 SCOTS wear Red (as did the Black Watch), 4 SCOTS wear Blue (as did the Highlanders), and 5 SCOTS wear Green (to represent the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders). On 1 Dec 21, 1 SCOTS was selected to become the 1st Battalion of the Army’s new Ranger Regiment (1 RANGER). As a result, the black hackle worn by 1 SCOTS for 16 years became the Regimental hackle and is now worn by all SCOTS officers and soldiers when not assigned to a Regular Battalion or Balaklava Company.

2nd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland (2 SCOTS). A light role battalion based in Penicuik, Midlothian.

3rd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland (3 SCOTS). A security force assistance battalion based in Fort George, Inverness.

4th Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland (4 SCOTS). A light mechanised battalion based in Catterick Garrison, North Yorkshire.

Balaklava Company, 5th Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland (BKA Coy, 5 SCOTS). An incremental Company (State and Ceremonial Duties) based in Edinburgh.

6th Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland (6 SCOTS). A light role (Reserve) battalion based in Glasgow.

7th Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland (7 SCOTS). A light role (Reserve) battalion based in Perth.