The Micks get muscular
Formed on 1 April 1900 by order of Queen Victoria to commemorate the Irishmen who fought in the Second Boer War, the Irish Guards, commonly known as “The Micks,” have been a facet of the Guards for going on 119 years.
This month they came off of their normal peacetime gig– that of the largely ceremonial public order duty in their traditional bearskins– and are transitioning to an operational unit, ready for overseas service with the British Army’s 11 Brigade.
On 30 January they paraded with their regimental Drums and Pipes off Buckingham Forecourt for the final time for the next few years.
Currently spread all over the UK and overseas in small contingents undergoing workups, the Micks will remain nominally in London for at least the rest of the year before they are marked ready to deploy and then…who knows.
Hanging up their redcoats and bearskins, they are now transitioning to Foxhound armored fighting vehicles. The 1st Battalion Irish Guards is currently composed of three rifle companies, No.1, No.2, and No.4 Companies, along with Headquarters Company, and Support Company the latter of which has Recon, Anti-Tank, Sniper and Artillery Platoons.
Some of the Irish are on Pirbright ranges brushing up on small arms, others are in the Stanford Training Area doing small unit tactics.
A platoon is in Uganda assisting the Ugandan Peoples Defence Force in training, and still, others are creeping along the sewers and underground tunnels of the UK preparing for city fighting.
This includes exercises in the Williamson Tunnels in Liverpool – the first time troops have been in the tunnels since the 1950s.
While I am sure some are happy to get away from the daily interaction with tourists from around the globe, hopefully, they will not get a chance to add more honors to their colors.