|Royal Regiment of Scotland|
Cap Badge of the Royal Regiment of Scotland
|Active||28 March 2006-Present|
One reinforced company
|Part of||Scottish, Welsh and Irish Division|
|Motto(s)||"Nemo Me Impune Lacessit"|
"No One Provokes Me With Impunity"
|March||Quick: Scotland the Brave |
Slow: Royal Regiment of Scotland Slow March
|Mascot(s)||Cruachan IV (Shetland pony)|
|Colonel in Chief||The Queen|
|Major-General Bob Bruce CBE DSO|
|Tactical Recognition Flash|
From the Royal Scots and King's Own Scottish Borderers
The Royal Regiment of Scotland is the senior and only Scottish line infantry regiment of the British Army Infantry. It consists of four regular and two reserve battalions, plus an incremental company, each formerly an individual regiment (with the exception of the first battalion, which is an amalgamation of two regiments). However, each battalion maintains its former regimental pipes and drums to carry on the traditions of their antecedent regiments.
As part of restructuring in the British Army, the Royal Regiment of Scotland's creation was announced by the Secretary of State for Defence, Geoff Hoon in the House of Commons on 16 December 2004, after the merger of several regiments and the reduction in total regular infantry battalions from 40 to 36 was outlined in the defence white paper, Delivering Security in a Changing World, several months earlier.
The regiment consists of a total of seven battalions: one of these was formed by the amalgamation of the Royal Scots and King's Own Scottish Borderers, while the others are each formed from one of the remaining single-battalion regiments of the Scottish Division. Of all of the new regiments formed following the announcement of 16 December 2004, the Royal Regiment of Scotland is the only one where the former regimental titles have been prominently retained with the new numbered battalion designations as subtitles. There is however a common regimental cap badge, tactical recognition flash (TRF), tartan, stable belt and Glengarry headdress but distinctively coloured hackles are also worn by each separate battalion on the Tam o' Shanter headdress to maintain their individual identity and the pipes and drums of each battalion continue to wear the ceremonial uniforms and tartans of their former regiments.
Along with the Rifles, the Royal Regiment of Scotland is also one of only two line infantry regiments to maintain its own regular military band within the Corps of Army Music, which was formed through the amalgamation of the Highland band and Lowland band of the Scottish Division. In addition, there are two Territorial bands, the Highland Band and the Lowland Band of the Royal Regiment of Scotland, which are administered by the regiment's two Territorial battalions. The regiment also has its own Parachute Display Team, the Golden Lions (disbanded in 2011) and shinty team, the Scots Shinty Club.
In 1948, every regiment of line infantry was reduced to a single battalion. The subsequent process of reducing the overall number of infantry regiments in the Army through disbandment or amalgamation of the traditional county regiments that were formalised in the Childers Reforms of 1881 to form larger multi-battalion regiments, has continued to affect most of the British Army Infantry since the 1957 Defence White Paper outlined the first mergers. The creation of the Royal Regiment of Scotland encountered considerable opposition amongst former soldiers, conservatives and nationalist groups.
The new regiment is also primarily a kilted one and there are concerns that the much older Lowland units, which traditionally wore trews, will be effectively absorbed into a Highland tradition. However, the Ministry of Defence's case that change was necessary to enhance operational efficiency through economies of scale, improve and create more flexible conditions of service and to resolve chronic recruiting and retention problems amongst the eight single-battalion Scottish regiments appears to have been accepted by the majority of serving personnel, and indeed was recommended by the then Chief of the General Staff, Sir Mike Jackson. Jackson delegated the decision on how the reduction of battalions would be achieved to the Council of Scottish Colonels. The Council recommended that the Royal Scots should be amalgamated with the King's Own Scottish Borderers reflecting the former regiment's long term poor recruiting record and high reliance on Commonwealth recruits.
The status of the Black Watch was particularly controversial. When the confirmed plan to amalgamate the regiments was announced, 1st Battalion The Black Watch was deployed away from Basra at Camp Dogwood in a relatively dangerous region of Iraq. Hoon was accused by the SNP of "stabbing the soldiers in the back" and being motivated purely by political and administrative concerns, with little regard to the effect on morale. This controversy was further exacerbated in the minds of some by the fact that the Colonel of the Black Watch, Lieutenant-General Alistair Irwin, was a member of the Army Board at the time that the options to change the size and structure of the infantry by forming large regiments, including to amalgamate regiments of the Scottish Division into a single regiment, were being considered in the Ministry of Defence and final decisions taken.
The regiment was initially formed of six regular and two Territorial battalions on 28 March 2006. On 1 August 2006, the Royal Scots Battalion and King's Own Scottish Borderers Battalion were amalgamated into the 1st Battalion, Royal Scots Borderers, leaving the final regular roll of five regular battalions.
In 2012, as part of the Army 2020 reform package, it was announced that the 5th Battalion, while not losing its name, connection and history as the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, would be reduced to the status of an incremental company, similar to the three companies in the Guards Division, and be transferred to become a permanent public duties unit in Scotland.
All battalions in the Royal Regiment of Scotland, to preserve regional ties and former regimental identities, took the name of their former individual regiments. The order of battle is as follows:
The Museum of the Royal Scots (The Royal Regiment) and the Royal Regiment of Scotland is located in Edinburgh Castle. Operating as an independent museum, the exhibits include dioramas, uniforms, medals, weapons, drums, ceremonial regalia and silver. Displays focus on the regiment's activities since its founding up to contemporary Army life.
In August 2005, the new regimental cap badge was unveiled at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo. The design was the result of a collaborative effort, led by Brigadier Andrew Mackay, along with other serving and retired officers and Regimental Sergeant Majors, with advice from the Lord Lyon King of Arms. The new cap badge incorporates the Saltire of St Andrew and the Lion Rampant of the Royal Standard of Scotland, which are two prominent national symbols. The cap badge is surmounted by a crown, in this case the Crown of Scotland. The regiment's motto is Nemo Me Impune Lacessit (No One Assails Me With Impunity)--which is the motto of the Order of the Thistle, Scotland's highest order of chivalry, and was also the motto of four of the pre-existing Scottish regiments.
The official mascot is a Shetland pony named Cruachan. He was originally the regimental mascot of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders prior to the amalgamation. The first pony mascot was presented to the Argylls in 1929 by Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll and named after Ben Cruachan, a mountain in the Argylls' namesake lieutenancy, and the war cry of Clan Campbell, of whom the Duke of Argyll was chief. The current mascot is a Shetland pony Cruachan IV who was presented in late 2012.
Historic alliances are as follows:
|1880||1881 Childers Reforms||1921 Name changes||1957 Defence White Paper||1966 Defence White Paper||1990 Options for Change||2003 Delivering Security in a Changing World|
|1st (The Royal Scots) Regiment of Foot||The Royal Scots (Lothian Regiment)||The Royal Scots (The Royal Regiment)||The Royal Regiment of Scotland|
|25th (King's Own Borderers) Regiment of Foot||The King's Own Borderers|
renamed in 1887:
The King's Own Scottish Borderers
|21st (Royal Scots Fusiliers) Regiment of Foot||The Royal Scots Fusiliers||The Royal Highland Fusiliers (Princess Margaret's Own Glasgow and Ayrshire Regiment)|
|71st (Highland) (Light Infantry) Regiment of Foot||The Highland Light Infantry|
renamed in 1923:
The Highland Light Infantry (City of Glasgow Regiment)
|74th (Highlanders) Regiment of Foot|
|42nd (Royal Highland, The Black Watch) Regiment of Foot||The Black Watch (Royal Highlanders)|
|73rd (Perthshire) Regiment of Foot|
|72nd (Duke of Albany's Own Highlanders) Regiment of Foot||Seaforth Highlanders (Ross-shire Buffs)
renamed on 22 November 1881:
Seaforth Highlanders (Ross-shire Buffs, The Duke of Albany's)
|The Queen's Own Highlanders (Seaforth and Camerons)||The Highlanders (Seaforth, Gordons and Camerons)|
|78th (Highlanders) (Ross-shire Buffs) Regiment of Foot|
|79th (Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders) Regiment of Foot||The Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders|
|75th (Stirlingshire) Regiment of Foot||The Gordon Highlanders|
|92nd (Gordon Highlanders) Regiment of Foot|
|91st (Princess Louise's Argyllshire Highlanders) Regiment of Foot||Princess Louise's (Sutherland and Argyll Highlanders)|
renamed on 2 June 1882:
Princess Louise's (Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders)
|93rd (Sutherland Highlanders) Regiment of Foot|