Exclusive: Ranger Regiment selection process before taking on Special Forces roles

The British Army is being stood up today, 1 December, as part of the service's 'Future Soldier' modernisation plan.

The new regiment will select soldiers from current battalions to perform tasks often previously reserved for UK Special Forces (UKSF), with former Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir Nick Carter, telling Forces News in April the regiment would be "open to anybody in the Armed Forces".

Now, as the Ranger Regiment take shape, Forces News can reveal new information about the selection process for the British Army's new Ranger Regiment.

Before it expands, four Specialised Infantry Battalions will 'seed' the new regiment: 1 SCOTS (which will become 1st Battalion, Ranger Regiment), 2 PWRR, 2 LANCS, and 4 RIFLES (4th Battalion, Ranger Regiment).

Alongside the Joint Counter Terrorist Training and Advisory Team, these will underpin a new Army Special Operations Brigade, separate from UKSF, to operate in high-threat areas.

Ranger Regiment Selection

Cadre Course – A two-week assessment that selected individuals from throughout the entire Army can tackle, judging their aptitude from the start.

Ranger Course – The second stage sends successful Cadre Course applicants on a six-week course. This could take place in a number of places, - including outside the UK.

An Army Ranger Regiment operator (Picture: MOD).
An Army Ranger Regiment operator (Picture: MOD).

Those who pass through the Ranger Course then join a Ranger battalion for eight months of training.

This includes fundamental and mission-specific skills training and special role training.

There is also operational partner training at this stage, which will prepare personnel for interaction with foreign UK partners (training, advising and, if necessary, accompanying them).

All personnel who are moving from the Army's Specialised Infantry Battalions to form the Ranger Regiment's 'all arms' battalions will have passed the Cadre Course and Ranger Course already.

Watch: Ranger Regiment – could the new Army unit's first mission be in East Africa?

Those who fail to pass the courses will return to their cap badges. For example: if someone from 1 SCOTS fails, they would join 2 SCOTS or 3 SCOTS.

The Ranger Regiment will be underpinned by emotional intelligence, linguistic skills (these will be taught but personnel must have the capability to learn) and an ability to work in small teams.

A diverse skill set will be required or taught (areas of specialism will vary, but examples could include medic or dog handling capabilities).

While UKSF units such as the SAS (Special Air Service) and the Navy's SBS (Special Boat Service) operate with total secrecy, a Ministry of Defence source told Forces News the Ranger Regiment will be discreet but not secret.

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