RESERVIST soldiers from Wiltshire celebrated becoming part of the UK’s new Armour Reinforcement Regiment with a parade in front of the Earl of Wessex.
The enhanced role for The Royal Wessex Yeomanry, with its headquarters in Bovington, Dorset, will see the regiment provide fully trained Challenger Two main battle tank crews as part of the British Army’s 3rd (United Kingdom) Division, based in Bulford. Previously the RWxY was under the command of 43 (Wessex) Brigade.
The occasion was marked by a parade at Bovington Camp in front of Prince Edward – the Regimental Honorary Royal Colonel - and hundreds of family and friends. The band of The Blues and Royals accompanied the event.
Lieutenant Colonel Chris MacGregor commanding officer RWxY said: “They are dedicated young men and women who want to do something a little less ordinary and you see that exude as we march on to parade.”
The changes are part of the Army 2020 restructuring and will see the reservists take on the new role in support of the high-readiness reaction force based on Salisbury Plain.
The RWxY will be paired with Regular Army units The Queen’s Royal Hussars, The King’s Royal Hussars and The Royal Tank Regiment based in Tidworth.
The Royal Wessex Yeomanry regiment was also presented with a new unifying cap badge bearing the Wessex Dragon.
They will also now wear the red and black triangle insignia of the 3rd Division on their left sleeves.
Major Richard Morgan, 35, officer commanding B Sqn RWxY based in Old Sarum, said: “It is a very symbolic day, not only are we adopting one cap badge across the regiment giving a more cohesive identity but we are also re-subordinating from 43 Wessex Brigade to the 3rd (United Kingdom) Division, it puts us right at the of centre of the army’s war fighting capability.”
Staff Sergeant Geoff Timmins,pictured left, 42, from Bulford, also from B Sqn RWxY said: “It has brought the regiment together; it will make us look that much more professional. We can stand alongside the regular army and look the part as well as do the job.”
It was also an important day for a Dorset ram named Ramrod D’Arcy the third. Ramrod, mascot of A (Dorset Yeomanry) Squadron in Bovington, was promoted from squadron mascot to regimental mascot and was presented to His Royal Highness at the end of the parade.