Swift and Bold

Outside of Buckingham Palace this week stood A coy, 5 Rifles, mounting the Queens Guard, a role they assumed on public order duties from F Company Scots Guards, relieving the latter for training. Unlike Guards units, the Rifles do not carry bayonets on their SA80s, nor wear white gloves as they are “working infantry.”

Formed in 2007, the current unit is a mechanized infantry battalion assigned to 20 Armoured Brigade, within 3rd (UK) Division -“The Iron Division.” The Rifles regiment itself was formed from the historic Devonshire and Dorset Regiment, Royal Green Jackets, Light Infantry Regiment, Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Light Infantry, and the Rifle Volunteers– regiments with honors from around the globe.

In an ode to these previous units, they have a faster than normal marching pace at 140 paces per minute, maintaining the tradition of the Rifles motto, “Swift and Bold.” Their current uniform is distinctive and includes elements of all of their historical units. The silver bugle of the LI, Croix de Guerre sleeve insignia of the D&D, “Egypt” back badge of the RGDW, and black buttons of the RGJ.

As noted the HQ London District: “Variety is proving the spice of life for 5 RIFLES who after their public role guarding the Queen, the Crown Jewels at the Tower, and the Royal Palaces, will deploy back to BATUS in Canada again in April. Then in winter, they will deploy on OP CABRIT in Estonia as part of the NATO Enhanced Forward Presence.”

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