UK — New feathers for new Scottish troops

Scot­tish Army recruits who marched off the square at their pass­ing out parade this week­end to thun­der­ous applause from fam­i­ly and friends will also be receiv­ing a brand new piece of uniform. 

The seven hackles of The Royal Regiment of Scotland, including the 6 SCOTS grey hackle and the 7 SCOTS purple hackle
The sev­en hack­les of The Roy­al Reg­i­ment of Scot­land, includ­ing the 6 SCOTS grey hack­le and the 7 SCOTS pur­ple hack­le
Source: Mark Owens, Min­istry of Defence, UK
Click to enlarge

The 152 Ter­ri­to­ri­als, all drawn from units through­out Scot­land, have spent the last sev­en weeks on Exer­cise Sum­mer Chal­lenge, a full-time course which fast-tracks them to become ful­ly-fledged soldiers. 

They passed out at Cameron Bar­racks in Inver­ness on Sat­ur­day 7 August 2010 and the major­i­ty of them will go on to join the Ter­ri­to­r­i­al 6th and 7th bat­tal­ions of The Roy­al Reg­i­ment of Scot­land (6 SCOTS and 7 SCOTS). 

These two bat­tal­ions also received last week their own new feath­er hack­les for their Tam o’ Shanters which iden­ti­fy them as indi­vid­ual bat­tal­ions of the regiment. 

In the past the Ter­ri­to­ri­als wore the hack­le of their near­est reg­u­lar battalion. 

6 SCOTS received grey hack­les, while 7 SCOTS now sport pur­ple hackles. 

The hack­les are the newest piece of uni­form that The Roy­al Reg­i­ment of Scot­land has been grant­ed since it was formed in 2006. 

The grey and pur­ple hack­les were unveiled at the regiment’s head­quar­ters in Edin­burgh Cas­tle last Friday. 

Hack­les are a very impor­tant part of a unit’s iden­ti­ty. Some of them were grant­ed as bat­tle hon­ours to sol­diers in bat­tle in their antecedent reg­i­ments’ his­to­ry and they embody a soldier’s par­tic­u­lar alle­giance to a battalion. 

Lieu­tenant Gen­er­al Andrew Gra­ham, Colonel of the Reg­i­ment and its most senior mem­ber, said of the new headdress: 

“In all that we do we strive to car­ry for­ward the more than 2,500 cumu­la­tive years of proud and coura­geous fight­ing tra­di­tion and exem­plary ser­vice of our antecedent regiments. 

“We are deter­mined to act as a reg­i­ment of sev­en bat­tal­ions and we will not treat our TA bat­tal­ions, who are mak­ing such a strong con­tri­bu­tion to the reg­i­ment, on and off oper­a­tions, as ‘after­thoughts’.”

The Ter­ri­to­r­i­al Army (TA) mem­bers of the reg­i­ment asked for their respec­tive bat­tal­ion iden­ti­ties to be marked by a unique hackle. 

Lieu­tenant Colonel Char­lie Platt, Com­mand­ing Offi­cer of 6 SCOTS, said: 

“The intro­duc­tion of a grey hack­le is about rein­forc­ing bat­tal­ion iden­ti­ty and as such it is a very pos­i­tive devel­op­ment for 6 SCOTS

“The colour is not impor­tant and delib­er­ate­ly bears no his­tor­i­cal or antecedent sig­nif­i­cance; what is impor­tant is that the bat­tal­ion now has its own colour that its mem­bers can be proud to wear.” 

The Com­mand­ing Offi­cer of 7 SCOTS, Lieu­tenant Colonel Ed Chelsea, said: 

“The intro­duc­tion and wear­ing of the pur­ple hack­le gives 7 SCOTS its own sep­a­rate iden­ti­ty, recog­nis­ing the bat­tal­ion as an enti­ty in its own right, rather than being made up of dif­fer­ent parts. 

“Being the only TA infantry bat­tal­ion in the High­lands of Scot­land, and pro­vid­ing con­tin­u­al sup­port to over­seas oper­a­tions, it is only fit­ting that we are so recog­nised. We will wear the new pur­ple hack­le with pride.” 

Press release
Min­istry of Defence, UK 

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