The Earl of Wessex enjoyed a parade and celebration on Thursday as reservist soldiers from Wiltshire marked becoming part of the UK’s new Armour Reinforcement Regiment.
This new appointment equates to an enhanced role for The Royal Wessex Yeomanry and will now see the regiment provide fully trained Challenger Two main battle tank crews as part of the British Army’s 3rd Division.
At Bovington Camp, the occasion was marked by a parade in front of Prince Edward, who is the Regimental Honorary Royal Colonel, as well as hundreds of family and friends. Accompanying the event was the band of The Blues and Royals.
“They are dedicated young men and women who want to do something a little less ordinary and you see that exude as we march on to parade,” Lieutenant Colonel Chris MacGregor, commanding officer of the Royal Wessex Yeomanry commented.
The reservists will now take on a new role in support of the high readiness reaction force based on Salisbury Plain. The new role comes as part of the Army 2020 restructuring and will also see the RWY paired with regular Army units including The Queens Royal Hussars, The Kings Royal Hussars and The Royal Tank Regiment.
Staff Sergeant Geoff Timmins of B Squadron believes the new appointment has brought the regiment together adding, “It will make us look that much more professional. We can stand alongside the regular Army and look the part as well as do the job.”
A new unifying cap badge was also presented to the regiment bearing the Wessex Dragon while the regiment will now wear the red and black triangle insignia of the 3rd division, this will be worn on their left sleeve.
The day in Wiltshire was also a very special one for Ramrod D’Arcy III, who was the mascot of A Squadron, The Dorset Yeomanry. The Dorset ram was today promoted to regimental mascot and was presented to Edward at the conclusion of the parade.
Prince Edward is not only Honorary Colonel of The Royal Wessex Yeomanry he also holds other honorary military appointments. These include Royal Honorary Colonel of The London Regiment, Honorary Air Commodore of Royal Air Force Waddington, Royal Colonel of 2nd Battalion The Rifles and Commodore in Chief of The Royal Fleet Auxiliary.
The Prince also holds a number of honorary military appointments in Canada.