British Army +Search for Videos

Use dmy dates|date=June 2014


military unit
|unit_name=British Army

United Kingdom+
Queen Elizabeth II+
Army+
Land warfare+
91,600 Regular
24,290 Army Reserve
30,030 Regular Reserve
Queen Elizabeth II
|website=
General Sir Nick Carter+
Chief of the General Staff+

X | Mute
X | Mute


Non-ceremonial flag


The '''British Army''' is the United Kingdom+'s principal land warfare force+. The force was initially administered by the War Office+ from London, which in 1964 was subsumed into the Ministry of Defence+. The professional head of the British Army is the Chief of the General Staff+.

The full-time element of the British Army is referred to as the ''Regular Army'' and has been since the creation of the reservist ''Territorial Force+'' in 1908. All members of the Army swear (or affirm) allegiance to the monarch as commander-in-chief. However, the Bill of Rights of 1689+ requires Parliamentary consent for the Crown to maintain a standing army+ in peacetime. Parliament approves the continued existence of the Army by passing an Armed Forces Act+ at least once every five years. In contrast to the Royal Navy+, Royal Marines+ and Royal Air Force+, the British Army does not include ''Royal'' in its title because, after a historic struggle+ between Parliament and monarchy, the British Army has always been answerable to Parliament rather than the Monarch. Many of the Army's constituent regiments and corps have been granted the "Royal" prefix and have members of the Royal Family+ occupying senior honorary positions within some regiments.

Throughout its history, the British Army has seen action in a number of major wars involving the world's great power+s, including the Seven Years' War+, the Napoleonic Wars+, the Crimean War+, the First World War+ and Second World War+. Repeatedly emerging victorious from these decisive wars allowed Britain to influence world events with its policies and establish itself as one of the world's leading military and economic powers. Since the end of the Cold war+, the British Army has been deployed to many conflict zones, often as part of an expeditionary force+ or a United Nations peacekeeping+ operation. Additionally, the British Army maintains five permanent overseas postings+.





The English Army was first established as a standing military force in 1660. In 1707 many regiments of the English and Scottish armies were already combined under one operational command and stationed in the Netherlands fighting in the War of Spanish Succession+. Consequently although the regiments were now part of the new British military establishment, they remained under the same operational command, and so not only were the regiments of the old armies transferred ''in situ'' to the new army so too was the institutional ethos, customs, and traditions, of the old standing armies that had been created shortly after the restoration of the monarchy+ 66 years earlier. The order of seniority of the most senior line regiments in the British Army is based on the order of seniority in the English army. Scottish and Irish regiments were only allowed to take a rank in the English army from the date of their arrival in England or the date when they were first placed on the English establishment. For example, 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 that became known as the Scots Greys+ were designated as the 4th Dragoons because there were three English regiments raised prior to 1688 when the Scots Greys were first placed on the English establishment. In 1713, when a new board of general officers was convened to decide upon the rank of several regiments, the seniority of the Scots Greys was reassessed and based on their entry into England in June 1685. At that time there was only one English regiment of dragoons, and so after some delay the Scots Greys obtained the rank of 2nd Dragoons in the British Army.

Following William and Mary's accession to the throne, England involved itself in the War of the Grand Alliance+, primarily to prevent a French invasion restoring Mary's father, James II+. Following the union of England and Scotland+ in 1707, and the creation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland+ in 1801, British foreign policy on the continent was to contain expansion by its competitor powers such as France and Spain. Spain, in the previous two centuries, had been the dominant global power, and the chief threat to England's early transatlantic ambitions, but was now waning. The territorial ambitions of the French, however, led to the War of the Spanish Succession+ and the Napoleonic Wars+. Russian activity led to the Crimean War+. After 1745, recruits were increasingly drawn from Scotland; by the mid-1760s between one fifth and one third of officers were from Scotland.

From the time of the end of the Seven Years' War+ in 1763, Great Britain, and its successor, the United Kingdom, was one of the leading military and economic powers+ of the world.

The British Empire+ expanded in this time to include colonies, protectorate+s, and Dominion+s throughout the Americas, Africa, Asia and Australasia+. Although the Royal Navy+ is widely regarded as having been vital for the rise of the British Empire+, and British dominance of the world, the British Army played an important role in the colonisation of India and other regions. Typical tasks included garrison+ing the colonies, capturing strategically important territories, and participating in actions to pacify colonial borders, provide support to allied governments, suppress Britain's rivals, and protect against foreign powers and hostile natives.


British soldiers also helped capture strategically important territories, allowing the empire to expand. The army was also involved in numerous wars to pacify the borders, or to prop up friendly governments, and thereby keep other, competitive, empires away from the British Empire's borders. Among these actions were the Seven Years' War+,. the American Revolutionary War+, the Napoleonic Wars+,. the First+ and Second Opium War+s,. the Boxer Rebellion+,. the New Zealand wars+,. the First+ and Second Boer War+s,. the Fenian raids+,. its serial interventions into Afghanistan+ (which were meant to maintain a friendly buffer state+ between British India and the Russian Empire+), and the Crimean War+ (to keep the Russian Empire at a safe distance by coming to Turkey's aid)..

As had its predecessor, the English Army+, the British Army fought Spain, France, and the Netherlands+ for supremacy in North America and the West Indies+. With native and provincial assistance, the Army conquered New France+ in the North American theatre+ of the Seven Years' War+ and subsequently suppressed a Native American+ uprising in Pontiac's War+. The British Army suffered defeat in the American War of Independence+, losing the Thirteen Colonies+ but holding on to Canada.



The British Army was heavily involved in the Napoleonic Wars+ and served in multiple campaigns across Europe (including continuous deployment in the Peninsular War+), the Caribbean+, North Africa and later in North America+. The war between the British and the First French Empire+ of Napoleon Bonaparte+ stretched around the world and 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+ and Field Marshal von Blücher+ defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo+ in 1815.

The English had been involved, both politically and militarily, in Ireland since being given the Lordship of Ireland+ by the Pope in 1171. The campaign of the English republican Protector, Oliver Cromwell+, involved uncompromising treatment of the Irish towns (most notably Drogheda+ and Wexford+) that had supported the Royalists during the English Civil War. The English Army (and subsequently the British Army) stayed in Ireland primarily to suppress numerous Irish revolts and campaigns for independence. In addition to its ongoing conflict with ethnic Irish nationalists, it was faced with the prospect of battling Anglo-Irish and Ulster Scots+ peoples in Ireland, angered primarily by unfavourable taxation of Irish produce imported into Britain, who, alongside other Irish groups, had raised their own volunteer army and threatened to emulate the American colonists if their conditions were not met. Having learnt from their experience in America, the British government sought a political solution. The British Army found itself fighting Irish rebels, both Protestant and Catholic, primarily in Ulster+ and Leinster+ (Wolfe Tone's+ United Irishmen+) in the 1798 rebellion+.


In addition to battling the armies of other European Empires (and of its former colonies, the United States, in the American War of 1812+), in the battle for global supremacy, the British Army fought the Chinese in the First+ and Second Opium War+s, 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 War+s, Irish Fenians+ in Canada during the Fenian raids+ and Irish separatists+ in the Anglo-Irish War+.
The vastly increasing demands of imperial expansion, and the inadequacies and inefficiencies of the underfunded, post-Napoleonic Wars British Army, and of the Militia+, Yeomanry+, and Volunteer Force+, led to the Cardwell+ and Childers Reforms+ of the late 19th century, which gave the British Army its modern shape, and redefined its regimental system+. The Haldane Reforms+ of 1907 formally created the Territorial Force+ as the Army's volunteer reserve component by merging and reorganising the Volunteer Force, Militia, and Yeomanry.





The war would be the most devastating in British military history, with near 800,000 men killed and over 2 million wounded. In the early part of the war, the professional force of the BEF was virtually destroyed and, by turns, a volunteer (and then conscripted) force replaced it. Major battles included the Battle of the Somme+. Advances in technology saw advent of the tank+, with the creation of the Royal Tank Regiment+, and advances in aircraft design, with the creation of the Royal Flying Corps+, which were to be decisive in future battles. Trench warfare+ dominated strategy on the Western Front+, and the use of chemical and poison gases added to the devastation.

The Second World War+ broke out in 1939 with the German invasion of Poland+.. British assurances to the Polish led the British Empire+ to declare war on Germany+. Again an Expeditionary Force+ was sent to France, only to be hastily evacuated as the German forces swept through the Low Countries+ and across France in 1940.. Only the Dunkirk evacuation+ saved the entire Expeditionary Force from capture. Later, however, the British would have spectacular success defeating the Italians and Germans at the Battle of El Alamein+ in North Africa, and in the D-Day invasion of Normandy+ with the help of American, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, Indian and Free French forces. Almost half of the Allied soldiers on D-day were British. In the Far East, the British army battled the Japanese in Burma+. The Second World War saw the British Army develop its Special Air Service+, Commando+ units and the Parachute Regiment+.


After the end of the Second World War, the British Army was significantly reduced in size, although National Service+ continued until 1960.. This period also saw the process of decolonisation+ commence with the partition+ and independence+ of India and Pakistan, followed by the independence of British colonies in Africa and Asia. Accordingly the army's strength was further reduced, in recognition of Britain's reduced role in world affairs, outlined in the 1957 Defence White Paper+. This was despite major actions in Korea+ in the early 1950s and Suez+ in 1956. A large force of British troops+ also remained in Germany, facing the threat of Soviet invasion. The British Army of the Rhine+ was the Germany garrison formation, with the main fighting force being I (BR) Corps+. The Cold War+ saw significant technological advances in warfare and the Army saw more technologically advanced weapons systems come into service.

Despite the decline of the British Empire+, the Army was still deployed around the world, fighting wars in Aden+,. Indonesia+, Cyprus+, Kenya+ and Malaya+. In 1982 the British Army, alongside the Royal Marines+, helped to recapture the Falkland Islands+ during the Falklands conflict+ against Argentina+.

In the three decades following 1969, the Army was heavily deployed in Northern Ireland+, to support the Royal Ulster Constabulary+ (later the Police Service of Northern Ireland+) in their conflict with republican paramilitary groups, called Operation Banner+. The locally recruited Ulster Defence Regiment+ was formed, later becoming home service battalions in the Royal Irish Regiment+ in 1992, before being disbanded in 2006. Over 700 soldiers were killed during the Troubles+. Following the IRA+ ceasefires between 1994 and 1996 and since 1997, demilitarisation has taken place as part of the peace process, reducing the military presence from 30,000 to 5,000 troops. On 25 June 2007, the Second Battalion Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment vacated the Army complex at Bessbrook Mill in Armagh. This is part of the 'normalisation' programme in Northern Ireland in response to the IRA's declared end to its activities.



The British Army is purely a professional force since National service+ came to an end. The full-time element of the British Army is referred to as the ''Regular Army'' since the creation of the reservist ''Territorial Force+'' in 1908. The size and structure of the British Army is continually evolving, but on 1 September 2014, the British Army employed; 88,800 Regulars, 2,800 Gurkhas+, table 2-page 8. 1 September 2014. and 24,290 Army Reservists+, table 3-page 12. April 2014. for a combined component strength of 115,890 personnel. Of those Regulars, Gurkhas and Army Reservists; 82,100, 2,620 and 19,400 were trained, respectively.

The future transformation of the British Army is referred to as "Army 2020+", which is the result of the Strategic Defence and Security Review+ (SDSR) in October 2010 and a number of following reviews and modifications thereafter. According to the Ministry of Defence, Army 2020 will "ensure that the British Army remains the most capable Army in its class" and enable "it to better meet the security challenges of the 2020s and beyond". Initially, the SDSR outlined a reduction of the Regular British Army by 7,000 to a trained strength of 95,000 personnel by 2015. However, following a further independent review on the future structure of the British Army, "Future Reserves 2020", it was announced that the Regular Army will be reduced to a trained strength of 82,000 while the Army Reserve will be increased to a trained strength of around 30,000 personnel. There will of course be an added margin for soldiers in training. This reform will bring the ratio of regular and part-time personnel of the British Army in line with US and Canadian allies. Perhaps the most important aspect of Army 2020 is that the Army Reserve will become "fully integrated" with the Regular Army and "better prepared" for overseas deployments and operations.

In addition to the active elements of the British Army (Regular and Army Reserve), all ex-Regular Army personnel remain liable to be recalled for duty in a time of need+, this is known as the Regular Reserve+., 27 January 2014 The Regular Reserve is separated into two categories: A and D. Category A is mandatory, with the length of time serving in category A depending on time spent in Regular service. Category D is voluntary and consists of personnel who are no-longer required to serve in category A. Regular Reserves in both category A and D serve under a fixed-term reserve contract and are liable to report for training or service overseas and at home. These contracts are similar in nature to those of the Army Reserve. The Long Term reserve is also part of the Regular Reserve but excludes personnel serving in categories A and D. Unlike the other reserves the Long Term reserve do not serve under a contract of any sort, instead they retain a "statutory liability for service" and may be recalled to service under Section 52 of the Reserve Forces Act (RFA) 1996 (until the age of 55). In 2007 there were 121,800 Regular Reserves of the British Army, of which, 33,760 served in categories A and D. Publications since April 2013 no longer report the entire strength of the Regular Reserve, instead they only give a figure for the Regular Reserves serving in categories A and D only. They had a reported strength of 30,030 personnel in 2014. All personnel figures exclude the Officers' Training Corps+.

The table below shows historical personnel trends of the British Army from 1750 to 2014. The Army Reserve – or Territorial Army, as it was known then – did not come into existence until 1908.

|+ '''Historical personnel trends of the British Army'''

!
!1750
!1800
!1817
!1850
!1883
!1900
!1901
!1918
!1939
!1945
!1950
!1960
!1970
!1978
!1980
!1990
!2000
!2010

|78,900
|80,300
|92,000
|99,100
|124,000
|301,500
|430,000
|3,818,292
|230,000
|3,120,000
|364,100
|315,000
|174,000
|163,000
|159,000
|152,800
|110,100
|108,900

;Notes:

:a After the Napoleonic Wars+. However, during the Wars, the British Army expanded from 40,000 men in 1793Chappell, p. 8 to a peak of 250,000 men in 1813.Chandler and Beckett, p. 132
:b After the First Boer War+.
:c During the Second Boer War+.
:d End of the First World War+.
:e Start of the Second World War+.
:f End of the Second World War.
:g Reserve forces included in the figure above for regular personnel (In 1945, approximately 540,000 of the men serving in the British Army were Reservists).
:h National Service ends in that year.
:i End of the Cold War+.
:j Figure represented in table is total strength; trained and untrained.




'''Infantry'''
The basic infantry weapon of the British Army is the L85A2+ assault rifle, sometimes equipped with an L17A2+ underbarrel grenade launcher. The rifle has several variants, such as the L86A2+, the Light Support Weapon (LSW), and the L22A2 carbine issued to tank crews. Support fire is provided by the FN Minimi+ light machine gun and the L7 General Purpose Machine Gun+ (GPMG); indirect fire by 51+ and 81 mm mortars+. Sniper rifles used include the L118A1+ 7.62 mm, the L115A3+ and the AW50F+, all produced by Accuracy International+. Some units use the L82A1+ .50 calibre Barrett sniper rifle. More recently, the L128A1+ (Benelli M4) 'combat shotgun' has been adopted, and is intended for close quarters combat in Afghanistan.

'''Armour'''
The British Army's main battle tank+ is the Challenger 2+. Other armoured vehicles include the Supacat "Jackal" MWMIK+ and the Iveco "Panther" CLV+. The Warrior Infantry Fighting Vehicle+ is the primary armoured personnel carrier+, although many variants of the Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (tracked)+ are used too, as well as the Saxon APC+ and the FV430 series+, which is now having its engines and armour replaced and returned to front-line service as the Bulldog+. The British Army commonly uses the Land Rover Wolf+ and Land Rover Defender+.

'''Artillery'''
The Army uses three main artillery systems: the Multi Launch Rocket System+ (MLRS), AS-90+ and L118+. The MLRS was first used operationally in Operation Granby+ and has a range of . The AS-90 is a 155 mm self-propelled gun. The L118 Light Gun is a 105 mm towed gun used primarily in support of 16 Air Assault Brigade, 19 Light Brigade and 3 Commando Brigade (Royal Marines+). The Rapier FSC Missile System+ is the Army's primary battlefield air defence system, widely deployed since the Falklands War+ and the Starstreak HVM+ (High Velocity Missile) is a surface-to-air weapon, launched either by a single soldier or from a vehicle-mounted launcher.

'''Army Aviation'''
The Army Air Corps+ (AAC) provides direct aviation support for the Army, although the RAF also contributes by providing support helicopters. The primary attack helicopter is the Westland WAH-64 Apache+, a license-built, modified version of the US AH-64 Apache+, which replaced the Westland Lynx AH7 in the anti-tank role. The Lynx+ remains in service as an armed escort, surveillance and light utility helicopter. Other types are used in specialised roles e.g. the Westland Gazelle+ as a light surveillance aircraft and the Bell 212+ for support in specific Jungle / 'hot and high' environments The Eurocopter AS 365N Dauphin+ is used for Special Operations Aviation and the Britten-Norman Islander+ is a light fixed-wing aircraft used for airborne reconnaissance and command and control.










The ending of the Cold War+ saw a significant cut in manpower, as outlined in the Options for Change+ review. Despite this, the Army has been deployed in an increasingly global role, and contributed 50,000 troops to the coalition force that fought Iraq+ in the Persian Gulf War+. British forces were put in control of Kuwait+ after it was liberated.
47 British Military personnel died during the Persian Gulf War.


The British Army was deployed to Yugoslavia+ in 1992; initially this force formed part of the United Nations Protection Force+. In 1995 command was transferred to IFOR+ and then to SFOR+. Currently troops are under the command of EUFOR+. Over 10,000 troops were sent. In 1999 British forces under the command of SFOR were sent to Kosovo+ during the conflict there. Command was subsequently transferred to KFOR+. Between early 1993 and June 2010, 72 British military personnel died on operations in the former Yugoslavian countries of Bosnia, Kosovo and Macedonia.


In November 2001 the United Kingdom, as a part of Operation Enduring Freedom+ with the United States, invaded Afghanistan+ to topple the Taliban+. The 3rd Division+ were deployed in Kabul+, to assist in the liberation of the troubled capital. The Royal Marines' 3 Commando Brigade+ (part of the Royal Navy+ but including a number of Army units), also swept the mountains. The British Army concentrated on fighting Taliban+ forces and bringing security to Helmand province+ with around 9,500 British troops (including marines, airmen and sailors) at its peak making it the second largest force after the US. In December 2012 the Prime Minister, David Cameron+, announced that 3,800 troops – almost half of the force serving in Helmand Province+ – would be withdrawn during 2013 with numbers to fall to approximately 5,200. BBC, 19 December 2012 By March 2014 troop levels were down to 4,000. Between 2001 and 26 April 2014 a total of 453 British military personnel died on operations in Afghanistan. Military operations officially ended with the handover of Camp Bastion+ on 26 October 2014.


In 2003 the United Kingdom was a major contributor to the invasion of Iraq+, sending a force that would reach 46,000 military personnel. The British Army controlled the southern regions of Iraq and maintained a peace-keeping presence in the city of Basra+ until their withdrawal on 30 April 2009. 179 British Military personnel have died on operations in Iraq. All of the remaining British troops were fully withdrawn from Iraq after the Iraqi government refused to extend their mandate.


Although having permanent garrisons there, the British Army was initially deployed in a peacekeeping role – codenamed "Operation Banner" – in Northern Ireland+ in the wake of Unionist attacks on Nationalist communities in Derry+ and Belfast+ and to prevent further Loyalist attacks on Catholic communities, under Operation Banner+ between 1969 and 2007 in support of the Royal Ulster Constabulary+ (RUC) and its successor, the Police Service of Northern Ireland+ (PSNI). There has been a steady reduction in the number of troops deployed in Northern Ireland since the Good Friday Agreement+ was signed in 1998. In 2005, after the Provisional Irish Republican Army+ announced an end to its armed conflict in Northern Ireland, the British Army dismantled posts and withdrew many troops, and restored troop levels to that of a peace-time garrison.

Operation Banner ended at midnight on 31 July 2007, bringing to an end some 38 years of continuous deployment, making it the longest in the British Army's history. url=http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/sutton/tables/index.html |accessdate=28 March 2011 A total of 303 RUC officers were killed in the same time period. In March 2009, two soldiers and a Police Officer were killed in separate dissident republican attacks in Northern Ireland.











! Sierra Leone+
| 1999 | Minimal | The British Army were deployed to Sierra Leone, a former British colony on Operation Palliser+ in 1999 to aid the government in quelling violent uprisings by militiamen, under United Nations resolutions. Troops remain in the region to provide military support and training to the Sierra Leonean government.
|



! Belize+
| 1940s– | Ten soldiers
|British troops were based in Belize+ from the late 1940s until 1994. Belize's neighbour, Guatemala+, claimed the territory and there were numerous border disputes. At the request of the Belizean government, British troops remained in Belize after independence in 1981 to provide a defence force. The main training unit closed in November 2011, leaving a token presence of around ten soldiers.

! Brunei+
| 1962– | One battalion from the Royal Gurkha Rifles+, British Garrison+, Training Team Brunei (TTB)+ and 7 Flight AAC+ |A Gurkha battalion has been maintained in Brunei since the Brunei Revolt+ in 1962 at the request of Sultan+ Omar Ali Saifuddin III+. The Training Team Brunei (TTB) is the Army's jungle warfare school, while the small number of garrison troops support the battalion. 7 Flight AAC provides helicopter support to both the Gurkha battalion and the TTB.

! Cyprus+
| 1960– | Two resident infantry battalions, Royal Engineers+, 16 Flight AAC+ and Joint Service Signals Unit at Ayios Nikolaos+ as a part of British Forces Cyprus+|The UK retains two Sovereign Base Areas+ on Cyprus after the rest of the island's independence. The bases serve as forward bases for deployments in the Middle East. British forces are also deployed separately with UN peacekeeping forces on the island. Principal facilities are Alexander Barracks at Dhekelia and Salamanca Barracks at Episkopi.

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

! Falkland Islands+
| 1982– | An infantry company group and an Engineer Squadron as part of British Forces South Atlantic Islands+ | Previously a platoon-sized Royal Marines+ Naval Party acted as the military presence. After the war in 1982 between Argentina and the UK, the garrison was enlarged and bolstered with an RAF base at Mount Pleasant+ on East Falkland. Falkland Islands News Network, 3 May 2006

! Germany+
| 1945–2020 | 1st (UK) Armoured Division as part of British Forces Germany+|British forces remained in Germany after the end of the Second World War+. Forces declined considerably after the end of the Cold War+, and in October 2010 the Prime Minister, David Cameron+, announced large cuts in defence with all UK troops currently in Germany to leave by 2020., BBC News Retrieved 19 October 2010.

! Gibraltar+
| 1704–1991 | One infantry battalion, Joint Provost and Security Unit as a part of British Forces Gibraltar+ | British Army garrison is provided by an indigenous regiment, the Royal Gibraltar Regiment+, which has been on the Army regular establishment since the last British battalion left in 1991.

! Kenya+
| 2010– | British Army Training Unit Kenya| The Army has a training centre in Kenya, under agreement with the Kenyan government. It provides training facilities for three infantry battalions per year
|



! Northern Ireland+
| 1920– | The Royal Irish Regiment+, consisting of two battalions and about 5,000 personnel., Charles Heyman. Retrieved 26 October 2014., www.army.mod.uk. Retrieved 26 October 2014. | As part of Operation Helvetic, there is a garrison of about 5,000 personnel stationed in Northern Ireland, ready for deployment worldwide. The Royal Irish Regiment has been on operations in Bosnia, Kosovo, Sierra Leone, the Gulf, Iraq and Afghanistan.
|

British Army Arms:


The structure of the British Army is complex, due to the different origins of its various constituent parts. It is broadly split into the Regular Army (full-time Officers/soldiers and units) and the Army Reserve+ (Spare-time Officers/soldiers and units).

In terms of its military structure, it has two parallel organisations, one administrative and one operational.

'''Administrative'''
* Regiments and Corps. These are listed below (in the template to the right), ranging from the Household Cavalry+ to the Army Physical Training Corps+ and the Royal Logistic Corps+. Uniquely and somewhat confusingly, the Infantry, which is not a corps but a collection of separate regiments, is administered by 'Divisions' of infantry – Guards Division+, Queen's Division+, Scottish Division+ and so on.

'''Operational'''
* The major operational command is based at Andover+ and is known as "Army Headquarters+". Defence Marketing Intelligence, 10 November 2011 It is split into divisions and subordinate units ranging from regiments to squadrons.
* Divisions+ (1 Div. based in Herford+ in Germany and 3 Div. based in Bulford+)
** Brigade+s, both fighting and in a non-fighting regional capacity within HQ LF (for example, 43 (Wessex) Brigade+ based in Bulford+).


The standard operational units are structured as follows, although various units have their own structure, conventions, names and sizes:


!Type of Unit
!Division+
!Brigade+
!Battalion+ / Regiment
!Company+ / Squadron+
!Platoon+ / Troop+
!Section+
!Fire Team+

!Contains
|2–3 Brigades
|3–5 Battalions
|5–7 Companies
|3 Platoons
|3 Sections
|2 Fire Teams
|4 Individuals

!Personnel
|10,000
|5,000
|550–750
|100
|30
|8–10
|4

!Commanded by
|Maj-Gen+
|Brig+
|Lt Col+
|Maj+
|Capt+, Lt+ or 2nd Lt+
|Cpl+
|LCpl+
|

Corps+ are made up of two or more divisions, but now are rarely deployed as a purely national formation due to the size of the British Army.

In place of a Battalion, a task-specific Battlegroup+ may be formed. A battlegroup is grown around the core of either an armoured regiment or infantry battalion, and has other units added or removed from it as necessary for its purpose. It results in a mixed formation of armour, infantry, artillery, engineers and support units, typically consisting of between 600 and 700 soldiers under the command of a Lieutenant Colonel.

A number of elements of the British Army use alternative terms for battalion, company and platoon. These include the Royal Armoured Corps+, Corps of Royal Engineers+, Royal Logistic Corps+, and the Royal Corps of Signals+ who use regiment (battalion), squadron+ (company) and troop+ (platoon). The Royal Artillery+ are unique in using the term regiment in place of both corps+ and battalion+, they also replace company with battery+ and platoon with troop.


The British Army currently has two operational divisions.


!Name !! Headquarters !! Subunits

|Herford+, Germany
|Two armoured brigades.

|Bulford+, Salisbury+
|Three mechanised brigades and one light brigade.
|

There are also a some ten brigades which are not part of any division report directly into Support Command+.

16 Air Assault Brigade+ forms the bulk of the Army's rapid reaction force.

Force Troops Command+, or FTC, forms the basis of the Army's Combat support, containing units ranging from artillery to military police.


The British Army operates alongside the Royal Air Force+ and the Fleet Air Arm+ as part of Joint Helicopter Command+, but the army also has its own Army Air Corps+. Military helicopters of all three services are commanded by Joint Helicopter Command+, a joint 2 star headquarters operating under HQ Land Forces.


The British Army contributes two of the three special forces+ formations within the United Kingdom Special Forces+ directorate: 22 Special Air Service Regiment+ and the Special Reconnaissance Regiment+.

The Special Air Service+ overall comprises one regular Regiment and two Army Reserve+ Regiments. The regular Regiment, 22 SAS, has its headquarters and depot located in Hereford+ and consists of five squadrons: A, B, D, G and Reserve with a training wing. The two reserve SAS Regiments (21 SAS+ and 23 SAS+) are part of 1st Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Brigade+.

The Special Reconnaissance Regiment+ (SRR), formed in 2005 from existing assets, undertakes close reconnaissance and special surveillance tasks. Special Forces Support Group+ were formed around 1st Battalion the Parachute Regiment+, with attached Royal Marines+ and RAF Regiment+ assets, the unit is also open to any member of the HM Armed Forces. The Special Forces Support Group+ are under the Operational Control of Director Special Forces to provide operational manoeuvre support to the elements of United Kingdom Special Forces.

Numerous military units were raised historically in British territories, including self-governing and Crown colonies, and protectorates. Whereas the Dominions, such as Canada and Australia, had their own armies before achieving complete independence, units raised in those territories which remained part of the realm of the UK were, and are, ultimately under the control of the UK government, and do not constitute separate armies. The UK retains responsibility for the defence of all of the fourteen remaining British Overseas Territories+. Although the Cayman Islands+ premier has stated the desire to raise a Cayman Islands Defence Force when it can be afforded (it currently has only a cadet corps), becoming the fifth, only four of the remaining British Overseas Territories retain locally-raised regiments:

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







The other armed services have their own infantry units which are not part of the British Army. The Royal Marines+ are amphibious light infantry+ forming part of the Naval Service+, and the Royal Air Force+ has the RAF Regiment+ used for airfield defence, force protection duties and Forward Air Control.


The Army mainly recruits within the United Kingdom; it normally has a recruitment target of around 12,000 soldiers per year. Low unemployment in Britain has resulted in the Army having difficulty in meeting its target. In the early years of the 21st century there has been a marked increase in the number of recruits from other (mostly Commonwealth+) countries. In 2006 overseas recruitment, mostly in Commonwealth countries, generated more than 6,000 soldiers from 54 nations; together with the 3,000 Gurkhas, 10% of the British Army is a foreign national.

The Ministry of Defence+ now caps the number of recruits from Commonwealth countries, although this will not affect the Gurkhas. If the trend continues 10% of the army will be from Commonwealth countries before 2012. The cap is in place as some fear the army's British character+ is being diluted, and employing too many could make the army seen as employing mercenaries+. The minimum recruitment age is 16 years (after the end of GCSE+s), although soldiers may not serve on operations below 18 years; the maximum recruitment age was raised in January 2007 from 26 to 33 years. The normal term of engagement is 22 years, and, once enlisted, soldiers are not normally permitted to leave until they have served at least 4 years.

There has been a strong and continuing tradition of recruiting from Ireland including what is now the Republic of Ireland+. Over 200,000 Irish soldiers fought in the First World War.

Others replace the words "swear by Almighty God" with "solemnly, sincerely and truly declare and affirm". Under the reign of another monarch, the name of the monarch and all pronouns with gender are replaced appropriately.



* Royal Military Academy Sandhurst+ (RMAS) is the officer training establishment. All officers, regular and reserve, attend RMAS at some point in their training.
* Royal School of Artillery+ (RSA) trains the Royal Artillery+.
* Royal School of Military Engineering+ (RSME) trains the Corps of Royal Engineers+ as well as personnel from across the Armed Forces and other Government Departments in a variety of general engineering and specialist skills.
* Army Training Units:
** ATR Winchester+
** ATC Pirbright+
* Infantry Training Centres:
** Infantry Training Centre, Catterick+
** Infantry Battle School+, Brecon
** Support Weapons School, Warminster
* Army Foundation College+ (Harrogate)
* Regional training centre+s
* Welbeck Defence Sixth Form College+


The British Army does not have its own specific ensign for the whole Army, unlike the Royal Navy, which uses the White Ensign+, and the RAF, which uses the Royal Air Force Ensign+. Instead, the Army has different flags and ensigns, some for the entire army and many for the different regiments and corps. The official flag of the Army as a whole is the Union Flag+, flown in a ratio of 3:5. A non-ceremonial flag also exists, which is used at recruiting events, military events and exhibitions. It also flies from the Ministry of Defence building in Whitehall.

Whilst at war, the Union Flag is always used, and this flag represents the Army on The Cenotaph+ at Whitehall+ in London (the UK's memorial to its war dead).

The British Army has throughout its history operated ships, ports and myriad boats. Boats+, Landing Craft+ and Ports+ are still operated by the Army and ensigns exists for vessels commanded by the Army. The Royal Logistic Corps+ operates a large fleet of vessels from its base at Marchwood near Southampton+. The Royal Engineers+ has had fleets since the introduction of diving in 1838 and was granted an ensign following the foundation of the Royal Engineers+ Submarine Mining Service in 1871, where it operated sea mine+ laying ships, before transfer of the trade to the Royal Navy+. The Corps maintains a Blue Ensign+ defaced by the crest of the Board of Ordnance+ from where the Corps developed, which it flies from its fleet and shore establishments that routinely operate boats.

Each Foot Guards+ and line regiment (excluding The Rifles+ and Royal Gurkha Rifles+ (RGR)) also has its own flags, known as Colours+—normally a Regimental Colour and a Queen's Colour. The design of different Regimental Colours vary but typically the colour has the Regiment's badge in the centre. The RGR carry the Queen's Truncheon+ in place of Colours.










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

5|
* 1Rank in abeyance+.
|
- |Abbreviation:|Cdr|WO1|WO2|S/Sgt /
C/Sgt|Sgt| |Cpl /
Bdr|L/Cpl /
L/Bdr|Pte
|

Every regiment and corps has its own distinctive insignia, such as cap badge+, beret+, tactical recognition flash+ and stable belt+.

Throughout the army there are many official specialisms. They do not affect rank, but they do affect pay bands:

* Ranger+
* Paratrooper
* Musician
* Survey Technician+
* Farrier
* Biomedical Scientist
* Driver Tank Transporter
* Registered General Nurse
* Radar Operator
* Telecom Op (Special)
* Meteorologist
* Aircraft Technician
* Military Engineer Bomb Disposal+
* Special Air Service+ Soldier
* Telecom Op (Linguist)
* Ammunition Technician+
* Operator Special Intelligence
* Construction Materials Technician+
* Driver Specialist
* Armoured Engineer+
* Royal Armoured Corps Crewman
* Army Diver+
* Sapper
Div col end:


A long established nickname for a British soldier has been ''Tommy Atkins+'' or ''Tommy'' for short. The origins are obscure but most probably derive from a specimen army form circulated by the Adjutant-General Sir Harry Calvert to all units in 1815 where the blanks had been filled in with the particulars of a Private Thomas Atkins, No 6 Company, 23rd Regiment of Foot. German soldiers in both world war+s would usually refer to their British opponents as ''Tommys''. Present-day British soldiers are often referred to as ''Toms'' or just ''Tom''. The British Army magazine ''Soldier'' has a regular cartoon strip, ''Tom'', featuring the everyday life of a British soldier. Outside the services, soldiers are generally known as ''squaddies'' by the British popular press+, and the general public.

Another nickname which applies only to soldiers in Scottish regiments is ''Jock'', derived from the fact that in Scotland the common Christian name John is often changed to Jock in the vernacular.
Welsh soldiers are occasionally referred to as ''Taffy'' or just ''Taff''. This may only apply to those from the Taff-Ely Valley in South Wales+, where a large portion of men, left unemployed from the decline of the coal industry in the area, enlisted during the First and Second World Wars. Alternatively, it is derived from the supposed Welsh pronunciation of ''Dafydd''—the vernacular form of Dave or Davey, the patron Saint of Wales being Saint David. As a nickname for the Welsh it has existed since 1699.
Irish soldiers are referred to as ''Paddy'' or ''Mick''.

Junior officers in the army are sometimes known as ''Ruperts'' by the Other ranks+ especially for those from a privileged background.


* Army Cadet Force+ (ACF)
* ArmyNET+
* British Army Uniform+
* British campaign medals+
* British military history+
* Future of the British Army (Army 2020)+
* Jankers+ (army punishments)
* List of British Army installations+
* Ministry of Defence+
* Modern equipment of the British Army+
* Redcoat+
* Royal Air Force+
* Royal Navy+
* Sexual orientation and military service+
* Army Reserve (United Kingdom)+
* United Kingdom Special Forces+
* Volunteer Force+





*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
**
*
*
*
*
*
* date=6 December 2010 |url=http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/uk/british-army-sees-more-irish-recruits-15022631.html |title=British army sees more Irish recruits |newspaper=Belfast Telegraph+
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
* url=http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/3614016/Ians-death-brought-people-together.htm | location=London |newspaper=The Daily Telegraph+

*
*


*

United Kingdom Ministry of Defence:
Armies in Europe:
ModernUKInfWeaponsNav:

British Army+ The British Army is the United Kingdom's principal land warfare force. The force was initially administered by the War Office from London, which in 1964 was subsumed into the Ministry of Defence.
British Army of the Rhine+ There have been two formations named British Army of the Rhine (BAOR). Both were originally occupation forces in Germany, one after the First World War, and the other after the Second World War.
British Army uniform+ British Army uniform currently exists in sixteen categories, which are worn according to the requirements of a unit or individual.
 British Army cricket team+ The Army cricket team is a cricket side representing the British Army. The team played a number of first-class matches between 1912 and 1939, although a combined "Army and Navy" side had played two games against a combined Oxford and Cambridge team in 1910 and 1911. In 1927 the Army played the touring New Zealanders, and in 1933 they played the touring West Indians.
British Army officer rank insignia+ The following are the insignia - emblems of authority - of the British Army. Badges for field officers were first introduced in 1810 and the insignia was moved to the shoulder boards in 1880 for all officers in full dress.
British Army during World War I+ The British Army during World War I fought the largest and most costly war in its long history. Unlike the French and German Armies, its units were made up exclusively of volunteers—as opposed to conscripts—at the beginning of the conflict.
British Army during the Second World War+ The British Army during the Second World War was, in 1939, a volunteer army, that introduced limited conscription in early 1939, and full conscription shortly after the declaration of war with Germany.
British Army Dirigible No 1+ British Army Dirigible No 1, christened Nulli Secundus (Latin: "Second to none") was a Semi-rigid airship.
Royal Engineers+ The Corps of Royal Engineers, usually just called the Royal Engineers (RE), and commonly known as the Sappers, is one of the corps of the British Army.
British Army Aeroplane No 1+ The British Army Aeroplane No 1 or sometimes Cody 1 was a biplane built by Samuel Franklin Cody in 1907 at the Army Balloon Factory at Farnborough.