Honourable Artillery Company
The HAC was formed in 1537 by Henry VIII, for use of 'muskets and long bows'.
At the time, the "Artillery" part of their name referred to the Longbow, but when gunpowder became used in military actions they became proficient with musketry and early cannon. They were the home of professional gunnery until the formation of the first regular professional regiment, the Artillery Regiment, which then moved finally to Woolwich.
Traditionally they have recruited from all classes in the City of London, and this came to a head in the Civil War, where the Regt voted to split, and fight on the side of their choosing. A small home force was kept back to guard the location of Armoury House.
The HAC own their own drill hall (Armoury House), a 17th century stately home, and the castle building attached, Finsbury Barracks.
There are two parts to the HAC; the civilian side called the Company, a registered charity 'for the setting out of soldiers', which holds the titles to the land and buildings and half of the Brecon Beacons; and the military side called the Regiment. The Regiment is made up of Squadrons:
1,2,and 3 Squadron are classed as the 'sabre' squadrons, whose role is a very demanding and rare one. So rare that it is the ONLY reservist/part time unit in NATO to have the Surveillance and Target Acquisition (STA) role. This is a long range reconnaissance job, resulting in long periods of time being spent in Observation Posts (OPs), covertly, or mixed up with other troops in an overt OP. It is a very physically demanding job, with patrols carrying all of their food and water plus operationally specific equipment, on their backs, for up to three weeks.
The Signals Squadron is made up of signallers whose role is to ensure that the skywave comms that the patrols use will be received and forwarded to the relevant people.
L.O. Troop is what used to be the Gun Troop, but are now re-roling and training for the new task of providing Liaison Teams to accompany Liaison Officers around theaters.
HQ Squadron provides the logistical back up and training for the Regiment to survive and fight in any location or theater.
Recruiting nights are held on the first Tuesday of every month.
Everyone joins as a Private Soldier, regardless of previous military service. Once you have completed an in-house 6 month recruits course you would then be sent on to trade training; either as a signaller, or as a patrol soldier for another six months. Then you would join a squadron.
Part of the six month patrol training is the "Brecon March". 45kms in 13 hours with 55lb in your bergen over the Brecon Beacons.
Their motto is ARMA PACIS FULCRA.(Arms are the Balance of Peace.)
For any further information on joining please contact
The Recruiting Officer Finsbury Barracks City Road London EC1Y 2BQ.