General faces mutiny at loss of regiments name

From the Telegraph

The colonel of the Light Infantry is facing a vote of no confidence by the regimental association. It is furious at not being consulted about the alleged "surrender" of the unit's famous name in merger negotiations.

Lt Gen Robin Brims is accused of confining the Light Infantry "to the dustbin of obsolescence" by allowing it to be amalgamated into The Rifles under the Army's plans to create super regiments.

Lt Gen Robin Brims's position has become "untenable"
The Light Infantry Association said yesterday that the general, who won the Distinquished Service Order while leading 1st Armoured Division into Iraq in 2003, had failed to demonstrate "loyalty or leadership" by presenting the new name as a fait accompli.

Centuries of history will be lost when the Light Infantry is merged with the Royal Green Jackets and two other regiments to form The Rifles in 2007 under the Army's future infantry structure.

The association is asking for a compromise by calling the super regiment the Light Infantry Rifles.

But first it wants to force Lt Gen Brims's resignation by having all 54 regimental association branches pass a unanimous vote of no confidence in his stewardship as colonel of the regiment, an honorary post with several important duties.

The Telford branch was the first to vote overwhelmingly in favour of the motion and the 53 others are expected to follow suit shortly.

In a letter passed to the regiment's headquarters in Winchester, the association said it was "inconceivable to us that a regimental colonel would initiate, seek and support that regiment's total eradication for all time".

"By his actions", Lt Gen Brims's position had become "untenable". "We understand that never before in British military history have rank and file veterans taken such action," it added.

"As Light Infantrymen we deeply regret that such a vote was both necessary and we have no pleasure in calling for Lt Gen Brims's resignation"

The association, which helps veterans, looks after families while soldiers are on operations and raises money to support widows and the injured, accused a small group of senior officers of making the decision in secret.

The association wanted a regimental colonel who would have "the strength of character" to fight for his regiment's "very existence".

Former Sgt Major Maurice Halliday, chairman of the Telford branch, said the regiment had been "wiped off the map" but following the vote they hoped "to get a colonel of the regiment who will stand up for us".

Lt Gen Brims, who was appointed Commander of the Field Army after serving as deputy commander of the coalition forces in Baghdad, told the regiment that the changes were "both exciting and sad" but had been made after "careful and wide-ranging" discussions.

All regiments had "given up elements we hold dear". In a statement to The Daily Telegraph he added: "I admire enormously the fierce pride that members of the Light Infantry Association have in their regiment. But given that we are now going to move people as individuals rather than as formed bodies we must do it so that like-minded, like-spirited people move within a single identity.

"That is why the founding regiments have, after wide consultation, decided to form a wholly new regiment. The needs and desires of those currently serving must be pre-eminent.'

An MoD source said: "There will always be some discontents whenever there is change.

"But, after much thought, the serving members of the LI volunteered for this, because they believe it to be in their best interests."
Countryman said:
An MoD source said: "There will always be some discontents whenever there is change."
Some discontents? 'kinell, that's a bit of an understatement, if the entire regimental association is expected to pass a vote of no confidence in their Honorary Colonel... :roll:

If all 54 branches did indeed pass a note of no confidence it would be interesting. No matter how inevitable the decision you would have thought he would have made an effort to deliver it to the stakeholders. I don't know about the LI but in my Regt the Assn Branches help with recruiting on one hand and in helping post service problems for soldiers on the other. They are important and should not be ignored.
Shame - he is a lovely chap.
I feel sorry for the bloke. He's had to toe the line and his own Regimental association is cnuting him off!. I would be gutted if my regiment was sold down the river like this. They should have talked to the blokes, serving and ex-serving, you cant just change the name of a regiment like you can change the name of a pub!
Are we going to see the entire Scottish Regiments following suit? they are going to also lose hundreds of years of their History...
The Queens Own Highlanders amalgamated in 1994 with the Gordons and the title of the new regiment then was 1 Highlanders (Seaforth, Gordons & Camerons). No mention anywhere about the Queens Own Highlanders. We then struggled for many years with the same debate. Gentlemen, when a decision is made by the Government it happens no matter how much we bleat. I say this from bitter experience even after going to HRH Duke of Edinburgh et al. Have a look at the Queens Own Highlanders Site at

If yopu need any info on what we did to save the name contact the Branch Chairman via the web site.




Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
"But, after much thought, the serving members of the LI volunteered for this, because they believe it to be in their best interests."

I can't help feeling that this statement needs challenging. In what way did they 'volunteer' for this, and how exactly is it in thier interest. If he means that they've agread to go along with it - well waht else would he expected them to do? They are in the Army - they do waht they are told to do - to say that that is volunteering is stretching it a bit!
I hate to say it but the old and bold aren't the Regiment, they used to be, but not any more. Most of the serving members across the whole of the Infantry, whilst holding the values of the regiment very close to their hearts, think that a move to IP is progressive and necessary to meet the expectations of today's soldiers. To create extensive opportunities to serve in AI, Mech, UK, Germany, Lt and all that it requires large Regiments. Small small is just not an act of war anymore. The LI, DDLI, RGBWLI and RGJ has seemed bold, forward thinking and canny in putting it together, as in the long run it will make the Rifles a very very attractive Regiment in which to serve. With 3000 short across the Infantry, the Rifles taking the lead will probably pay huge dividends. The Council of Colonels haven't been weak, they have been inspired.

It would be nice if just for once the old and bold supported the modern regiments in their moves to modernise, to keep the infantry a career of first choice, rather than creating unnecessary friction during what must be a difficult time.

Flak jacket on, helmet on. in the 'brace brace' position.
Hang on Chancellor, the men in these associations are not stupid and have witnessed amalgamations before. The concern appears to be one of perception that their Colonel did not try hard enough. If he did then he has failed to communicate that to them. If he did not try hard enough then he deserves all he gets. I also think it wrong to state that past soldiers have no part in the current Army. They deserve some respect.
As a 'past soldier', I agree with BirdieN. They deserve respect but I do no know how far they have a part to play in the current Army. It is not the Army they knew if their service ended as recently as ten years ago. The ethos has changed. The nature of service has changed. The individuals have vastly different ideas of what is what. I have a small circle of some ten former WOsI SIB who encompass a hell of a lot of tradition - none of whom is noticeably gaga but we all agree that the Army has changed out of all recognition. Yes - we would like to think we could be involved and would be willing to do so but there is a tremendous gulf (no pun intended) between us and the guys of today.
As well ask Kipling to write a verse or two on honour and integrity for TCB.
I wondered when this would start.

Consigning a regimental identity to history will never be comfortable for those who has served under it. But it happened to some fine regimentsin the sixties and it will happen again. And again until we either have a Corps of Infantry or an about face. Which do arrsers think is the more likely?

I cannot think that the RGJ associations are that enamoured with the prospect either but considering that The Rifles need a smooth transition with all shoulders to the wheel, this intervention just isn't helpful. The one factor which will be guaranteed to impede this inevitable change will be petulant outbursts from those who insist on looking backwards.

It might make them feel better but it will not help their comrades still in uniform.
Something similar was/is happening with the Colonel of the BW.
I believe he was asked to resign his position.
Brims is a nice guy and sharp. He is also a product of his generation, and like many of his ilk is coming to terms with todays less deferential society...which includes all these old giffers getting more and more hacked off with this govt and its lies.

Light Div has certainly made the best of the changes...though given they will gain a regular battalion, they had a strong hand. Where Gen Robin has cocked it is in not communicating the issue to the wider regimental communities. Interestingly, the Jackets had a similar complaint- lack of consultation.

The Chancellor's points appear logical,but are in fact, perfect sh1t. The infantry restructuring is deeply flawed and based on the thoroughly weak premise that Arms Plotting is neither affordable nor desireable. This has become accepted wisdom under a leadership which is increasingly influenced by a politicized civil service which worships at the holy grail of savings in search of 'efficiency'....attempting to implement best business practice in the public sector. They achieve quite the reverse, and 'quick wins' of combat arms reductions are swiftly put in play by an obedient and acquiescent military, while scandalous amounts of public money are wasted in the Equipment Programme.

Infantry battalions are extremely cheap, and provide superb value for money. They are also our vital ground in terms of deployable capability. There are legions of wastrels employed by MOD...but very few wear the Queen's uniform. The simple fact is the argument for Arms Plotting and regional battalion cohesion should have been re-articulated by sensible men.

We will will not profit from this. And we continue to surrender to ill judgement. The Infantry, and indeed the Army, is now simply too small for what we ask of it. Not helped by our oily fiscal friends, to whom I now yield the floor.
I'm pretty sure that there should have been more, or better, consultation with the Regimental Associations. The decision to go 1 "Large Large" Regiment (Rifles) rather than 2 "Small Large" (LI & RGJ) did seem to go from vaguely aspirational to a done deal with suspicious haste. While I still think that it is the right decision, within the context of FAS (and I agree with a lot of what Grownups_Beware says above - but FAS is going to happen, just like Option(s), SDR and New Chapter, body-blow after body-blow), there is no doubt that The Rifles is a very different proposition to the Small Large approach as far as the Associations are concerned. Small Large would have left the Jackets and LI counties unaffected, and the initial message to the LI Associations was "rejoice for you are getting your third battalion back". There is not doubt that it has been a hell of a sickener to go from that to "the Light Infantry name will no longer exist" without any warning.

Personally I detect the dead hand of Regimental HQ Light Infantry at the heart of this. Robbo is a fighting general, with a full time day job. He will have been advised by RHQ, and needed to be - his perspective as a serving member of the Regiment will be completely different to the county associations. Large Large straight off solves a lot of tedious problems, like having to incorporate the Back BadgeTM :twisted: into the existing LI uniform for a couple of years, then changing again, or the issue that with FAS demanding regional regiments the LI is beginning to look suspiciously like the Regiment of the West Country, so why should they be allowed to recruit in Yorkshire, Shrophire, Herefordshire and the North East? Or indeed, how will the new 1LI fully support 3 Cdo Bde without a large pool of manpower to draw from to ensure enough people are commando trained? None of this matters to the associations.

And there is a very valid arguement that losing the Light Infantry title is the wrong decision. All the merging Regiments bar one currently hold that title, and the RGJ / Rifle Regiment tradition was born out of the light infantry tradition: technically the Jackets are light infantry, the Light Infantry have never been Rifle troops.

But we all carry rifles now, colours are just an imbuggerance for the orderly officer and we all wear green(ish) jackets. The rifle tradition has been the future for a long time. Lets get with it. The associations are vital to the counties, and have been let down badly, but trying to publically humiliate Robin Brims is not the way forward.
I am confounded to know what is 'perfect sh1t' about the logic that increases the number of units available for tasking on the OCP. The argument for retaining AP just did not hold water anymore with the D Def RP boys, and by this I mean the re-rolling to and from AI. Light for Light or Mech for Light AP I have no problem with, but there can be no sane jockey, least of all a hallowed moderator, that cannot see the logic in the end of AI re-rolling with its trg burden, time unaval for OCP tasking etc etc.

From that flows everything else. And that is where we are today. I agree wholeheartedly that inf bns are vital ground, but the AP in terms of AI re-rolling wasn't, and if it was it would have been flawed. Rest assured the oily fiscal kings of the Centre wanted more than they got. As for arguments about waste in the EP, well that is well versed, and little crossover savings can be taken. The argument for AP was first voiced by Army RP under SFTA way back years ago and this in turn became FAS. Painful, but necessary. There was no way we could have stayed where we are. In the end the number of units aval for OCP tasking has increased, and that increases harmony, and individual harmony can be better managed through an IP system.

It will take a few years to get right, but it is a necessary, if unfamiliar step, requiring forward thinking leadership all the way down the chain of command. If this fails, it will be our fault, not the fault of our masters, because we will have chosen to let it fail. The decision has been taken and it is for us to see it through, for the sake of the soldiers we are privileged to command.

Double layer of kevlar armour on!
How is AP connected with the current Regiments? Why does a change from AP also have to include a disbandment of existing historic Regiments and reformation into new ones? The thinking is not lineal.

Latest Threads