Page 15 - The Rifles Bugle Autumn 2019
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 Rifles offers, coupled with good leadership inside the battalions. The Regiment’s unique selling point is this breath of opportunity; our 5 Regular and 3 Reserve battalions offer unparalleled variety in capability and location. No other Infantry regiment has such diversity of opportunity. There are signs of improvement in recruiting as the recent recruiting campaigns take effect and kinks in the recruiting process are worked through. Really encouraging is the quality and quantity of young officers leaving Sandhurst and joining the Regiment, a key indicator of a thriving Regiment. I’d encourage that every Rifleman is a recruiter and every interaction with a potential Rifleman or their family is a recruiting opportunity; we must all proudly sell service in our Regiment. 2019 has seen one of the final service barriers removed and across both the Regular and Reserve battalions we now have women serving as Combat Infanteers – as a Regiment that is forward thinking, progressive and I know we will welcome them.
We must continue to think as a large, unified, Regiment to meet our Riflemen’s aspirations. This is key to successful retention. I’ve been encouraged by the flow of Riflemen moving from our Regular battalions to our Reserve battalions and vice versa; albeit still a small flow, this flexibility of service hints at how we might retain our talent more effectively in the future.
Examples of the breadth of opportunity can be seen inside this issue of The Bugle and inside our companion publication The Chronicle. There have been several notable firsts this year: 2 RIFLES guarding the Royal Residences in London with considerable Rifles style, 4 RIFLES pushing ahead with the Specialised Infantry Pilot and now deploying teams to train the very best of our partnered forces around the world and 8 RIFLES growing fast and well into their training cycle. We also look forward to 7 RIFLES’ mobilisation on Op TOSCA in 2020.
Shooting and Bugling encapsulate what it means to be a Rifleman and I am delighted by the progress being made to challenge as the best shots in the Army. I am confident that we are on our way to success at Bisley. We must live up to our name and the move of the Rifles Shooting Team from 4 RIFLES to 5 RIFLES will put the team on a sustainable footing for the future. Our standard of Bugling is high and we can be justifiably proud of our Band and Bugle platoons but the development and careful management of our senior buglers must continue if we are to maintain our current standard.
The Regimental Training Team, co-located with 1 RIFLES in Chepstow, is clearly proving its worth with a notable increase in our performance on career courses at the Infantry Battle School. This improvement is due to the excellent pre-course training delivered by the Regimental Training Team and completely in line with our ethos of maximising talent.
As the Regiment matures there is a developing THE RIFLES
   Regimental network bringing together all the pillars of the Regiment. Communication across our pillars has been a challenge but with the launch of Swift we have a social media platform to remain connected wherever we are. I encourage its use wholeheartedly. The Rifles Gathering, held in London, is starting to get a momentum of its own and we will continue to develop the format of this Gathering, again seeking to bring together our Regimental pillars at this event.
Finally, as we go to print, I want to share our collective grief at the tragic news of Captain Gaz Case’s death, and to extend The Regiment’s deepest condolences to Sam and Leonie, and to his family and close friends. I was lucky enough to serve with Gaz for much of his career. He was one of the finest leaders I ever met and a Rifleman whose example I tried always to match. Rest in Peace. Patrick Sanders
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