THE ROYAL GREEN JACKETS THE FORMATION AND ORIGINS OF THE REGIMENT
On 1st January 1966 The Royal Green Jackets was formed as a single large Regiment. Its creation followed logically from the composition of The Green Jackets Brigade in 1958, which grouped together three former single-battalion infantry regiments: The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (43rd & 52nd), The Kings Royal Rifle Corps (60th Rifles) and The Rifle Brigade.
It was no accident that these particular regiments came together so easily. They each share a distinguished past, with similar histories, traditions and ethos. They, and the Royal Green Jackets as their heirs, laid claim to being forward looking and innovative, responsible for the development of much of the new thinking in the British Infantry in the fields of tactics, training, equipment and man-management from the mid-eighteenth century onwards.
The leadership of such distinguished officers as Henri Bouquet, Francis de Rottenburg, Coote Manningham and Sir John Moore generated a succession of advanced ideas later to be adopted as ideals by the rest of the Army: open order tactics and mobility in place of rigid drills and deliberate movement, camouflage and concealment in place of closely formed ranks of red coats, individual marksmanship in place of massed musket fire, intelligence and self reliance in place of rigid obedience instilled by the fear of brutal punishment.
The Peninsula Campaign was where these new professional soldiering skills and tactics first achieved major operational success, and where Green Jackets made their name. Green Jackets have always been operationally focused and at the forefront of action throughout the years, by role and tradition "First in and last out", and their 59 Victoria Crosses is a number matched by no other regiment until the formation of The Rifles in 2007.
Since its formation in 1966, Green Jackets have served with distinction on operations in every theatre; in particular in Northern Ireland from 1969 to the present day, where the regiment has had an almost continuous presence, and has played a decisive and influential role in the campaign. Its officers and riflemen have continued to display the professional approach, mutual trust and unique spirit that is the Green Jacket way, embodied in the regimental tradition of the "Fighting, Thinking Rifleman" and the Regimental motto - 'Swift and Bold' given to the 60th Royal Americans at Quebec by General Wolfe in 1759 as 'Celer et Audax'.
DATES OF NOTE 1. 1st January 1966: Formation of the Royal Green Jackets. 2. 1st January 1968: Light Division formed. 3. 15th June 1968: Bracketed titles worn since formation in 1966 removed. 4. 1971: 3rd Battalion reduced to one company-R Company. 5. 1972: 3rd Battalion reformed. 6. 1985: Regimental Depot at Peninsula Barracks, home to Green Jackets since 1858 closes, the Regimental Museum remains there to this day. Training of recruits undertaken at Sir John Moore Barracks Winchester and subsequently Catterick. 7. 1992: The Regiment reduced to two battalions. 8. 1st February 2007: The Royal Green Jackets taken out of the Order of Battle and merged to form The Rifles.