Army Reservists of The Royal Wessex Yeomanry paraded in force at Bovington Camp in Dorset to mark a change of command – and with a new, unified cap badge.
As the South West’s Armoured Reinforcement unit, they have a new role supporting the three Regular heavy tank Regiments, now under the command of the Reaction Force, 3 UK Division.
Family and friends gathered in their hundreds to celebrate the day, including the expansion of the Regiment to accommodate A Squadron of The Royal Yeomanry in Swindon. It becomes Y Squadron of The Royal Wessex Yeomanry.
The Regiment already has Squadrons based at Army Reserve Centres at Bovington Camp, Old Sarum in Wiltshire, Cirencester in Gloucestershire and Barnstaple and Paignton in Devon.
Lieutenant-Colonel Chris MacGregor, Commanding Officer of the Royal Wessex Yeomanry, said: “We are becoming a bigger Regiment and, for the first time in 40 years, with a Regimental cap badge.
“Our Reservists are dedicated young men and women who want to do something a little less ordinary. In our new role we are becoming tank crews, so we will drive, gun, load and command the Challenger 2 tank.
“They are delighted to be given a meaty task like this. We can give them skills and training which will also support them in their civilian roles.”
He added: “We are growing in size because there is a realisation among the three heavy armoured Regiments that they need a Reserve component to provide the resilience in our tank fleet.
“It means that we move out of the regionally-focused 43 Wessex Brigade into the Reaction Force. The Reaction Force contains the main armoured infantry Brigades, 12 and 20 Brigades, and we’ll be supporting the tank regiments in each of those.”
For more information about the Royal Wessex Yeomanry go to www.army.mod.uk/armoured/regiments/26883.aspx and to find out about opportunities as an Army Reservist visit www.army.mod.uk/join/20237.aspx .