Regimental System

Discussion in 'Infantry' started by FrankIG, May 23, 2012.

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  1. Yes

  2. No

  3. Not while I'm breathing!

  4. It's probably the way forward

  1. This is intended as a 'serious' (if we can manage that on ARRSE) topic for discussion. Considering the recent (comparatively) amalgamations, and the prospect of a severely downsized Army for a fairly considerable time, are we now in the right place to look hard at the death of the Regimental System?

    While it has served the British Army well for many centuries, the actions taken by successive Governments have skewed the system. The majority of the old regional links through county Regiments have gone, and we're already seeing 'super' Regiments (Rifles, RRS, et al). Is the day when we knew of Warwicks, D&D, KOYLI etc etc are already gone. Should we be looking at 'Corps of Infantry', numbered battalions, trickle posting, a single capbadge?

    Before anyone rips into me, I'm not proposing this as something that is either good or bad. I'm an ex Infantry Soldier, and as proud of my Regiment now as I was when I wore its uniform. However, with the financial constraints, manning problems and other difficulties the Army faces, I wonder has the time come to 'bite the bullet'.

    It's your opinions, feelings and thoughts I'm looking for, as I'm not totally certain that my own are fully formed either way. After all, who better to have an opinion than soldiers about the world they live and work in.

    I'll sit back now and await the incoming!!!
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Auld-Yin

    Auld-Yin LE Reviewer Book Reviewer Reviews Editor

    Yes it is. The powers that be are now moving towards and Corps of Infantry and a Corps of Tankies with a few support arms tacked on.
  3. It wont be long before it goes whole hog canadian style.
  4. ...which they have reversed...
  5. Arguably only one of those has really become a super-Regiment. The other has taken a half-hearted approach at best. Personally I see no real threat to the Regimental system as such. It just needs to continue to evolve and adapt, as indeed it has had to over the centuries. The difficulty is that within much of the Army there is a deeply embedded culture of resistance to change, even (and perhaps particularly) at the most senior levels.
    • Like Like x 3
  6. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    I cant answer the poll as Hobo Ken points out the regimental system isnt the same now as it was 30 years ago or 30 tears before that and I'm not talking about names either. The regional linking of Bns (Haldanes reforms) really died when the regimental depots closed although the Brigade depots helped even they went in the 1080's. Trickle feeding replacements or drafts to other regiments is nothing new even in so called peacetime and has been a practise since expeditionary forces were first mooted.
  7. FFS whatever you do don't let Stonker see this thread!

    Recruits today associate with the regiments they join. They will think of themselves as a Rifleman, or a Mercian as opposed to a LI, or RGJ.

    This is where the RRS have let themselves down in not embracing the future, and the new ethos, and realising that for many joining today, they are more interested in first of all thier muckers, and secondly almost the attitude of forging a new reputation for a new regiment, rather than clinging onto old ones.
  8. Correct. And within 10 years of amalgamation, pretty much nobody below the rank of Maj (offrs) or Sgt (ORs) will remember what it was like before. Or care. Change is not difficult if you embrace it, but very painful if you don't. Witness the SCOTS, and stand by to see whether the Cav regiments do any better when and if their time comes.
  9. to be fair most regiments of yesterday were amalgamations of older regiments anyhow - so it's a constantly evolving process - you just have to get on with it and embrace it which is what the RIFLES have done quite well.

    for example - ask a Rifleman what battalion he is in and he will say 2RIFLES etc, whereas ask a Jock what battalion he is in and he will tell you 'Black Watch' etc - so they need to either get over it or get out of it.

    i think the Regimental System is what sets the British Army apart from any other and enhances Esprit de Corps at all levels.

    the Regimental System we have means everyone believe 'they are good, but we are better'.

    you can only have pride in a name, not a number.

    long live the British Army Regimental System.

    Celer et Audax...
    • Like Like x 2
  10. old_fat_and_hairy

    old_fat_and_hairy LE Book Reviewer Reviews Editor

    There is much talk of esprit d'corps etc, and there is certainly an element of that. However, I believe that pride and - to use a hated term - ownership come from a familial association. My old regiment had serving fathers, brothers, sons and even one grandson. In fact, some Very Senior and Important officers have evolved from that grouping, and Ed Butler is just one.

    I recall a most experienced senior rank telling me, whilst slightly in his cups, that all the bollocks about fighting for Queen ( or in his case, King) and country was just that. Bollocks. He and his friends fought, killed and died for the regiment and their mates, and the deep feeling was that it was one and the same thing. He was inordinately proud of his regimental history, of the battles, the medals and the numerous VCs that were awarded. I felt the same pride in being a member of 3rd Greenjackets ( The Rifle Brigade) and even when we became 3rd Battalion, The Royal Greenjackets, the entire battalion, from Colonel down to newest recruit still referred to ourselves, collectively, as 'the RBs'.
    I cannot believe at all that anyone will feel the same about being a member of 3rd of the 7th of the 29th, as seems to be the case in American infantry units.

    **** durch. Just saying!
    • Like Like x 2
  11. Unification the worst thing that ever happened to the Canadian military...the only other force that attempted it (the Turks if memory serves) scrapped it after a couple of years.

    Perhaps you can amalgamate the support trades, but that's about it in my opinion.
  12. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    Well I long for the days of the 32nd of Foot!
  13. I just don't think that's true anymore. To most of the lads today, they care less about what the Pre-Pre-Pre amalgamation regiment did in Spain in 1813, and more about what the Bn did in Helmand in 2010.
  14. Didn't know that. I wondered how it would pan out.
  15. 1st UK Division !!! job Jobbed!