The regimental system - past its sell-by date?

#1
As a very former REMF and CCW I'm setting myself up for a battering but it would seem the regimental system is increasingly a handicap rather than an asset to the British Army.

I've always understood the justification for the system to be twofold, a tangible benefit of promoting recruitemt and, more intangibly, as something that inculcated group cohesion, ethos, fighting spirit, etc and thus materially contributed to military effectiveness. What has been made public of regimental politicing in the lead up to Army 2020, certainly as far as infantry and RAC are concerned, would suggest that considerations of regiment/capbadge serve to distort any attempt at an objective review of the Army. Has it has it's day? Should it be full steam ahead to a Corps of Infantry and a RAC that is just that?
 
#2
Only by about half a century, unless someone can point me in the direction of a defence review in living memory that hasn't been influenced by Capbadge protectionism ^~
 
#3
I wouldn't like to see capbadges go, but what has always confused me is why we need to change them in the first place when they can be united under a 'Corps of Infantry'. The larger regiments such as the Rifles have seen the benefit of doing this on a smaller scale, allowing the correctly qualified and best people to move around to the appointments where they are need. You could still have the RRF, the PWRR, The Blackwatch etc but allowing people to move around more after a few years makes perfect sense to me. The ludicrous system in place at the moment, shown by the 2RRF debacle, shows that infantry names are more important than effectivness.
 
#4
Only by about half a century, unless someone can point me in the direction of a defence review in living memory that hasn't been influenced by Capbadge protectionism ^~
The textbook answer. But our own senior leadership have spectatcularly failed to grasp this particular nettle. The capbadges are being merged into meaninglessness anyway - it is time to do the decent thing and put them out of their misery.
 
#5
The textbook answer. But our own senior leadership have spectatcularly failed to grasp this particular nettle. The capbadges are being merged into meaningless anyway - it is time toi do the decent thing and put them out of their misery.
Being a Corps manI have seen first hand how quickly a man can change his loyalty from one Sqn or Regt to another to the extent of drinking down town one week with a bunch of lads to fighting them the next because he has moved units.

Pride and unit ethos is wonderful but in my experience not interchangeable. Capability requirements should always drive reviews unfortunately in the case of HM Forces it has never been the case
 
#6
Personnally I don't see what it is about the cap badge and the "local regiment" that get's so many up in arms.

My cap tally changes every 2 years (or more) as I move from unit to unit, my home town's associated ship (HMS Active) is currently in the service of the Pakistani Navy (under the name Shah Jahan) her ships bell and Battle Honours board are currently held at the local Sea Cadet Unit.

What for me stays the same is my trade badge- it's possible to tell what job a matelot does just by looking at their right arm, my cap badge changes upon promotion (a newbadge is worn on promotion to PO, CPO, WO 2 and then as a commisioned officer). I don't have any loyalties to the unit I serve, but the servie which I am in.
 
#8
Corp of infantry?
Thanks but no thanks.
I agree that a Corps of Infantry would be a step too far, but the Canadians seem to manage with three Regular capbadges i.e. The Royal Canadian Regiment (East Coast), The Royal 22e Regiment (Quebec) and the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (West Coast and Canadian Prairie). We could manage with six Regular capbadges, including preserving your own i.e. four geographical (England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland), two specific i.e. the Foot Guards and the Parachute Regiment. Why would we possibly need more?
 
#10
I agree that a Corps of Infantry would be a step too far, but the Canadians seem to manage with three Regular capbadges i.e. The Royal Canadian Regiment (East Coast), The Royal 22e Regiment (Quebec) and the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (West Coast and Canadian Prairie). We could manage with six Regular capbadges, including preserving your own i.e. four geographical (England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland), two specific i.e. the Foot Guards and the Parachute Regiment. Why would we possibly need more?
Why a step too far? Would 1, 2, 3, etc Inf Bn be much worse than the present mish-mash? By all means retain some historical links, but don't fetishise them.

Would recruiting be drastically affected? - noting that probably the mose identifable element of the infantry, the Jocks, seem unable to attract sufficient numbers. Would there be an effect on military capability of the infantry?
 
#11
A Corps of Infantry? My heart says no, but my head says yes.

Like many (former) Infantrymen I am bound in my heart to the capbadge I wore, but previous posters are getting it right that except in very few circumstances and Regiments it is going wrong. The Large Regiment organisations do however, show both sides of the coin. The Rifles have done things extremely well, embracing the new whilst retaining strong elements of their past; IMHO the Royal Regiment of Scotland have got it wrong in trying to ''over preserve' the tribalism that we Infantry soldiers tend to be guilty of.

Perhaps the OP is right and the time HAS come. Like most here I suspect that I, and many others, would, as we usually do, hate it to start with - but would accept it and crack on.
 
#12
From 1958 all regiments in the Brigade adopted a common cap badge consisting of the saltire of St. Andrew on which was superimposed a stag's head and a scroll inscribed Cuidigh 'n Righ. The various Territorial Battalions that were also part of the then five Highland Regiments were split off in 1967 and grouped together, eventually forming the 51st Highland Volunteers.
On July 1, 1968 the Highland Brigade was united with the Lowland Brigade, to form the Scottish Division.
Corp of infantry 'Venivi ad meum primordium sicut circulus'
 
#13
I think this is one of the most simplistic money saving ideas when you think of the standardised uniform and other shite.

The other points such as the ability to move qualified people into new positions quickly and discouraging special treatment would improve how the infantry was managed.

Ofcourse this would never happen though as the guards officers would have to be convinced they were still human and para's that they are mortal.
 
#14
Corp of infantry 'Venivi ad meum primordium sicut circulus'
"Venivi to my beginning as a circle"' according to Herr Google of the 21st Century.

Do it in plain English. My Latin teacher died of Leukemia when I was a second former. I was chuffed to ****, he was such an arrogant, bullying pain in the arse. I've tarred all Latin fans since with the same brush.

Prove me wrong.
 

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#15
"Venivi to my beginning as a circle"' according to Herr Google of the 21st Century.

Do it in plain English. My Latin teacher died of Leukemia when I was a second former. I was chuffed to ****, he was such an arrogant, bullying pain in the arse. I've tarred all Latin fans since with the same brush.

Prove me wrong.
Strange, my Google came up with this: Please translate from english to latin: I have come full circle.? - Yahoo! Answers which I find, as a non Latin speaker/reader, quite easy to understand.

I also understand while TS used the phrase.

Maybe your Google teacher also committed hari-kiri.
 
#17
The Large Regiment organisations do however, show both sides of the coin. The Rifles have done things extremely well, embracing the new whilst retaining strong elements of their past; IMHO the Royal Regiment of Scotland have got it wrong in trying to ''over preserve' the tribalism that we Infantry soldiers tend to be guilty of.
I would agree with this. Looking to the future we should just scrap the old names associated with the battalions & go with 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th battalion RRS. Since 2006 & with TELIC / HERRICK recruitment for RRS is centralised now & new blokes pretty much go where they're needed i.e. battalion next to deploy that needs a manpower boost so the battalions have been truly (inter) national since then.

Embrace "regional" / national regiments like the RIFLES, at least the RRS as a regiment would preserve a modicum of "Scottishness" & still have their ToS / hackle, trews / kilt & yearly functions like Ceilidhs or whatever, & its demographic would still largely consist of Jocks (despite what others regularly suggest :D ). In periods when we require more infantry because we'll have a centralised RHQ etc we can just create another national Jock battalion.
 
#18
I would agree with this. Looking to the future we should just scrap the old names associated with the battalions & go with 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th battalion RRS. Since 2006 & with TELIC / HERRICK recruitment for RRS is centralised now & new blokes pretty much go where they're needed i.e. battalion next to deploy that needs a manpower boost so the battalions have been truly (inter) national since then.

Embrace "regional" / national regiments like the RIFLES, at least the RRS as a regiment would preserve a modicum of "Scottishness" & still have their ToS / hackle, trews / kilt & yearly functions like Ceilidhs or whatever, & its demographic would still largely consist of Jocks (despite what others regularly suggest :D ). In periods when we require more infantry because we'll have a centralised RHQ etc we can just create another national Jock battalion.
As that rare thing on ARRSE, an actual serving soldier, what do you think is the influence on recruiting in Scotland of the visible Scottishness of RSS?
 
#19
Surely the question here is:

Would there be any more or less protectionism of one's own command if it were "No X Infantry Brigade" instead of "The Rifles", etc?


I suspect not.
 
#20
Those who are against getting rid of the cap badge should read an excellent book by Tom Renouf simply called "Black Watch". My father served in the Regiment during the North Africa campaign but I decided against following in his footsteps, instead serving for 27 years in a REMF Corps.

One comment made by someone was that the soldier could move about to different Regiments to fill a vacancy which is fine but when it comes to fighting, I'd rather have someone next to me who I know I can trust in a fight as opposed to Pte Fucknuckle who I know nothing about.

Continue with individual Regiments IMHO. That's if there's any left come 2020.
 
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