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The BRITISH ARMY is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom. As of 2017, the British Army
Army
comprises just over 80,000 trained regular (full-time) personnel and just over 26,500 trained reserve (part-time) personnel.

The modern British Army
Army
traces back to 1660, when it was known as the English Army; the term "British Army" was adopted in 1707 after the Acts of Union between England and Scotland. Although all members of the British Army
Army
are expected to swear (or affirm) allegiance to Elizabeth II
Elizabeth II
as their commander-in-chief, the Bill of Rights of 1689 requires parliamentary consent for the Crown to maintain a peacetime standing army . Therefore, Parliament approves the Army
Army
by passing an Armed Forces Act at least once every five years. The Army
Army
is administered by the Ministry of Defence and commanded by the Chief of the General Staff .

The British Army
Army
has seen action in major wars between the world's great powers , including the Seven Years\' War , the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
, the Crimean War and the First and Second World Wars . Britain's victories in these decisive wars allowed it to influence world events and establish itself as one of the world's leading military and economic powers. Since the end of the Cold War
Cold War
the British Army
Army
has deployed to a number of conflict zones, often as part of an expeditionary force , a coalition force or part of a United Nations peacekeeping operation.

CONTENTS

* 1 History

* 1.1 British Empire
British Empire
(1700–1914) * 1.2 World Wars (1914–1945)

* 1.3 Postcolonial era (1945–2000)

* 1.3.1 Persian Gulf War
Gulf War
* 1.3.2 Balkan conflicts * 1.3.3 The Troubles

* 1.4 Recent history (2000–present)

* 1.4.1 War in Afghanistan
Afghanistan
* 1.4.2 Iraq
Iraq
War * 1.4.3 UK Operations/ Military Aid to the Civil Authorities

* 2 Modern army

* 2.1 Personnel

* 2.2 Equipment

* 2.2.1 Infantry * 2.2.2 Armour * 2.2.3 Artillery * 2.2.4 Protected mobility * 2.2.5 Engineers, utility and signals * 2.2.6 Aviation

* 3 Current deployments

* 3.1 Low-intensity operations * 3.2 Permanent overseas postings

* 4 Structure

* 4.1 Operational structure

* 4.1.1 Special forces
Special forces
* 4.1.2 Local units

* 5 Recruitment

* 5.1 Oath of allegiance * 5.2 Training establishments

* 6 Flags and ensigns * 7 Ranks, specialisms and insignia * 8 Uniforms * 9 See also * 10 Notes * 11 References * 12 Bibliography * 13 External links

HISTORY

Main article: History of the British Army
Army
John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough , was one of the first generals in the British Army
Army
and fought in the War of the Spanish Succession.

In 1660 the English , Scottish and Irish monarchies were restored under Charles II . Charles favoured a new army under royal control, and began working on its establishment by August 1660. The first English Army
Army
regiments, including elements of the disbanded New Model Army
Army
, were formed between November 1660 and January 1661 and became a standing military force for Britain (financed by Parliament ). The Royal Scots and Irish Armies
Armies
were financed by the parliaments of Scotland and Ireland . Parliamentary control was established by the Bill of Rights 1689
Bill of Rights 1689
and Claim of Right Act 1689
Claim of Right Act 1689
, although the monarch continued to influence aspects of army administration until at least the end of the nineteenth century. By the time of the 1707 Acts of Union , many regiments of the English and Scottish armies were combined under one operational command and stationed in the Netherlands for the War of the Spanish Succession
War of the Spanish Succession
. Although all the regiments were now part of the new British military establishment, they remained under the old operational-command structure and retained much of the institutional ethos, customs and traditions of the standing armies created shortly after the restoration of the monarchy 47 years earlier. The order of seniority of the most-senior British Army
Army
line regiments is based on that of the English army. Although technically the Scots Royal Regiment of Foot was raised in 1633 and is the oldest Regiment
Regiment
of the Line, Scottish and Irish regiments were only allowed to take a rank in the English army on the date of their arrival in England (or the date when they were first placed on the English establishment). In 1694, a board of general officers was convened to decide the rank of English, Irish and Scots regiments serving in the Netherlands; the regiment which became known as the Scots Greys
Scots Greys
were designated the 4th Dragoons because there were three English regiments raised prior to 1688, when the Scots Greys
Scots Greys
were first placed in the English establishment. In 1713, when a new board of general officers was convened to decide the rank of several regiments, the seniority of the Scots Greys
Scots Greys
was reassessed and based on their June 1685 entry into England. At that time there was only one English regiment of dragoons, and the Scots Greys
Scots Greys
eventually received the British Army
Army
rank of 2nd Dragoons.

After William and Mary's accession to the throne England involved itself in the War of the Grand Alliance
War of the Grand Alliance
, primarily to prevent a French invasion restoring James II (Mary's father). After the 1707 union of England and Scotland and the 1801 creation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain
Kingdom of Great Britain
and Ireland , British continental policy was to contain expansion by competing powers such as France and Spain. Although Spain was the dominant global power during the previous two centuries and the chief threat to England's early transatlantic ambitions, its influence was now waning. The territorial ambitions of the French, however, led to the War of the Spanish Succession
War of the Spanish Succession
and the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
.

BRITISH EMPIRE (1700–1914)

Main articles: British Army
Army
during the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
and British Army
Army
during the Victorian Era

Although the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
is widely regarded as vital to the rise of the British Empire
British Empire
, the British Army
Army
played an important role in the formation of colonies, protectorates and dominions in the Americas, Africa, Asia, India and Australasia
Australasia
. British soldiers captured strategically-important territories, and the army was involved in wars to secure the empire's borders and support friendly governments. Among these actions were the Seven Years' War, the American Revolutionary War , the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
, the First and Second Opium Wars , the Boxer Rebellion
Boxer Rebellion
, the New Zealand Wars , the Sepoy Rebellion of 1857 , the first and second Boer Wars , the Fenian raids , the Irish War of Independence , interventions in Afghanistan
Afghanistan
(intended to maintain a buffer state between British India and the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
) and the Crimean War (to keep the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
at a safe distance by aiding Turkey). Like the English Army
Army
, the British Army
Army
fought the kingdoms of Spain, France (including the Empire of France) and the Netherlands for supremacy in North America and the West Indies
West Indies
. With native and provincial assistance, the army conquered New France
New France
in the North American theatre of the Seven Years\' War and suppressed a Native American uprising in Pontiac\'s War . The British Army
Army
was defeated in the American Revolutionary War, losing the Thirteen Colonies but retaining The Canadas and The Maritimes
The Maritimes
as British North America . The Duke of Wellington
Duke of Wellington
and Field Marshal von Blücher 's triumph over Napoleon Bonaparte
Napoleon Bonaparte
at the Battle of Waterloo
Battle of Waterloo

The British Army
Army
was heavily involved in the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
, participating in a number of campaigns in Europe (including continuous deployment in the Peninsular War ), the Caribbean
Caribbean
, North Africa and North America . The war between the British and the First French Empire of Napoleon Bonaparte
Napoleon Bonaparte
stretched around the world; at its peak in 1813, the regular army contained over 250,000 men. A coalition of Anglo-Dutch and Prussian armies under the Duke of Wellington
Duke of Wellington
and Field Marshal von Blücher finally defeated Napoleon at Waterloo in 1815.

The English were involved politically and militarily in Ireland since receiving the Lordship of Ireland from the pope in 1171. The campaign of English republican Protector Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell
involved uncompromising treatment of the Irish towns (most notably Drogheda
Drogheda
and Wexford
Wexford
) which supported the Royalists during the English Civil War . The English Army
Army
(and the subsequent British Army) remained in Ireland primarily to suppress Irish revolts and campaigns for independence. In addition to its conflict with Irish nationalists, it was faced with the prospect of battling Anglo-Irish and Ulster
Ulster
Scots in Ireland who were angered by unfavourable taxation of Irish produce imported into Britain. With other Irish groups, they raised a volunteer army and threatened to emulate the American colonists if their conditions were not met. Learning from their experience in America, the British government sought a political solution. The British Army
Army
fought Irish rebels—Protestant and Catholic—primarily in Ulster
Ulster
and Leinster (Wolfe Tone\'s United Irishmen ) in the 1798 rebellion . In the 1879 Battle of Rorke\'s Drift , a small British force repelled an attack by overwhelming Zulu forces; eleven Victoria Crosses were awarded for its defence.

In addition to battling the armies of other European empires (and its former colonies, the United States, in the War of 1812), the British Army
Army
fought the Chinese in the first and second Opium Wars and the Boxer Rebellion, Māori tribes in the first of the New Zealand Wars, Nawab Shiraj-ud-Daula's forces and British East India Company mutineers in the Sepoy Rebellion of 1857, the Boers in the first and second Boer Wars, Irish Fenians in Canada during the Fenian raids and Irish separatists in the Anglo-Irish War . The increasing demands of imperial expansion and the inadequacy and inefficiency of the underfunded British Army, Militia , Yeomanry
Yeomanry
and Volunteer Force after the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
led to the late-19th-century Cardwell and Childers Reforms , which gave the army its modern shape and redefined its regimental system . The 1907 Haldane Reforms created the Territorial Force as the army's volunteer reserve component, merging and reorganising the Volunteer Force, Militia and Yeomanry.

WORLD WARS (1914–1945)

Main articles: British Army
Army
during World War I
World War I
and British Army during the Second World War British World War I
World War I
Mark I tank
Mark I tank
; the guidance wheels behind the main body were later scrapped as unnecessary. Armoured vehicles of the era required considerable infantry and artillery support. (Photo by Ernest Brooks ) Infantrymen of the Middlesex Regiment
Middlesex Regiment
with horse-drawn Lewis gun carts returning from the trenches near Albert, France in September 1916. In the background is a line of supply lorries. Led by their piper, men of the 7th Battalion, Seaforth Highlanders (part of the 46th (Highland) Brigade
Brigade
), advance during Operation Epsom on 26 June 1944.

Great Britain has been challenged by other powers, primarily the German Empire
German Empire
and the Third Reich during the 20th century. A century earlier it vied with Napoleonic France for global pre-eminence, and Hannoverian Britain's natural allies were the kingdoms and principalities of northern Germany . By the middle of the 19th century, Britain and France were allies in preventing Russia's appropriation of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
(although the fear of French invasion led shortly afterwards to the creation of the Volunteer Force. By the first decade of the 20th century, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
was allied with France (by the Entente Cordiale ) and Russia (which had a secret agreement with France for mutual support in a war against the Prussian -led German Empire
German Empire
and the Austro-Hungarian Empire
Austro-Hungarian Empire
).

When the First World War broke out in August 1914 the British Army sent the British Expeditionary Force (BEF), consisting mainly of regular army troops, to France and Belgium . The fighting bogged down into static trench warfare for the remainder of the war. In 1915 the army created the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force to invade the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
via Gallipoli , an unsuccessful attempt to capture Constantinople
Constantinople
and secure a sea route to Russia .

World War I
World War I
was the most devastating in British military history , with nearly 800,000 men killed and over two million wounded. Early in the war, the BEF was virtually destroyed and was replaced first by volunteers and then a conscript force. Major battles included those at the Somme and Passchendaele . Advances in technology saw the advent of the tank (and the creation of the Royal Tank
Tank
Regiment
Regiment
) and advances in aircraft design (including the creation of the Royal Flying Corps
Corps
) which would be decisive in future battles. Trench warfare dominated Western Front strategy for most of the war, and the use of chemical weapons (disabling and poison gases) added to the devastation.

The Second World War broke out in September 1939 with the German Army 's invasion of Poland . British assurances to the Poles led the British Empire
British Empire
to declare war on Germany . As in the First World War, a relatively-small BEF was sent to France and hastily evacuated from Dunkirk as the German forces swept through the Low Countries and across France in May 1940.

After the US entered the war and the British Army
Army
recovered from its earlier defeats, it defeated the Germans and Italians at the Second Battle of El Alamein in North Africa in 1942–1943 and helped drive them from Africa. It then fought through Italy and, with the help of American, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, Indian and Free French forces, took part in the D-Day invasion of Normandy on 6 June 1944; nearly half the Allied soldiers were British. In the Far East , the British Army
Army
rallied against the Japanese in the Burma Campaign and regained the British Far Eastern colonial possessions.

POSTCOLONIAL ERA (1945–2000)

After the Second World War the British Army
Army
was significantly reduced in size, although National Service continued until 1960. This period saw decolonisation begin with the partition and independence of India and Pakistan, followed by the independence of British colonies in Africa and Asia. Although the British Army
Army
was a major participant in Korea in the early 1950s and Suez in 1956, during this period Britain's role in world events was reduced and the army was downsized. The British Army
Army
of the Rhine , consisting of I (BR) Corps
Corps
, remained in Germany as a bulwark against Soviet invasion. The Cold War continued, with significant technological advances in warfare, and the army saw the introduction of new weapons systems. Despite the decline of the British Empire, the army was engaged in Aden , Indonesia , Cyprus
Cyprus
, Kenya
Kenya
and Malaya . In 1982, the British Army
Army
and the Royal Marines
Royal Marines
helped liberate the Falkland Islands
Falkland Islands
during the conflict with Argentina after that country's invasion of the British territory.

In the three decades following 1969, the army was heavily deployed in Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
's Operation Banner to support the Royal Ulster Constabulary (later the Police Service of Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
) in their conflict with republican paramilitary groups. The locally recruited Ulster
Ulster
Defence Regiment
Regiment
was formed, becoming home-service battalions of the Royal Irish Regiment
Regiment
in 1992 before it was disbanded in 2006. Over 700 soldiers were killed during the Troubles . Following the 1994–1996 IRA ceasefires and since 1997, demilitarisation has been part of the peace process and the military presence has been reduced. On 25 June 2007 the 2nd Battalion
Battalion
of the Princess of Wales\'s Royal Regiment
Regiment
left the army complex in Bessbrook , County Armagh
County Armagh
, ending the longest operation in British Army
Army
history.

Persian Gulf War

Main articles: Gulf War
Gulf War
and Operation Granby Wrecked and abandoned vehicles along the Highway of Death

The British Army
Army
contributed 50,000 troops to the coalition which fought Iraq
Iraq
in the Persian Gulf War
Gulf War
, and British forces controlled Kuwait
Kuwait
after its liberation. Forty-seven British military personnel died during the war.

Balkan Conflicts

Main article: Yugoslav Wars
Yugoslav Wars

The army was deployed to Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia
in 1992. Initially part of the United Nations Protection Force , in 1995 its command was transferred to the Implementation Force (IFOR) and then to the Stabilisation Force in Bosnia and Herzegovina (SFOR); the commitment rose to over 10,000 troops. In 1999, British forces under SFOR command were sent to Kosovo and the contingent increased to 19,000 troops. Between early 1993 and June 2010, 72 British military personnel died during operations in the former Yugoslavian countries of Bosnia, Kosovo
Kosovo
and Macedonia.

The Troubles

Although there have been permanent garrisons in Northern Ireland throughout its history, the British Army
Army
was deployed as a peacekeeping force from 1969 to 2007 in Operation Banner . Initially, this was (in the wake of unionist attacks on nationalist communities in Derry
Derry
and Belfast
Belfast
) to prevent further loyalist attacks on Catholic communities; it developed into support of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) and its successor, the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) against the Provisional Irish Republican Army
Army
(PIRA). Under the 1998 Good Friday Agreement , there was a gradual reduction in the number of soldiers deployed. In 2005, after the PIRA declared a ceasefire, the British Army
Army
dismantled posts, withdrew many troops and restored troop levels to those of a peace-time garrison.

Operation Banner ended at midnight on 31 July 2007 after about 38 years of continuous deployment, the longest in British Army
Army
history. According to an internal document released in 2007, the British Army had failed to defeat the IRA but made it impossible for them to win by violence. Operation Helvetic replaced Operation Banner in 2007, maintaining fewer service personnel in a more-benign environment. From 1971 to 1997, a total of 763 British military personnel were killed during the Troubles. About 300 deaths during the conflict were attributed to the British Army, including paramilitary troops and civilians.

RECENT HISTORY (2000–PRESENT)

War In Afghanistan

Main article: War in Afghanistan
Afghanistan
(2001–2014) Royal Anglian Regiment
Regiment
in Helmand Province
Helmand Province

In November 2001, as part of Operation Enduring Freedom with the United States, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
invaded Afghanistan
Afghanistan
to topple the Taliban
Taliban
in Operation Herrick . The 3rd Division were deployed in Kabul
Kabul
to assist in the liberation of the capital and defeat Taliban forces in the mountains. In 2006 the British Army
Army
began concentrating on fighting Taliban
Taliban
forces and bringing security to Helmand Province
Helmand Province
, with around 9,500 British troops (including marines, airmen and sailors) deployed at its peak —the second-largest force after that of the US. In December 2012 Prime Minister David Cameron
David Cameron
announced that the combat mission would end in 2014, and troop numbers gradually fell as the Afghan National Army
Army
took over the brunt of the fighting. Between 2001 and 26 April 2014 a total of 453 British military personnel died in Afghan operations. Operation Herrick ended with the handover of Camp Bastion on 26 October 2014, but the British Army maintains a deployment in Afghanistan
Afghanistan
as part of Operation Toral .

Iraq
Iraq
War

Main articles: Iraq
Iraq
War and Operation Telic British soldiers from the 1st Battalion, Royal Regiment of Fusiliers
Royal Regiment of Fusiliers
battlegroup engage Iraqi positions with an 81mm mortar
81mm mortar
south of Basra
Basra
.

In 2003 the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
was a major contributor to the invasion of Iraq
Iraq
, sending a force of over 46,000 military personnel. The British Army
Army
controlled southern Iraq, maintained a peace-keeping presence in Basra
Basra
. All British troops were withdrawn from Iraq
Iraq
by 30 April 2009, after the Iraqi government refused to extend their mandate. One hundred seventy-nine British military personnel died in Iraqi operations. The British Armed Forces
British Armed Forces
returned to Iraq
Iraq
in 2014 as part of Operation Shader to counter the Islamic State (ISIL).

UK Operations/Military Aid To The Civil Authorities

Main articles: Operation Temperer and Military Aid to the Civil Authorities

The British Army
Army
maintains a standing liability to support the civil authorities in certain circumstances, usually in either niche capabilities (e.g. explosive ordance removal) or in general support of the civil authorities when their capacity is exceeded. In recent years this has been seen as Army
Army
personnel supporting the civil authorities in the face of the 2001 United Kingdom
United Kingdom
foot-and-mouth outbreak , the 2002 Firefighters strike, widespread flooding in 2005, 2007, 2009, 2013 and 2014 and most recently supporting the security services on Operation Temperer following the 2017 Manchester Arena bombing .

MODERN ARMY

PERSONNEL

The Blues and Royals Trooping the Colour
Trooping the Colour
in 2007

The British Army
Army
has been a volunteer force since national service ended during the 1960s. Since the creation of the part-time, reserve Territorial Force in 1908 (renamed the Army
Army
Reserve in 2014) the full-time British Army
Army
has been known as the Regular Army. The size and structure of the army are evolving, and the Ministry of Defence publishes monthly personnel reports. In December 2016 there were 83,360 trained Regulars, 2,850 Gurkhas and 26,300 trained Army Reservists .

Army
Army
2020 followed the Strategic Defence and Security Review 2010 (SDSR). According to the Ministry of Defence, Army
Army
2020 will "ensure that the British Army
Army
remains the most capable Army
Army
in its class" and enable "it to better meet the security challenges of the 2020s and beyond". The SDSR initially outlined a reduction of the regular British Army
Army
by 7,000, to a trained strength of 95,000, by 2015. After the publication of "Future Reserves 2020", another independent review of army structure, it was announced that the Regular Army would be reduced to a trained strength of 82,000 and the Army
Army
Reserve would be increased to a trained strength of about 30,000; this would bring the ratio of regular to part-time personnel in line with the US and Canada and integrate the Army
Army
Reserve into the Regular Army.

In addition to the regular and reserve armies, all former Regular Army
Army
personnel (known as the Regular Reserve ) may be recalled for duty as needed. The Regular Reserve has two categories: A and D. Category
Category
A is mandatory, with the length of time in the category dependent on time spent in Regular Army
Army
service. Category
Category
D is voluntary, and consists of personnel who are no longer required to serve in category A. Regular Reserves in both categories serve under a fixed-term reserve contract and may report for training or service overseas and at home, similar to the Army
Army
Reserve. In 2007, there were 121,800 Regular Reserves, of which 33,760 served in categories A and D. Beginning in April 2013, the full Regular Reserve strength was no longer reported—only those serving in categories A and D (30,000 in 2015).

The table below illustrates British Army
Army
personnel figures from 1710 to 2010. The Army
Army
Reserve (Territorial Army) was established in 1908.

BRITISH ARMY STRENGTH

(1707–1800)

(1801–1921)

(1921– Present)

YEAR REGULAR ARMY

YEAR REGULAR ARMY

YEAR REGULAR ARMY ARMY RESERVE TOTAL

1710 70,000

1810 226,000

1921 Interwar period
Interwar period

1720 20,000

1820 114,000

1930 —

1730 20,000

1830 106,000

1945b 3,120,000 Included in Regular 3,120,000

1740 55,000

1840 130,000

1950 364,000 83,000 447,000

1750 27,000

1850 151,000

1960c 258,000 120,000 387,000

1760 87,000

1860 215,000

1970 176,000 80,000 256,000

1770 48,000

1870 185,000

1980 159,000 63,000 222,000

1780 79,000

1880 165,000

1990d 153,000 73,000 226,000

1790 84,000

1890 210,000

2000 110,000 45,000 155,000

1800 163,000

1900 275,000

2010 113,000 29,000 142,000

1918a 3,820,000

2015 83,360 29,603 112,990

NOTES: 1710–1900, 1918 ">

Challenger II main battle tank *

Warrior IFV *

AS-90 *

Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) *

AgustaWestland Apache
AgustaWestland Apache
*

L85A2

CURRENT DEPLOYMENTS

LOW-INTENSITY OPERATIONS

LOCATION DATE DETAILS

AFGHANISTAN 2015 Operation Toral : The army maintains a deployment of 500 personnel in support of NATO's Resolute Support Mission
Resolute Support Mission
.

IRAQ 2014 Operation Shader : The army has personnel stationed in Iraq
Iraq
as part of the ongoing military intervention against ISIL , primarily to assist in the training of Iraqi security forces . With other elements of the British Armed Forces
British Armed Forces
, there were 275 army personnel in 2016.

CYPRUS 1964 Operation Tosca : There were 275 troops deployed as part of the UNFICYP in 2016.

SIERRA LEONE 1999 International Military Assistance Training Team: The British Army were deployed to Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone
for Operation Palliser in 1999, under United Nations resolutions, to aid the government in quelling violent uprisings by militiamen. Troops remain in the region to provide military support and training to the Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone
government. British troops also provided support during the 2014 West African Ebola virus epidemic .

BALTIC STATES 2017 NATO Response Force : The British Army
Army
will deploy up to 800 troops in 2017 as part of its commitment to NATO to counter perceived Russian aggression against the Baltic states.

PERMANENT OVERSEAS POSTINGS

LOCATION DATE DETAILS

BELIZE 1949 British Army
Army
Training and Support Unit Belize
Belize
: British troops were based in Belize
Belize
from 1949 to 1994. Belize's neighbour, Guatemala
Guatemala
, claimed the territory and there were a number of border disputes. At the request of the Belize
Belize
government, British troops remained in Belize
Belize
after independence in 1981 as a defence force. Although the main training unit was meant to be mothballed after the Strategic Defence and Security Review , in 2015 it continued to be in use.

BERMUDA 1701 Royal Bermuda
Bermuda
Regiment
Regiment
: British troops have been based in Bermuda since 1701, and home defence is now provided by the Royal Bermuda Regiment
Regiment
.

BRUNEI 1962 British Forces Brunei : One battalion of the Royal Gurkha Rifles
Royal Gurkha Rifles
, British Garrison , Training Team Brunei
Brunei
(TTB) and 7 Flight AAC . A Gurkha battalion has been maintained in Brunei
Brunei
since the Brunei
Brunei
Revolt in 1962 at the request of Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin III . Training Team Brunei
Brunei
(TTB) is the Army's jungle-warfare school, and a small number of garrison troops support the battalion. 7 Flight AAC provides helicopter support to the Gurkha battalion and TTB.

CANADA 1972 British Army
Army
Training Unit Suffield : A training centre in Alberta prairie for the use of British Army
Army
and Canadian Forces under agreement with the government of Canada . British forces conduct regular, major armoured training exercises every year, with helicopter support provided by 29 (BATUS) Flight AAC .

CYPRUS 1960 Two resident infantry battalions, Royal Engineers
Royal Engineers
and Joint Service Signals Unit at Ayios Nikolaos as part of British Forces Cyprus . The UK retains two Sovereign Base Areas
Sovereign Base Areas
on Cyprus
Cyprus
after the rest of the island's independence, which are forward bases for deployments to the Middle East. Principal facilities are Alexander Barracks at Dhekelia and Salamanca Barracks at Episkopi.

FALKLAND ISLANDS 1982 Part of British Forces South Atlantic Islands : The British Army contribution consists of an infantry company group and an Engineer Squadron. Previously, a platoon-sized Royal Marines
Royal Marines
Naval Party was the military presence. After the war in 1982 between Argentina and the UK, the garrison was enlarged and bolstered with a base at RAF Mount Pleasant on East Falkland .

GERMANY 1945–2020 Part of British Forces Germany : Home of the 1st (UK) Armoured Division. British forces remained in Germany after the end of the Second World War. The forces were reduced considerably after the end of the Cold War
Cold War
and in October 2010, Prime Minister David Cameron announced large cuts in defence; all UK troops currently in Germany will leave by 2020.

GIBRALTAR 1704 Part of British Forces Gibraltar : A British Army
Army
garrison is provided by an indigenous regiment, the Royal Gibraltar
Gibraltar
Regiment
Regiment
.

KENYA 2010 British Army
Army
Training Unit Kenya
Kenya
: The army has a training centre in Kenya, under an agreement with the Kenyan government, which provides training facilities for three infantry battalions per year.

STRUCTURE

ARMS OF THE BRITISH ARMY

COMBAT ARMS

* Royal Armoured Corps * Infantry

* Guards Division * Scottish Division * Scottish, Welsh and Irish Division * King\'s Division * Queen\'s Division * Prince of Wales\' Division * Parachute Regiment
Regiment
* Royal Gurkha Rifles
Royal Gurkha Rifles
* The Rifles
The Rifles

* Special Air Service
Special Air Service
* Army
Army
Air Corps
Corps
* Special Reconnaissance Regiment

COMBAT SUPPORT ARMS

* Royal Artillery
Royal Artillery
* Royal Engineers
Royal Engineers
* Royal Corps of Signals
Royal Corps of Signals
* Intelligence Corps
Corps

COMBAT SERVICES

* Royal Army
Army
Chaplains\' Department * Royal Logistic Corps
Royal Logistic Corps
* Army
Army
Medical Services

* Royal Army
Army
Medical Corps
Corps
* Royal Army
Army
Dental Corps
Corps
* Royal Army
Army
Veterinary Corps
Corps
* Queen Alexandra\'s Royal Army
Army
Nursing Corps
Corps

* Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers
Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers
* Adjutant General\'s Corps
Corps

* Educational and Training Services Branch * Army
Army
Legal Services Branch * Provost Branch ( Royal Military Police * Military Provost Staff * Military Provost Guard Service
Military Provost Guard Service
)

* Small Arms School Corps * Royal Army
Army
Physical Training Corps
Corps
* General Service Corps * Corps
Corps
of Army
Army
Music

* v * t * e

Main article: Structure of the British Army
Army

British Army
Army
structure is broadly similar to that of the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
, with a single command (based in Andover, Hampshire ) known as " Army
Army
Headquarters ". Headquarters is responsible for providing forces at operational readiness for employment by the Permanent Joint Headquarters .

The command structure is hierarchical, with divisions and brigades controlling groups of units. Major units are regiment - or battalion -sized, and minor units are company -sized units (or platoons ). All units are Regular (full-time) or Army
Army
Reserve (part-time).

Naming conventions of units differ for historical reasons, creating some confusion; the term "battalion" in the infantry is synonymous with a cavalry, artillery or engineer regiment, and the infantry "company" is synonymous with an engineer or cavalry squadron and an artillery battery. The table below illustrates the different names for equivalent units.

INFANTRY CAVALRY ARTILLERY ENGINEERS

Regiment
Regiment
(two or more battalions grouped for administration) No equivalent No equivalent No equivalent

Battalion Regiment Regiment Regiment

Company Squadron Battery Squadron

Platoon Troop Troop Troop

Adding to the confusion is the tendency of units (again for historical reasons) to misuse titles for larger administrative structures. Although the Royal Artillery
Royal Artillery
consists of 13 Regular regiments (equivalent to infantry battalions), it calls itself the Royal Regiment
Regiment
of Artillery when referring to the units as a whole. The Royal Logistic Corps
Royal Logistic Corps
and Intelligence Corps
Corps
are not corps -sized, but consist of several battalions or regiments.

OPERATIONAL STRUCTURE

See also: Administrative structure of the field forces of the British Army
Army

The field forces of the British Army
Army
after the Army
Army
2020 reforms are organised in garrison as:

* Reaction forces: A modified 16 Air Assault Brigade
Brigade
and an armoured division ( 3rd Division (United Kingdom) of three armoured infantry brigades (1st, 12th and 20th Armoured Infantry Brigades). In 2020, this division will reorganise and consist of two armoured infantry brigades and two strike brigades. * Adaptive forces: The 1st Division , consisting of seven infantry brigades. In 2020, the adaptive force will consist of specialised infantry battalions who will train, advise, assist, mentor and accompany operations by indigenous forces. * Force Troops Command: Nine brigades of supporting units which supplement the reaction and adaptive forces.

Challenger 2, Warrior, AS90, MLRS
MLRS
and Stormer of the Yorkshire Battlegroup

For operational tasks the most common unit is the battlegroup , formed around a combat unit and supported by units (or sub-units) from other areas. An example of a battlegroup in the Reactive Force (e.g. the 1st Brigade) would be two companies of armoured infantry (e.g. from the 1st Battalion
Battalion
of the Mercian Regiment), one squadron of heavy armour (e.g. A Squadron of the Royal Tank
Tank
Regiment), a company of engineers (e.g. B Company of the 22nd Engineer Regiment), a battery of artillery (e.g. D Battery of the 1st Regiment
Regiment
of the Royal Horse Artillery) and smaller attachments from medical, logistic and intelligence units. Typically organised and commanded by a battlegroup headquarters and named after the unit which provided the most combat units, in this example it would be the 1 Mercian Battlegroup). This creates a self-sustaining mixed formation of armour, infantry, artillery, engineers and support units, typically 600 to 1,000 soldiers commanded by a lieutenant colonel.

The table below demonstrates how three or four battlegroups make up a brigade and three or four brigades make up a division. A division is currently the largest unit the British Army
Army
is capable of deploying independently, although it could be grouped with three or four other divisions from a multi-national coalition to form a corps .

TYPE OF UNIT DIVISION BRIGADE BATTLEGROUP BATTALION , REGIMENT COMPANY , SQUADRON PLATOON , TROOP SECTION FIRE TEAM

CONTAINS 3 brigades 3–4 battalions (battlegroups) Combined arms unit 4–6 companies 3 platoons 3 sections 2 fire teams 4 individuals

PERSONNEL 10,000 5,000 700–1,000 720 120 30 8–10 4

COMMANDED BY Maj-Gen Brig Lt Col Lt Col Maj Capt , Lt or 2nd Lt Cpl LCpl

Special
Special
Forces

SAS cap badge

The British Army
Army
contributes two of the three special forces formations to the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
Special
Special
Forces directorate: the Special Air Service
Special Air Service
and Special
Special
Reconnaissance Regiments . The Special Air Service
Special Air Service
consists of one regular-army and two reserve regiments. The regular regiment, 22 SAS, has its headquarters and depot in Hereford
Hereford
and consists of five squadrons (A, B, D, G and Reserve) and a training wing. 22 SAS is supported by two reserve regiments: 21 SAS and 23 SAS—collectively, the Special
Special
Air Service (Reserve) (SAS )—under the command of the 1st Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Brigade
Brigade
.

The Special Reconnaissance Regiment (SRR), formed in 2005, performs close reconnaissance and special surveillance tasks. The Special Forces Support Group , under the operational control of the Director of Special
Special
Forces, provides operational manoeuvring support to the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
Special
Special
Forces.

Local Units

1939 Dominion
Dominion
and Colonial Regiments 1945 Order of Precedence of the British Army
Army

The British Army
Army
historically included many units from what are now separate Commonwealth realms. When the English Empire was established in North America, Bermuda, and the West Indies
West Indies
in the early Seventeenth Century there was no standing English Army, only the Militia, and this was extended to the colonies. Colonial Militias defended colonies single-handedly at first against Indigenous peoples and European competitors. Once the standing English Army, later the British Army, came into existence, the colonial Militias fought side-by-side with it in a number of wars, including the Seven Years War . Some of the colonial Militias rebelled during the American War of Independence . Militia fought alongside the regular British Army (and Native allies) in defending British North America from their former countrymen during the American War of 1812
War of 1812
. With the growth of the Empire around the world, Non-European (ie., non-white, except for officers) units were recruited in many colonies and protectorates , but most were deemed auxiliaries and not part of the British Army. The West India Regiments were an exception, as they were fully incorporated into the British Army, but were kept outside of Europe and non-whites were denied commissions. Locally-raised units in strategically-located colonies (including Bermuda, Gibraltar, Malta) and the Channel Islands were generally more fully integrated into the British Army
Army
as evident from their appearances in British Army
Army
Lists, unlike units such as King\'s African Rifles . The larger colonies (Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, et cet.) mostly achieved Commonwealth Dominion
Dominion
status before or after the First World War and were granted granted full legislative independence in 1931. While remaining within the British Empire, this placed their governments on a par with the British Government, and hence their military units comprised separate armies (e.g. the Australian Army
Army
), although Canada retained the term Militia for its military forces until the Second World War. From the 1940s, these Dominions and many colonies chose full independence, usually becoming Commonwealth realms (as member states of the Commonwealth are known today).

Units raised in self-governing and Crown colonies that are part of the British Realm remain under UK control. The UK retains responsibility for the defence of the fourteen remaining British Overseas Territories , of which four have locally raised regiments:

* Royal Bermuda
Bermuda
Regiment
Regiment
* Royal Gibraltar
Gibraltar
Regiment
Regiment
* Falkland Islands
Falkland Islands
Defence Force * Royal Montserrat Defence Force

*

Falkland Islands
Falkland Islands
Defence Force on parade in June 2013 *

Detachment of the Falkland Islands
Falkland Islands
Defence Force in ceremonial dress *

John Fitzgerald Kennedy , escorted by a Bermuda
Bermuda
Militia Artillery officer, inspects a Bermuda
Bermuda
Rifles guard in 1961, four years before the units amalgamated *

WO1 Herman Eve, RSM of the Royal Bermuda
Bermuda
Regiment
Regiment
in 1992 *

Royal Bermuda
Bermuda
Regiment
Regiment
on parade *

Changing of the guard, Royal Gibraltar
Gibraltar
Regiment
Regiment
(2012) *

Royal Gibraltar
Gibraltar
Regiment
Regiment
in London, April 2012

RECRUITMENT

Main article: Recruitment in the British Army
Army
One of the most recognisable recruiting posters of the British Army; from World War I , with Lord Kitchener

Although the army primarily recruits within the United Kingdom, it accepts applications from Commonwealth citizens and (occasionally) those from friendly nations who meet certain criteria. In 2016, it was decided to open all roles to women in 2018; women had not been permitted to join the Combat Arms . The British Army
Army
is an equal-opportunity employer (with some exceptions due to its medical standards), and does not discriminate based on race, religion or sexual orientation.

The minimum age is 16 (after the end of GCSEs ), although soldiers under 18 may not serve in operations. The maximum recruitment age was raised in January 2007 from 26 to 33 years, and the maximum age for Army
Army
Reserve soldiers is higher. A soldier would traditionally enlist for a term of 22 years, although recently there has been a shift towards 12-year terms with a 22-year option. A soldier is not normally permitted to leave until they have served for at least four years, and must give 12 months' notice.

OATH OF ALLEGIANCE

All soldiers must take an oath of allegiance upon joining the Army, a process known as attestation. Those who wish to swear by God use the following words:

I, , swear by Almighty God that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
Elizabeth II
, her heirs and successors and that I will as in duty bound honestly and faithfully defend Her Majesty, her heirs and successors in person, crown and dignity against all enemies and will observe and obey all orders of Her Majesty, her heirs and successors and of the generals and officers set over me.

Others replace the words "swear by Almighty God" with "solemnly, sincerely and truly declare and affirm".

TRAINING ESTABLISHMENTS

See also: List of British Army
Army
installations and Selection and Training in the British Army
Army
New College buildings at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst

Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
(RMAS) is the officer-training school, and Royal School of Artillery (RSA) trains the Royal Artillery . Royal School of Military Engineering (RSME) trains the Corps
Corps
of Royal Engineers
Royal Engineers
.

The Army
Army
Training Regiment, Grantham provides training for Army Reserve recruits, and the Army
Army
Training Regiment, Pirbright provides training for the Army
Army
Air Corps
Corps
, the Royal Artillery
Royal Artillery
, the Royal Corps
Corps
of Signals , the Royal Logistic Corps
Royal Logistic Corps
, the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers , the Adjutant General\'s Corps
Corps
, the Royal Army Medical Corps
Corps
and the Intelligence Corps
Corps
. The Army
Army
Training Regiment, Winchester trains the Royal Armoured Corps , the Army
Army
Air Corps
Corps
, the Royal Artillery
Royal Artillery
, the Royal Engineers
Royal Engineers
, the Royal Corps
Corps
of Signals , the Royal Logistic Corps
Royal Logistic Corps
, the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers , the Adjutant General\'s Corps
Corps
, the Royal Army Medical Corps
Corps
and the Intelligence Corps
Corps
.

There is an Infantry Training Centre at Catterick and an Infantry Battle School in Brecon. Other training centres are the Army Foundation College (Harrogate) and Army
Army
Training Units .

FLAGS AND ENSIGNS

The army's official flag is the 3:5 ratio Union Jack
Union Jack
, although a non-ceremonial flag flies at the Ministry of Defence building in Whitehall
Whitehall
and is often used at recruiting and military events and exhibitions. It represents the army on the Cenotaph at Whitehall
Whitehall
in London, the UK memorial to its war dead. Each British Army
Army
unit has a set of flags, known as the colours —normally a Regimental Colour and a Queen's Colour (the Union Jack).

*

Official Army
Army
flag *

Non-ceremonial army flag; "Army", in gold letters, sometimes appears below the badge. *

Ensign
Ensign
for general use by the Royal Logistic Corps
Royal Logistic Corps
*

Ensign
Ensign
flown by the Royal Logistic Corps
Royal Logistic Corps
from vessels commanded by commissioned officers *

Ensign
Ensign
of the Corps
Corps
of Royal Engineers
Royal Engineers

RANKS, SPECIALISMS AND INSIGNIA

Main article: British Army
Army
officer rank insignia Main article: British Army
Army
other ranks rank insignia Officers

NATO CODE OF-10 OF-9 OF-8 OF-7 OF-6 OF-5 OF-4 OF-3 OF-2 OF-1 OF(D) STUDENT OFFICER

UNITED KINGDOM (Edit )

NO EQUIVALENT

Field Marshal General Lieutenant-General Major-General Brigadier Colonel Lieutenant-Colonel Major Captain Lieutenant
Lieutenant
Second Lieutenant
Lieutenant
Officer Cadet

Abbreviation: FM Gen Lt Gen Maj Gen Brig Col Lt Col Maj Capt Lt 2Lt OCdt

1Rank in abeyance .

Enlisted

NATO CODE OR-9 OR-8 OR-7 OR-6 OR-5 OR-4 OR-3 OR-2 OR-1

United Kingdom (Edit )

NO EQUIVALENT

NO INSIGNIA -------------------------

Warrant Officer Class 1 Warrant Officer Class 2 Staff / Colour Sergeant
Colour Sergeant
Sergeant
Sergeant
Corporal
Corporal
Lance Corporal
Corporal
Private (or equivalent)

Abbreviation: Cdr WO1 WO2 S/Sgt / C/Sgt Sgt

Cpl / Bdr /L/Sgt L/Cpl / L/Bdr Pte

Each regiment and corps has distinctive insignia, such as a cap badge , beret , tactical recognition flash or stable belt . Many units also call soldiers of different ranks by different names; a NATO OR-1 (private) is called a guardsman in Guards regiments, a gunner in artillery units and a sapper in engineer units. These names do not affect a soldier's pay or role.

UNIFORMS

Further information: Uniforms of the British Army
Army

The British Army
Army
uniform has sixteen categories, ranging from ceremonial uniforms to combat dress to evening wear. No. 8 Dress, the day-to-day uniform, is known as "Personal Clothing System – Combat Uniform" (PCS-CU) and consists of a Multi-Terrain Pattern (MTP) windproof smock, a lightweight jacket and trousers with ancillary items such as thermals and waterproofs . The army has introduced tactical recognition flashes (TRFs); worn on the right arm of a combat uniform, the insignia denotes the wearer's regiment or corps.

Working headdress is typically a beret , whose colour indicates its wearer's type of regiment. Beret
Beret
colours are:

* Khaki— Foot Guards , Honourable Artillery Company , Princess of Wales\'s Royal Regiment
Regiment
, Royal Anglian Regiment * Light grey— Royal Scots Dragoon Guards , Queen Alexandra\'s Royal Army
Army
Nursing Corps
Corps
* Brown—King\'s Royal Hussars * Black—Royal Tank
Tank
Regiment
Regiment
* Dark (rifle ) green— The Rifles
The Rifles
, Royal Gurkha Rifles
Royal Gurkha Rifles
* Maroon —Parachute Regiment
Regiment
* Beige— Special Air Service
Special Air Service
* Sky blue— Army
Army
Air Corps
Corps
* Cypress green—Intelligence Corps
Corps
* Scarlet— Royal Military Police * Green—Adjutant General\'s Corps
Corps
* Navy blue—All other units

In addition to working dress, the army has a number of parade uniforms for ceremonial and non-ceremonial occasions. The most-commonly-seen uniforms are No.1 Dress (full ceremonial, seen at formal occasions such as at the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace) and No.2 Dress (Service Dress), a brown uniform worn for non-ceremonial parades.

SEE ALSO

* British Army
Army
portal

* Army
Army
Cadet Force (ACF) * British Army
Army
order of precedence * British Army
Army
uniform * British campaign medals * British military history * Future of the British Army
Army
( Army
Army
2020) * Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015 * List of British Army
Army
installations * Ministry of Defence * Modern equipment of the British Army
Army
* Redcoat * Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
* Royal Navy
Royal Navy
* Sexual orientation and military service * Army
Army
Reserve (United Kingdom) * United Kingdom
United Kingdom
Special
Special
Forces * Tommy Atkins

NOTES

* ^ English/Scottish parliamentary control 1689, British parliamentary control 1707.

* ^

* English Empire (1660–1707) * British Empire
British Empire
(1707–20th century)

* ^ Figure current as of 1 April 2017. Includes approx. 4000 soldiers who have completed basic Phase 1 training, but who have not completed trade-specific Phase 2 training * ^ Figure current as of 1 April 2017. * ^ nonethumb100px1707–1800

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