Need advice on Household Division!

Just done ADSC and passed with a good B grade, first choice is the Household Cavalry which I've said I'd like to join in the next available intake in June for which there are 10 places (providing I remain in the top 10 HCAV applicants until I get my place allocated in March).

However, I've recently been rethinking my choice, my second option is the Coldstream Guards. The reason I'm now reconsidering is because as I understand HCAV you do a 12 week riding course... followed by a 4 week kit ride... followed by 2 whole years of public duties straight off the bat. Obviously I wouldn't be applying for them if I didn't fancy the ceremonial stuff, but over 2 years including the training is a long time to be doing it! at least with the Coldstreamers, if I start tearing my hair out because it turns out I hate doing public duties then I know I've only got to stick it out till the end of the 6 months.

I'd also hate it if in the middle of those first 2 years doing ceremonial with the cav, lads in the armoured regiment got deployed to Mali, Syria, Falklands or whatever and I was stuck shoveling shit in Knightsbridge - Yes I want the ceremonial side, but first and foremost a combat soldier!

So in summary: Are those first 2 years really that bad? I've also been lead to believe that in the Household Cavalry you can stick with HCR indefinitely once those first 2 years are up but you will indeed occasionally do the 6 month public duty stints with the foot guards whether you like it or not. Is that right?

I would take this up with my recruiter but he's a Royal Anglian and I'd rather have advice from lads who are/were in the Household Division if possible, thanks!


War Hero
Book Reviewer
I managed 14 years without doing ceremonial but I had a charmed life and things were a little less structured then it was more about your own choice.
Most of the people I know who went ceremonial loved it. It is long hours and hard work. On the plus side the social life is second to non.
I understand your fears about being stuck there whilst everyone else waltzes off on operations. That is why I stayed armoured. I believe that the promotion ladder now pretty much requires you to do both. Both are great Regiments (I was a Blue) but the lines are very much blurred in the modern HCR between the two.
The Footguards are a fine institution in themselves and would be a great choice but the HCR will offer you pretty much unparalleled opportunities and variations.
Sorry I can't give you more details about the HCMR, someone will be along presently I'm sure. Good luck whatever you decide and ignore the a use that you will no doubt receive shortly on here.

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Take at look at some of the threads that I have started, quite alot of good answers for what your after. There is also a thread about Pros and Cons of HCMR, give that one a read too.
Thanks for the replies, I think I will stay HCav, if it turns out I don't get on well with the ceremonial stuff then I can just hammer through those first couple of years and get it over with rather than keep coming back, and I am quite keen on getting my hands on some scimitars to play with!
HCMR is very hard work, but it will give you some fo the best days of your life. Some folk like Jingo manage to stay armoured, but I think it getting harder now, you'd need to get some very heavily needs skill sets to stay there. The advantage of HCMR is that once you've been, then gone armoured, after a couple of years in both, they'll probably offer you promotion to go to back to HCMR. I've known a few guys who have acheived most of their ranks this way. Going on tour in HCR is good, great experiance, good bonding with the squadron etc, but there is a certain soemthing to trotting down Sloane street on a Saturday morning!

As Jingo says, the social life is good. When I left HCR for HCMR (On promotion) and was about to start riding school, one of the lads said to me that Knightsbridge could be hell on earth. You'll want to jack it all and run away at times, but he said that the moment you walk out of those camp gates to get wasted in anyone of the thousands of clubs and bars London has to offer - You forget about all your troubles and you'll love it! He was right!

Plus, apart from the possible odd posting (BATUS, Bovington) you'll always be in Windsor or London, Never some dump of a garrison 50 miles from the nearest town with normal people in it!

Good luck.
Whats the score with the horsey's do you get assigned one for all the time your on public duties or is it a scramble every morning tae get the best ones?
Every yard has up to 30 horses. Some are clean, some are an easy ride and others are maggots (Orion - aka George, 3 Tp Lg, as a prime example, looked every morning like has spent the night on the lash and got to bed at 3am). The Troop CoH (Sgt) will usually mark down who takes what horse on Queen's Lifeguard, this is based on the horses kit (better kit, better scores, Troop looks better than the others), the Horses nature (some are know to be banned from the boxes on Whitehall for attacking tourists)! and the cycle of horses getting out of the yard for differnet things, (QLG / Watering order). On escorts some of the horses will be officers chargers (the better ones) and others will be known for their "Ride". Some are comfy as hell (senior ranks will pinch them) others are like trying to drive a car cross country with a flat tyre (You Trooper no mark will get that)!

Some lads have Favourite horses and if your fav is one is a nightmare that no-one else will touch, you're sorted. Act like a cock in the yard and you'll end up with the horse that bite's, kicks and head butts. It might even have it's own "Hit list" for who the horse has managed to injure and how - usually on a points system, e.g. Slow kick - 5 points, hard kick 10 points, bite - 10 points and head butting 15 points, trampling you might earn it 30 points. Anyone on here who severed during the 90's and 00's will probably know of the "Sennelager hit list", a beast of an animal that will probably be shot on leaving the regiment due to it's violent nature.

If you join HCMR having riden before - these are not normal horses, they are squaddie horses and so behave like squaddies!
Yeah sod it, this was the job I've always wanted to do with the Army and even if the ceremonial stuff does get a bit tedious at least it's not stacking shelves and pretending to customers I know what the **** I'm talking about at B&Q. And as you say, nothing a good piss up can't cure.
Need advice on Household Division!

Hang on Mate, I'll pass you over to the Wife, that's her department!.

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