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4th Battalion The Parachute Regiment

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4 PARA is the Territorial Army battalion of the Parachute Regiment and consists of volunteers who have civilian employment. However, they are fully-trained parachute soldiers who dedicate a significant amount of their free time to the Army.

The unit is based at the following locations:

With this national footprint, 4 PARA recruits throughout the UK.

4 PARA supports and assists the regular battalions in their operational and peacetime roles, through the provision of both fully formed company groups and individual soldiers.

In 2003 soldiers from 4 PARA served with 1 PARA and 3 PARA during the invasion of Iraq. More recently they have been in Iraq as part of the defence force around the UK logistics base.

The Battalion trains routinely at weekends, however, there are opportunities for operational service for those who seek it.

Recruit Training

Becoming a member of the Parachute Regiment takes determination, courage and a will to succeed. We are looking for individuals who, in their free time, will go that extra mile and not give up when the going gets tough.

There is emphasis on building your physical fitness, which the Parachute Regiment prides itself on. The training is progressive and at the end you will find yourself fitter and more confident than ever before. At the end of Phase 1 Training you will be proficient in weapon handling, living in the field and basic tactics.

The recruit training is conducted over a total number of 8 weekends (every other weekend) and one evening per week.

Once you have mastered the basic skills and fitness required you will be sent to Catterick camp in Yorkshire for an intensive two week Combat Infantry Course conducted by the regular army, that will teach you how to become an infantry soldier by honing the skills taught in Phase 1.

During the course you will be constantly evaluated to see if you have got what it takes to become a Parachute Regiment soldier. This will culminate in the famous Pre Parachute Selection P Company tests.

For further info check out 4 PARA FAQS.

P Company

Pegasus Company is a series of test events that all soldiers, whether regular or TA, who want to join the Airborne Forces must pass. They are designed to test your physical stamina and mental aptitude under pressure prior to carrying out parachute training. They include both individual and team events.

P Company events:

  • Assault course
  • Steeplechase
  • Trainasium (Aerial Walkway)
  • Log race
  • Stretcher Race
  • Ten Miler
  • Milling

You don't need to be an Olympic athlete to pass. The tests are about giving your all; they are about motivation, self confidence and teamwork. If you meet the required standard and pass the course you will be presented with your red beret.

Parachute Training

As soon as you have passed P Company and earned your red beret, the priority is to get you parachute trained. At your convenience, you will attend the 2 week parachute course, conducted by the RAF at Brize Norton in Oxfordshire.

You will learn how to prepare your personal equipment, control your static line parachute and deal with any emergencies. The standard aircraft used is the C-130 Hercules which travels at 800 feet (600 in battle conditions ) and approximately 120mph (just about stall speed for the Herc) when dropping paratroopers. With the drop height being 800 feet, you'll need to have your wits about you.

The training is progressive and once you have completed the 9 jumps required with and without your personal equipment you will be awarded your parachute wings.

Battalion jumps will often involve night or dawn descents onto an exercise with up to 90 paratroopers in your aircraft jumping at the same time. All your personal equipment will be packed into a container that is attached to you when you jump, and can weigh as much as 118 lbs.

Specialist Training

Once you join the Battalion you will have the opportunity to progress with a specialist trade.

An Airborne unit must have the ability to operate on its own when parachuting into enemy territory. The specialist training at battalion level will equip you with a wide range of skills that provide the Parachute Regiment with its renowned versatility. This is reflected in the regimental motto Utrinque Paratus - Ready For Anything. You will find that there is always something new and interesting to learn.

Here is a short list of some of the extra roles that could be open to you.


4 PARA was originally formed ad Keddeston Park, Derby, in 1942. It was recruited from all parts of the UK and all branches of the Army. During the war the Battalion saw distinguished service in Algeria with 1st Airborne Division, in Tunisia with the US 5th Army, and in 1943 and 1944 in Italy, notably at Taranto and Monte Cassino. In October 1944 it famously seized Megara Airfield near Athens, by parachute assault. The Battalion saw the war out in Italy, serving with the 2nd New Zealand Division.

In October 1945 the Battalion went to Palestine with the 2nd Parachute Brigade, as part of the 6th Airborne Division. It returned to the UK in 1947 and was re-designed 4th Wessex Battalion the Parachute Regiment. On merger with the Welsh Battalion it became the 4th/6th Battalion, and finally in June 1948 it was re-designated the 1st Battalion.

4 PARA re-emerged in 1967 as a Territorial Army Battalion on the merger of the 12th/13th Yorkshire and Lancashire Battalion with the 17th (9DLI) Battalion the Parachute Regiment. In 1982 4 PARA became part of 44 Infantry Brigade.

Further mergers as a result of recent defence reviews shaped the current Battalion. 15th (Scottish Volunteer) Battalion merged to become 15 Coy 4 PARA in 1993 and 10th (City of London) Battalion merged to become 10 Coy 4 PARA in 1999.

All the battalions subsumed into the current Battalion had a distinguished record. 12 and 13 PARA dropped at Normandy and took part in the action at Breville, and later in the Rhine crossing. 10 PARA fought virtually to annihilation at Arnhem, where Captain Leonard Queripel was awarded a posthumous VC. 15 PARA was raised in 1947, mostly of Airborne Veterans, by Brigadier Alastair Pearson, the most decorated officer of the war. 17 PARA which had existed during the war, was raised in 1947 as a TA battalion from the 9th Battalion the Durham Light Infantry.

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