The four infantry battalions to disappear are the 2nd Battalion the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, the 2nd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards), the 3rd Battalion the Mercian Regiment and the 2nd Battalion the Royal Welsh.
A fifth infantry battalion, the 5th Battalion the Royal Regiment of Scotland (Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders), will become a single company to carry out public duties in Scotland.
The Armoured Corps will be reduced by two units with the mergers of the Queen’s Royal Lancers and the 9th/12th Royal Lancers and the 1st and 2nd Tank Regiments.
The Royal Artillery, the Royal Engineers, the Army Air Corps, the Royal Logistic Corps, the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and the Royal Military Police will also be affected.
[. . .]
Details of the other changes are:
- The Royal Artillery will be reduced from 13 to 12 units with the withdrawal of the 39th Regiment Royal Artillery
- The Royal Engineers will be reduced from 14 to 11 units with the withdrawal of 24 and 28 Engineer Regiments and 67 Works Group
- The Army Air Corps will reduce from five to four units as 1 Regiment AAC merges with 9 Regiment AAC
- The Royal Logistic Corps will be reduced from 15 to 12 units with 1 and 2 Logistic Support Regiments withdrawn from the Order of Battle and 23 Pioneer Regiment disbanded
- The Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers will be reduced to seven units with the withdrawal of 101 Force Support Battalion
- 5 Regiment Royal Military Police will be removed
Update: As you’d expect, the changes are not being welcomed by current or former soldiers.
The reforms have caused anger and frustration within senior ranks. Earlier this week, a leaked letter to General Wall from one senior officer in the Royal Fusiliers showed the anger brewing over the scale of the proposed cuts.
Brigadier David Paterson, the honorary Colonel of the Regiment of Fusiliers, said the decision to axe one of its battalions would not “best serve” the armed forces and “cannot be presented as the best or most sensible military option”.
He added: “I, as Colonel, have the duty to tell my men why it is their battalion, which at the time of the announcement will be the best manned battalion in the army, with recruits waiting in the wings, was chosen by CGS. I will then also have to explain to my Fusiliers in a fully manned battalion why they are likely to be posted to battalions that cannot recruit. This will not be an easy sell.”