Royal Regiment Of Scotland Turns 15

It was formed in March 2006, when Scotland's historic infantry regiments were amalgamated.

The Royal Regiment of Scotland is celebrating its 15th anniversary.

The only Scottish line infantry unit of the British Army was formed in March 2006, when Scotland's historic infantry regiments were amalgamated.

How has the regiment developed over the last decade-and-a-half?

It has played a big role in the British Army since its creation and is made up of seven battalions.

1 SCOTS – This will form part of the new Special Operations Brigade.

2 SCOTS – A light infantry battalion.

3 SCOTS – The light mechanised unit.

4 SCOTS – Part of the Strike Experimentation Group.

5 SCOTS – Primarily used for the regiment's ceremonial duties and guards of honour.

6 SCOTS & 7 SCOTS – Reserve units.

Soldiers from 5 SCOTS participate in Virtual Reality training (Picture: MOD).
A soldier from 5 SCOTS participates in virtual reality training (Picture: MOD).

Major Ben Davey, 4 SCOTS, told Forces News: "Makes me feel a little bit old, I'm not going to lie. I joined the Army at 19 and suddenly, to look back, 15 years has gone back really quickly".

During the last decade-and-a-half, the regiment has deployed on operations to conflict zones – most notably in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Now, as infantry soldiers, they are lending their expertise to these countries to help them secure their borders against regional aggressors.

Colour Sergeant Jamie Scott, 2 SCOTS, said: "The motivation and the confidence that the guys have to go out and... speak to people of different nations and different languages and still manage to pass on those skills is quite hard to do.

"The Jocks carry that confidence across and manage to do it rather well."

They have also assisted on the home front – including in the fight against the coronavirus.

Major Davey continued: "There's a sense of pride in everything we do, I think.

"While I wouldn't want to speak for everyone, I think most people join the Army to do better, to help, whether that's obviously traditionally on overseas operations, humanitarian aid, and just being ready to make the call.

"I've never seen a soldier not want to help, be it COVID support, be it operations, anything at all really."

Tradition is an important part of life in the Royal Regiment of Scotland. It boasts its own band and the Pipes and Drums are a huge part of the unit's identity.

Corporal Cruachan IV.
Shetland pony Corporal Cruachan IV.

There is also the regimental mascot, Corporal Cruachan IV, possibly the most famous member of them all.

Major Davey explains: "The Royal Regiment of Scotland has always had a fine balance between having a foot in the past and the link to the antecedent battalions and regiments and looking forward.

"And you see that with the capabilities we have, be it, you know, mechanised infantry, light role, specialised infantry or even light mec [mechanised infantry].

"We kind of do it all from an infantry standpoint and that flexibility gives us a range of options and gives us an opportunity to just demonstrate our expertise," he added.

The birth of the Royal Regiment of Scotland was not straightforward, with many opposed to the merger in 2006 over concerns the constituent infantry regiments would lose their proud heritage.

However, 15 years on, many feel the regiment has formed an identity of its own.

This year, the regiment will not be able to mark its anniversary in the same way it did for its 10th birthday, but it still celebrates how far it has come in a decade-and-a-half of service.