Lieutenant General Nick Carter, who is overseeing the reorganisation, last week told General Sir Peter Wall, the head of the Army and his fellow generals, that some of the most celebrated names would have to go. A Ministry of Defence spokesman confirmed a meeting to discuss Army 2020, the reorganisation plan, had taken place on Thursday.
He said: A review of the future structure of the Army is ongoing. The regiments will learn their fate as early as this week."
A reorganisation of the Army in 2004, which saw 19 regiments amalgamated or disbanded, led to a public outcry.
The Black Watch, the Green Howards, the Highlanders in Scotland and Duke of Wellingtons Regiment in northern England are all at risk.
The fall in recruitment could also affect The Scots Guards and the Coldstream Guards, the Armys oldest regiment
A senior Army Officer source said: Some of them are short of 100 men. The Coldstream Guards would probably be a cap badge too far but the undermanned units are the ones most at risk.
The Future Force 2020 review is being prepared by Lieutenant General Nick Carter and will be studied by the head of the Army, General Sir Peter Wall.
It is due to be unveiled in April to show how numbers can be cut from 100,000 to 82,000.
The review is understood to be focusing on infantry regiments with more than three battalions, leaving the Paras, The Rifles and the Mercians at risk. The Paras have one unit 1 Para that supports special forces. Another 3 Para spearheads a rapid reaction task force. The main option being studied is to keep 1 and 3 Para and axe 2 Para or trim it down as an infantry unit. As a unit, 2 Para has not jumped from an RAF aircraft for more than five years, leaving it without a defined role.
Exercises and training jumps have been cancelled because the RAFs Hercules C-130 fleet is in Afghanistan. The Ministry of Defence has bought C-17 transport planes but they do not have suitable jumping gear
Bite the bullet, throw a six and start again. Do away with all the old names and traditions and go back to numbers. Ther are regiments out there that are the "decendent" of so many amalgamations that it ceases to have meaning anymore.
Funnily enough, 2 Para does have a role - it is on a training cycle to take over ABTF from 3 Para, who will then have a short period to rest, retrain, and then take over from 2 Para, who will then have a short period ....etc.
Let's go wild and ignore the badges for a while. All Inf Bns to be scored according to recruiting, retention (ie return on training investment) and discipline (including CDT failures). If we wanted to be really keen, you could add in contribution to Tier 1 SF units as a second order measure of return in investment. This makes the assumption that all Bns are equal in terms of operational performance, and that all could be trained to fill all roles if required - no life savers for Paras, Guards or Jocks.
Start the cull from the bottom of the pecking order and stop when you have got rid of the required number. No ifs, buts, excuses or begging from Old Comrades Associations allowed.