Royal Australian Regiment
|The Royal Australian Regiment|
Cap badge of the Royal Australian Regiment
|Active||23 November 1948 – Present|
|Role||6 Standard Infantry Battalions
1 Marine Battalion
|Part of||Royal Australian Infantry Corps|
|Garrison/HQ||1st Battalion – Townsville
2nd Battalion – Townsville
3rd Battalion – Townsville
5th Battalion – Palmerston
6th Battalion – Enoggera
7th Battalion – Adelaide
8th/9th Battalion – Enoggera
|Nickname||1st Battalion – The Big Blue One
2nd Battalion – Men in Black
3rd Battalion – Old Faithful
5th Battalion – The Tiger Bn
6th Battalion – Bluedog
7th Battalion – The Pigs
|Colors||3rd Battalion and 6th Battalion entitled to wear US PUC streamer on Regimental Colour; 1st Battalion entitled to US MUC streamer on Regimental Colour|
|March||Quick – El Alamein (Band); Black Bear (Pipes and Drums)
Slow – Infantry Song
|Mascot||1st Battalion – Shetland Pony "Septimus"
5th Battalion: Sumatran Tiger named Quintus Rama
6th Battalion: Blue Heeler Corporal Ridgeliegh Blue
8th/9th Battalion: Merino ram John "Stan the Ram" Macarthur
|Colonel in Chief||HM The Queen
(Royal Australian Infantry Corps)
|Colonel Commandant||Major General Jim Connolly, AO, CSC|
|Unit Colour Patches|
|Tartan||Australian (2nd Bn and 7th Bn pipers kilts and plaids)
Royal Stewart (3rd Bn pipers kilts and plaids)
The Royal Australian Regiment (RAR) is the parent regiment for regular infantry battalions of the Australian Army and is the senior infantry regiment of the Royal Australian Infantry Corps. It was originally formed in 1948 as a three battalion regiment; however, since then its size has fluctuated as battalions have been raised, amalgamated or disbanded in accordance with the Australian government's strategic requirements. Currently, the regiment consists of seven battalions and has fulfilled various roles including those of light, parachute, motorised and mechanised infantry.
During the course of its existence, the Royal Australian Regiment has deployed on operations to a number of countries, including Korea, Malaya, Borneo, Vietnam, Somalia, Rwanda, Cambodia, East Timor, the Solomon Islands, Iraq and Afghanistan.
- 1 Organisation
- 2 History
- 2.1 Formation, 1948
- 2.2 Operational service
- 2.3 Early years: Japan and Australia, 1948–1950
- 2.4 Korean War, 1950–1953
- 2.5 Malaya and Borneo, 1955–1966
- 2.6 Expansion of the Regiment, 1960s
- 2.7 Vietnam War, 1962–1972
- 2.8 Peacetime service, 1973–1998
- 2.9 East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan, 1999 to the Present
- 2.10 Special Operations
- 2.11 Reorganisation, 2005–2013
- 3 Theatre and battle honours
- 4 Music
- 5 Alliances
- 6 See also
- 7 Notes
- 8 References
The regiment currently consists of seven battalions:
- 1st Battalion (1 RAR) – Light Infantry1
- 2nd Battalion (2 RAR) – Light Infantry2
- 3rd Battalion (3 RAR) – Light Infantry3
- 5th Battalion (5 RAR) – Mechanised Infantry4
- 6th Battalion (6 RAR) – Motorised Infantry5
- 7th Battalion (7 RAR) – Mechanised Infantry6
- 8th/9th Battalion (8/9 RAR) – Motorised Infantry7
The battalions of the Royal Australian Regiment are capable of providing seven of the ten regular battlegroups that the Australian Army has available for deployment. The current order of battle sees 5 and 7 RAR as part of the 1st Brigade;8 1, 2, and 3 RAR as part of the 3rd Brigade;9 and 6 and 8/9 RAR as part of the 7th Brigade.10 With the establishment of armoured cavalry regiments, 5 and 7 RAR have begun giving up their M113 armoured personnel carriers.11
- 4th Battalion (1964–1973 and 1995–2009), reflagged 2nd Commando Regiment12
- 2nd/4th Battalion (1973–1995), delinked to 2 RAR and 4 RAR13
- 5th/7th Battalion (Mechanised) (1973–2006), delinked to 5 RAR and 7 RAR14
- 8th Battalion (1966–1973), amalgamated to 8/9 RAR15
- 9th Battalion (1967–1973), amalgamated to 8/9 RAR15
- 10th Independent Rifle Company (early 1970s – late 1990s), disbanded.16
The origins of the Royal Australian Regiment (or RAR) lies in the decision made by the Australian Government to raise a force for occupation duties in Japan at the end of the Second World War. The 34th Australian Infantry Brigade was raised in October 1945 from Second Australian Imperial Force (2nd AIF) personnel then serving in the South West Pacific area, with the three battalions of the brigade designated as the 65th, 66th and 67th Australian Infantry Battalions of the AIF. The 65th Battalion was formed from volunteers from the 7th Australian Division and the 2/40th Battalion. The 66th Battalion received volunteers from the 9th Australian Division and 1st Australian Corps troops. The 67th Battalion was formed from the 3rd, 6th, and 11th Australian Divisions. After concentrating on the island of Morotai, the 34th Brigade moved to Japan and joined the British Commonwealth Occupation Force (BCOF) in February 1946.17
This brigade became the basis of the post-war regular army in 1947, and when the decision was taken in 1948 to withdraw two of the battalions to Australia attention turned to the status and designation of these regular infantry battalions. Brigadier Hopkins, commander of the brigade, was concerned that despite the unit prestige and regimental spirit developed since October 1945, it would be undesirable to have the regular units the highest numbered, without battle honours or colours, and with precedence after militia units. Consideration was given as to whether the battalions might be designated as separate regiments. For example, the 65th Battalion might have become 1st Battalion, City of Sydney's Own Regiment under one proposal or 1st Battalion, King George VI's Australian Rifle Regiment under another proposal.18 Instead the decision was taken to number the units sequentially as part of one large regiment and so on 23 November 1948 the 65th, 66th and 67th Battalions became the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Battalions of the Australian Regiment. An application was made for a royal title, which was granted on 10 March 1949. The Royal Australian Regiment thus came into being as Australia's first regiment of regular infantry.1819
It is notable that the regiment has provided units and individuals for virtually all Australian Army deployments and operations since 1945. The first period of sustained operational service began with the regiment's baptisim of fire in Korea in 1950 and continued until the withdrawal of combat units from Vietnam in 1972. These 22 years were arguably the most significant for the regiment as 'at least one, more often two and sometimes three battalions of the regiment were in combat in South-East Asia at any one time'.20 The second lengthy period of operational service commenced with the intervention in East Timor in 1999, which became the first of many operational commitments for the regiment that have continued to the present day.21
The formation of the regiment following the end of the Second World War 'was of fundamental importance to the Australian Army', as it was a key component of the first 'permanent, professional army, available in peace and war for any task the government might direct'. Prior to this time the Australian Army had been substantially a part-time miltia with a permanent cadre.22 A key influence in the raising of the regiment was Australia's desire to secure a prominent role in the occupation of Japan and an eventual peace settlement. After some delays the 65th, 66th and 67th Battalions arrived in Japan's Hiroshima Prefecture in February 1946. 'Many of the occupation duties, particularly in 1946, involved activities designed to reinforce upon the Japanese the lesson of their defeat',23 but there was also much guard duty and training conducted. However, by 1948 only one battalion (what would become 3 RAR) remained in Japan.24
A member of the regiment would later recall that for the two battalions that returned to Australia 'the first eighteen months of the regiment's existence were harrowing times... There were numerous discharges through frustration and discontent. The units were not strong enough to undertake meaningful training, the barracks were in a dilapidated state... Yet from all these adverse conditions and circumstances came the hard core of dedicated soldiers destined to be the non-commissioned officers of the regiment in the Korean War and the outstanding warrant officers and sergeants of the battalions that served in Malaya and in the early part of the Vietnam campaign'.25
The Korean War was the first major test of the regiment. On 28 September 1950, 3 RAR arrived in Pusan and began its service with the 27th Commonwealth Infantry Brigade. The initial invasion by the North Korean People's Army had been broken by General Douglas MacArthur's amphibious landing at Inchon, and so, in what was a complicated war of manoeuvre, 3 RAR participated in the pursuit of the NKPA back across the 38th parallel. On 21 October 1950, 3 RAR took part in the 'Apple Orchard' action north of Pyongyang, the first large-scale engagement fought by a battalion of the regiment. The farthest north that 3 RAR would advance in North Korea was the Pakchon-Chongju area following the Battle of Chongju, and it was near here that Lieutenant Colonel Charlie Green, commanding officer 3 RAR, was mortally wounded on 30 October 1950. By November 1950, following the Chinese intervention, 3 RAR was withdrawing south along with the rest of the allied Eighth Army, fighting the Battle of Pakchon; however, following a UN counteroffensive a defensive line was established about 45 kilometres (28 mi) north of Seoul. It was here in April 1951 that 3 RAR, along with the 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry and supporting UN forces, fought a successful defensive action at the Battle of Kapyong. This battle proved to be the climatic point of the regiment's first year in Korea.26
By June 1951, 3 RAR moved to a position on the Imjin River under the command of the US I Corps and it was here that the battalion, later joined by 1 and 2 RAR, would spend the next two years of the war. The major action fought by the regiment in the second half of 1951 was the Battle of Maryang San, where 3 RAR, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Frank Hassett, assaulted Hill 317 on 5 October 1951. Known as Operation Commando, Hill 317 was captured after five days of hard fighting. 3 RAR lost 20 killed and 89 wounded, while 283 enemy dead were counted and 50 captured. Two DSOs (including an immediate award to Hassett), nine MCs, one MBE, two DCMs, nine MMs, and fifteen mentions in dispatches were awarded. Following this action the war was defined by fixed defences of trenches, bunkers and wire, constant patrolling, and numerous clashes. In April 1952 3 RAR was joined by 1 RAR and command of the brigade they were a part of passed to an Australian officer as a result. In April 1953, 1 RAR was replaced by 2 RAR on a system of unit rotation. During this changeover a parade was held to mark the first occasion that all battalions of the regiment had been on parade together. 1 RAR served a year in Korea, 2 RAR for four months before the armistice, while 3 RAR served throughout the war, earning itself the nickname of 'Old Faithful'. The last major action of the war for the regiment was the Battle of the Samichon River, fought by 2 RAR in July 1953, a matter of hours before the Armistice Agreement was signed.27
The Korean War remains the only large-scale, conventional war that the regiment has fought. Furthermore, it was during this time that the 'army developed a capacity to field and maintain two battalions in major operations'.28
The battalions of the regiment came late to the Malayan Emergency. When 2 RAR arrived in theatre in October 1955 the war had been running for seven years and four months. 2 RAR were replaced by 3 RAR in 1957, who were replaced in turn by 1 RAR in 1959. During the Emergency the three battalions were involved in 45 contacts, killing 17 communist terrorists, or CTs, as the insurgents were known. As Molan points out: 'There were two major results from [the] grinding attention to the detail of infantry soldiering over five years in Malaya. The first was the continuing existence of Malaysia as a stable and democratic country. The second was the opportunity experienced by infantrymen of the regiment to absorb, then develop, the jungle warfare skills evolved by the British Army in its most successful counterinsurgency war. The contribution of the Malayan Emergency to the development of professionalism in the [regiment] cannot be overstressed'.29
Between 1963 and 1966, Indonesia pursued a policy of Konfrontasi, or Confrontation, with Malaysia. On 13 February 1965, 3 RAR, which had already responded to an Indonesian incursion on mainland Malaysia, was warned for service in Sarawak, Borneo, commencing in March. 3 RAR completed a four month tour mounting numerous security patrols in its area of operations, including a number of sensitive cross-border patrols into the Indonesian regency of Sarawak as a part of Operation Claret, including actions at Sungei Koemba, Kindau and Babang, between late May and July. The recently formed 4 RAR assumed responsibility from 3 RAR at Camp Terendak on mainland Malaysia in October 1965, before deploying forward to Borneo in April 1966, where they would remain until September. Like their predecessors, 4 RAR conducted a demanding routine of internal security and cross-border patrols.30 'The operations on the Sarawak border were a severe test of the skill, discipline and professionalism of the infantry, involving long periods in the jungle or in the company bases. Of the 30 Claret operations, twelve were reconnaissance patrols and the remainder were ambushes or fighting patrols; of these, four resulted in successful contact'.31
The early 1960s were a period of strategic uncertainty and increasing commitments in South East Asia. Consequently, the Australian Government introduced selective conscription and directed the expansion of the Army. This saw the regiment grow from four to nine battalions: 4 RAR was formed in February 1964; 1 RAR abandoned the Pentropic Establishment (1,300 personnel) to revert to the Tropical Establishment (800 personnel), allowing 5 RAR to form in March 1965; 6 RAR was formed from a cadre drawn from 2 RAR in June 1965; 3 RAR assisted the formation of 7 RAR in September 1965; 8 RAR formed in August 1966; and 9 RAR was raised in November 1967.32
Between June 1965 and March 1972, the first seven battalions of the regiment would serve two twelve-month tours in Vietnam, while 8 and 9 RAR would each serve once. This substantial period of service for the regiment in Australia, Malaysia, and Vietnam also saw the government direct the expansion of the regiment from four to nine battalions. By September 1965 the regiment consisted of seven battalions; by July 1966, eight; and by November 1967, nine.33
Although individual members of the regiment had served as advisors with the Australian Army Training Team Vietnam (AATTV) since 1962, it was not until April 1965 that the government announced that a battalion would be deployed to Vietnam. Consequently, 'After a rushed period of training and administration' 1 RAR joined the 173rd (US) Airborne Brigade at Bien Hoa airbase outside of Saigon in June 1965. After initially defending the airbase, 1 RAR steadily increased the scope of its patrols. For example, in January 1966, 1 RAR assaulted a large Viet Cong headquarters complex in the Ho Bo Woods as a part of Operation Crimp; which the Americans hailed as the first strategic intelligence victory of the war. 'The battalion pioneered the development of new tactics and techniques for Vietnam that would become standard for the following battalions of the regiment, as well as supporting arms and services'.34
In March 1966, Prime Minister Harold Holt announced that Australia would be increasing its commitment to Vietnam. The newly raised 5 and 6 RAR duly arrived in theatre as a part of the 1st Australian Task Force in Phuoc Tuy Province in May 1966. After two months of constant patrolling by both battalions, 6 RAR was engaged in the action that would become a defining part of the regiment's war in Vietnam; the Battle of Long Tan. Fought in mid-1966, Delta Company, 6 RAR (about 100 personnel) fought a ferocious meeting engagement with the North Vietnamese Army 275th Regiment, reinforced by D445 Viet Cong Battalion (about 2,000 personnel). After fighting for two and half hours, Delta Company were surrounded on three sides. With the assistance of extensive artillery support and the timely arrival of armoured personnel carriers (APCs), the Viet Cong finally broke.35 In the words of the official historian, Ian McNeill, 'D Company had achieved a stunning victory'.36
In 1967, 2 and 7 RAR assumed responsibility in Phuoc Tuy from their predecessors and continued the extensive patrolling, and cordon and searches characteristic of this conflict. In August 1967, 7 RAR fought elements of the Viet Cong 3rd Battalion, 274th Regiment in the largely unheralded Battle of Suoi Chau Pha, where extensive artillery support again proved decisive.37 By the time of the Tet Offensive in 1968, 1 and 3 RAR were serving in theatre. During actions at Fire Support Base (FSB) Coral (1 RAR) and FSB Balmoral (3 RAR) in May and June 1968, later known as the Battle of Coral–Balmoral, these two battalions of the regiment would fight battles with conventional attributes not seen since Kapyong. In June 1969, an infantry company from 5 RAR, then on its second tour, and supported by a troop of tanks and another of APCs fought a significant combined-arms action against a battalion-sized force of NVA regulars and VC local force troops at the Battle of Binh Ba.38
Following Binh Ba, the remainder of the regiment's commitment to Vietnam would be characterised largely by 'Pacification' and 'Vietnamisation', with an emphasis on training South Vietnamese troops, ambushing and patrolling, so as to protect the local population. Where possible, the Australians also sought to bring enemy units to battle, such as Operation North Ward, where V Company, 4 RAR/NZ fought elements of the Chau Duc and Ba Long guerrilla units in August and September 1971. On 18 August 1971, Prime Minister William McMahon announced that 1 ATF would cease operations in October, with the last combat elements of the regiment (D Company, 4 RAR) returning to Australia in February 1972.39
With the withdrawal of the battalion serving in Singapore as part of the British Commonwealth Far East Strategic Reserve, 1973 finally saw all units of the regiment stationed in Australia for the first time. Thus began a period of peace-time soldiering of a sort not before seen in the regiment. At this time the government directed that the number of battalions in the regiment be reduced to six, which was achieved by linking 2 and 4 RAR, 5 and 7 RAR, and 8 and 9 RAR. The strength of units and resources were also reduced, with a shift in strategic and tactical concepts from Forward Defence to Defence of Australia. The 1980s saw the introduction of battalion specialistions – light, parachute, mechanised and motorised – in the regiment and the formation of a ready deployment force. The later concept was first tested during Operation Morrisdance, the contingency mounted in response to the 1987 Fiji coup.40
In 1988, during the Australian bicentennial celebrations, a contingent drawn from the battalions of the Regiment under the command of Lieutenant Colonel John Salter of 1 RAR, supported by an Australian Army Band, was deployed as part of the Bicentennial celebrations to mount public duties at Buckingham Palace Windsor Castle, St James' Palace and the Tower of London, the first Australian troops to do so since the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.41
Although individual members of the regiment would serve on deployment in such locations as the Sinai, the Balkans, Western Sahara and Bougainville, it was not until 1993 that the regiment would conduct another formed-body deployment. On 15 December 1992 the government announced that 1 RAR would deploy as a part of the US-led and UN-sanctioned Operation Restore Hope in Somalia. The Australian commitment, known as Operation Solace, saw 1 RAR deployed for 17 weeks to a 17,000-square-kilometre (6,600 sq mi) Humanitarian Relief Sector (HRS) centred on the township of Baidoa. In the course of four months over 8,311 tonnes of humanitarian aid was delivered. 1 RAR also protected Baidoa airfield, provided security in the township, in-depth patrolling of the HRS, as well as escorting aid convoys within it. 'During the deployment the Somali bandits never seriously challenged 1 RAR', although there were a number of contacts which resulted in casualties on both sides.42
In May 1993, a detachment from D Company, 2/4 RAR was deployed to Cambodia to provide security to the Australian contribution to the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia. They joined another detachment of personnel from 5/7 RAR's Support Company, which had been deployed to undertake communications tasks as part of a Force Communications Unit. The deployment came to an end in November 1993.43
Between August 1994 and August 1995, two companies of the regiment, initially A Company, 2/4 RAR and then B Company, 2 RAR, served with the Australian contingent of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda, or UNAMIR. Tragically, from 20 to 23 April 1995, a 50 member detachment, including infantrymen from 5 Platoon, B Company, 2 RAR were forced to witness the Kibeho Massacre of around 4,000 Hutu refugees at the Kibeho camp by members of the Rwandan Patriotic Army. Vastly outnumbered and frustrated by a mandate that did not allow them to engage the perpetrators, the infantrymen were forced into a passive role during the massacre. Throughout the carnage, however, they worked under fire attempting to assist wounded refugees.44
East Timor's 30 August 1999 ballot in favour of independence after 24 years of Indonesian occupation resulted in a wave of violence from militia groups and pro-integration factions within the Indonesian military. This situation saw three battalions of the regiment (2, 3 and 5/7 RAR) deployed as part of the UN-sanctioned international force, known as INTERFET, charged with restoring peace and overseeing the Indonesian departure. Despite some clashes, such as the contact at Motaain on the East Timor-Indonesian border, control was quickly established and International Force for East Timor (INTERFET) handed over to the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor, or UNTAET, in February 2000. At this time, 5/7 RAR become the first battalion of the RAR to serve under UN command since the Korean War. From 1999 to 2004, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5/7, and 6 RAR would all serve twice in East Timor, giving the regiment a wealth of experience. Two years after being withdrawn from the country, the deteriorating situation in East Timor (also known as Timor Leste) again saw units of the regiment deployed to conduct stabilisation and security operations, this time under the auspices of Operation Astute. Events in East Timor largely overshadowed developments in Solomon Islands, where elements of the regiment served periodically from 2003 onwards.45
The regiment had a minor role in the Australian contribution to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, providing a force element of about 40 Commandos from 4 RAR to support the Special Forces Task Group, based on an SASR Squadron. Following the invasion, the deteriorating security situation in Baghdad saw the creation of a combined arms organisation known as the Security Detachment, or SECDET, charged with protecting the Australian embassy and its personnel. Over a dozen companies of the regiment have provided force elements to the various SECDET rotations. In February 2005 Prime Minister John Howard committed a battle group to southern Iraq to partially replace a Dutch organisation that had been operating in the Governorate of Al Muthanna. The regiment's contribution to the first battle group, initially known as the Al Muthanna Task Group, was a rifle company, although the second and third rotations were led by 5/7 RAR and 2 RAR, respectively. When Provincial Iraqi Control was declared in Al Muthanna in July 2006, AMTG 3, led by 2 RAR, was renamed the Overwatch Battle Group (West) or OBG(W). The fifth battle group to serve in Iraq – OBG(W) 3 – was based on 5 RAR, by which time the unit operated in both the Al Muthanna and Dhi Qar Governorates as a part of the British Multi-National Division South East (MND(SE)). (AMTG 1, OBG(W)2 and OBG(W) 4 were all based on cavalry regiment headquarters). During this time elements of the regiment conducted counterinsurgency operations until withdrawn by the government in mid-2008.46
A Reconstruction Taskforce (RTF) based around the 1st Combat Engineer Regiment with protective elements from the 5/7 RAR, 6 RAR and 2nd Cavalry Regiment began arriving in Uruzgan Province in southern Afghanistan in early September 2006 as part of Operation Slipper. The RTF formed part of a Dutch-led Provincial Reconstruction Team, operating as part of the Dutch-led Task Force Uruzgan and based at Forward Operating Base Ripley, outside of Tarin Kowt.47 However, as the Australian commitment expanded, by 2010 the task force had evolved into a combined arms battalion-sized battle group consisting of infantry, engineers, cavalry, artillery and logistic elements, usually based on a unit of the Royal Australian Regiment. Known as the Mentoring Task Force (MTF), it formed part of a multinational brigade known as Combined Team Uruzgan and was tasked with counter-insurgency operations in conjunction United States, Dutch and other coalition forces. Partnered with the 4th Brigade, 205th Corps of the Afghan National Army (ANA), it operated throughout Uruzgan Province.48 While attached to MTF-1, soldiers from Combat Team Delta (based on D Company, 6 RAR) took part in heavy fighting during the Battle of Derapet in Deh Rahwod on 24 August 2010. Corporal Daniel Keighran was later awarded the Victoria Cross for Australia for his role in the battle, the first member of the Royal Australian Regiment to receive such an award.49 The task force was withdrawn in late 2013, following the handover of the province to Afghan forces.50
The Special Air Service Regiment (SASR) owes its heritage to the RAR. Originally formed as 1 SAS Company in 1957, it served as an independent company of the RAR and was tasked with providing the army's special operations capability. The SASR became a regiment in its own right 20 August 1964. Meanwhile, in 1997, 2/4 RAR de-linked, and 4 RAR returned to the order of battle in its own right. Re-raised as a commando battalion, 4 RAR served in East Timor as a conventional light-role battalion in 2001, before focusing on the development of its special operations capability. 'The battalion was designed to be a self-contained flexible force able to be deployed at short notice to undertake offensive operations in support of Australia's national interests'.51 Once full operational capability was reached, elements of 4 RAR would serve in Timor Leste, Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as providing a domestic counter terrorism capability. In 2009, 4 RAR was renamed 2nd Commando Regiment, and as such, is no longer part of the RAR. Rather than being disbanded, 4 RAR was placed in 'suspended animation' and remains on the army's order of battle.12
In 2005 the Australian Army began planning for a reorganisation as part of an initiative known as 'Hardening the Army'. The key impact of this plan on the regiment was that 3 RAR would surrender its parachute role, moving from Sydney to Adelaide to become the army's second mechanised battalion.52 However, in August 2006 the government announced that the regiment would expand from five to seven battalions, with the initiative retitled 'Hardening and Networking the Army'. As such, the 5th/7th Battalion conducted a de-linking parade on 3 December 2006, reforming as the 5th Battalion and 7th Battalion.14 The 5th Battalion reformed in a largely mature state, which included a company serving on operations in Iraq. The 7th Battalion reformed with a company on operations in Afghanistan and relocated to Adelaide in 2011. Both battalions remained in the mechanised role.5354 Under the new scheme the 3rd Battalion relinquished the parachute role, becoming a light infantry battalion. It subsequently relocate to Townsville in 2012.55 The 8th/9th Battalion reformed at Enoggera on 31 October 2007 as the last element of the Enhanced Land Force.56 In 2009, the reorganisation was again re-titled, this time as the 'Adaptive Army' which sought to 're-balance' the army and shape it to become an adaptive, learning organisation.57 Under the 'Plan Beersheba' element of the Adaptive Army reforms which were announced in 2011 and confirmed in the 2013 Defence White Paper, 2 RAR was selected to specialise in the amphibious warfare role.5859
- Korean War: Sariwon, Yongyu, Chongju, Pakchon, Uijeongbu, Chuam-ni, Maehwa-San, Kapyong, Kowang-San, Maryang-San, The Samichon, Korea 1950–53.60
- Vietnam War: Long Tan, Bien Hoa, Coral–Balmoral, Hat Dich, Binh Ba, Vietnam 1965–72.61
Note: Not all theatre honours are displayed on battalion colours. The following Battle Honours are emblazoned upon each battalion's Regimental Colour:62
- Korea 1950–53
- Vietnam 1965–72
- Long Tan
1 RAR, 3 RAR and 6 RAR have all been awarded US military decorations for service alongside US troops; 1 RAR received the Meritorious Unit Commendation for its service in Vietnam,6364 while 3 RAR received the Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation65 and United States Presidential Unit Citation (formerly the Distinguished Unit Citation)6667 following the Battle of Kapyong during the Korean War (honours it shares with the 2nd Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry). D Company 6 RAR also received the Distinguished Unit Citation, this time in Vietnam at the Battle of Long Tan;68 although the respective battle honours are borne by the whole regiment, the three citations awarded by the United States are held solely by the battalions that received them, and are displayed as streamers on the respective regimental colours of those battalions.69
- United States Presidential Unit Citation
- Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation
- United States Army Meritorious Unit Commendation
The Royal Australian Regiment has a wide variety of regimental music. In addition to regimental quick and slow marches, each battalion has its own set of marches:69
- Royal Australian Regiment — Quick: El Alamein (Band); Black Bear (Pipes and Drums); Slow: Infantry Song
- 1st Battalion — Waltzing Matilda
- 2nd Battalion — Ringo (Band); Back in Black (Pipes and Drums)
- 3rd Battalion — Our Director (Band); Hielan' Laddie (Pipes and Drums)
- 4th Battalion — Inverbrackie
- 5th Battalion — Dominique
- 6th Battalion — Spirit of Youth (Band); The Crusaders (Pipes and Drums)
- 7th Battalion — Australaise (Band); Cock o' the North (Pipes and Drums)
- 8th/9th Battalion — The Brown and Grey Lanyard
The Royal Australian Regiment is allied with the following regiments:63
- Canada — Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry
- New Zealand — 1st Battalion, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment
- Malaysia — Royal Malay Regiment
- United Kingdom — Brigade of Gurkhas
- United Kingdom — Grenadier Guards (1 RAR)
- United Kingdom — Coldstream Guards (2 RAR)
- United Kingdom — Scots Guards (3 RAR)
- United Kingdom — The Queens's Royal Hussars (Queen's Own and Royal Irish) (3 RAR)
- United Kingdom — Irish Guards (4 RAR)
- United Kingdom — Welsh Guards (5 RAR)
- United Kingdom — The Highlanders (7 RAR)
- United Kingdom — The Parachute Regiment (8/9 RAR)
- "1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment". Department of Defence. Retrieved 9 March 2014.
- "2nd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment". Department of Defence. Retrieved 9 March 2014.
- "3rd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment". Department of Defence. Retrieved 9 March 2014.
- "5th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment". Department of Defence. Retrieved 9 March 2014.
- "6th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment". Department of Defence. Retrieved 9 March 2014.
- "7th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment". Department of Defence. Retrieved 9 March 2014.
- "8th/9th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment". Department of Defence. Retrieved 9 March 2014.
- "1st Brigade". Department of Defence. Retrieved 9 March 2014.
- "3rd Brigade". Department of Defence. Retrieved 9 March 2014.
- "7th Brigade". Department of Defence. Retrieved 9 March 2014.
- "5 RAR Farewells APC". Tiger Tales: Newsletter of the 5th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (Issue 34). August 2013.
- "New Name for Sydney Commandos" (Press release). Department of Defence. 19 June 2009. Retrieved 28 February 2011.
- Stocking, 'Upheaval, Uncertainty and Opportunity', in Horner and Bou, Duty First, p. 295.
- Blaxland, 'Near and Far', in Horner and Bou, Duty First, p. 346.
- Pedersen, 'The Defence of Australia', in Horner and Bou, Duty First, p. 243.
- Price, Alan. "10IRC and 311 Raider Battalion". 4 RAR Association. Retrieved 10 March 2014.
- Chinn, 'Raising a Regular Infantry Force', in Horner and Bou, Duty First, pp. 1–2, 5–6.
- Klintworth, 'Formation of the Royal Australian Regiment: Australia and Japan, 1948–50', in Horner and Bou, Duty First, p. 44.
- Royal Australian Regiment, Standing Orders, chapter 1.
- Morrison, 'Preface to the 1990 edition', in Horner and Bou, Duty First, p. xxxi
- Blaxland, 'Near and Far', in Horner and Bou, Duty First, p. 306.
- Chinn, 'Raising a Regular Infantry Force', in Horner and Bou, Duty First, p. 1
- Clintworth, 'British Commonwealth Occupation Force', in Horner and Bou, Duty First, p. 25.
- Clintworth, 'British Commonwealth Occupation Force', in Horner and Bou, Duty First, pp. 23–39.
- Morrison, 'Preface to the 1990 edition', in Horner and Bou, Duty First, p. xxxi.
- Grey, 'The Regiment's First War', in Horner and Bou, Duty First, pp. 57–72.
- Grey, 'The Regiment's First War', in Horner and Bou, Duty First, pp. 73–80.
- Grey, 'The Regiment's First War', in Horner and Bou, Duty First, p. 80.
- Molan, 'The Malayan Emergency', in Horner and Bou, Duty First, pp. 103–104.
- Horner, 'Confrontation', in Horner and Bou, Duty First, pp. 124–148.
- Horner, 'Confrontation', in Horner and Bou, Duty First, p. 143.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Royal Australian Regiment.|
- Dennis, Peter; Grey, Jeffrey; Morris, Ewan; Prior, Robin; and Jean Bou (2008). The Oxford Companion to Australian Military History (Second ed.). Melbourne: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195517842.
- Festberg, Alfred (1972). The Lineage of the Australian Army. Melbourne, Victoria: Allara Publishing. ISBN 978-0-85887-024-6.
- Horner, David, ed. (1990). Duty First: The Royal Australian Regiment in War and Peace (First ed.). North Sydney, New South Wales: Allen and Unwin. ISBN 978-0-04-442227-3.
- Horner, David; Bou, Jean, eds. (2008). Duty First: A History of the Royal Australian Regiment (2nd ed.). Crows Nest, New South Wales: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 978-1-74175-374-5.
- Jobson, Christopher (2009). Looking Forward, Looking Back: Customs and Traditions of the Australian Army. Wavell Heights, Queensland: Big Sky Publishing. ISBN 9780980325164.
- McNeil, Ian (1993). To Long Tan: The Australian Army and the Vietnam War 1950–1966. The Official History of Australia's Involvement in Southeast Asian Conflicts 1948–1975. Volume 2. Sydney, New South Wales: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86373-282-9.