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Reserve Forces & Cadets Association
Northern Ireland



04 September 2015

Reserve Soldiers with The Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry (SNIY) in Northern Ireland have adopted the grey beret of the paired Regular Regiment ‘The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards’ (SCOTS DG).

Alongside colleagues in Scotland’s central belt they collectively form the ‘51st Infantry Brigade’ Light Cavalry capability with troops mounted on lightly armoured Land Rovers (R-WMIK) and JACKAL fighting vehicles.

 Based both in Belfast and Coleraine the NI reservists were presented with their grey berets at ceremonies in the Army Reserve Bases.

Changing from their blue head-dress to the grey means SNIY personnel are now indistinguishable from their paired Regular colleagues, with the exception of the striking wolf capbadge; enabling a deeper and more seamless integration of soldiers both during training, ceremonial events and operations. The ancestry of the North Irish Horse is reflected on the capbadge with the Wolf’s Head being mounted on a background of New Brunswick Green.

Lieutenant Colonel James Campbell-Barnard, the Commanding Officer of the Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry said:

“The opportunity to adopt the grey beret is highly significant at the start of our new history and is a distinctive privilege bestowed on us and our affiliated cadet detachments by our paired Regular Regiment and one we do not take lightly.”

“It demonstrates that, alongside the SCOTS DG, we collectively provide a robust Light Cavalry capability within the Army, which we will continue to develop as we evolve into a fully manned Regiment over the coming years.”

 The newest Reserve Combat Regiment to be formed in the British Army, SNIY personnel have already participated in a major military exercise in Germany, with the SCOTS DG.

 Colonel James explained his vision for the SNIY:

 “Since our inception last year we have been striving to exploit every opportunity to work with the SCOTS DG so that wherever our Reservist soldiers are sent, whatever they are asked to do and whenever this may be, they will seamlessly blend together with their Regular colleagues and operate as one Army.”

 With the presentation of the beret, SNIY will now take forward the history of this distinctive grey headdress; highlighting the importance of ‘horsepower’ to Cavalry units, with mobility and speed around the battlefield evolving from ‘Scots grey’ horses during the battle of Waterloo 200 years ago to the armoured fighting vehicles of today.

 PHOTO: Sergeant Major Jason Baillie of the Scots Dragoon Guards (left) presents Lieutenant Colonel James Campbell-Barnard, Commanding Officer of the Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry with his new cap at a ceremony in Belfast.

The Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry (SNIY) is the Army’s newest combat reserve regiment, having entered the Army’s Order of Battle on 31 October 2014. Paired with The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (SCOTS DG), who are based in Leuchars, SNIY has a footprint stretching across Scotland’s central belt and over the Irish Sea, with sub unit locations in Belfast, Coleraine, Cupar and Edinburgh. The two regiments provide a Light Cavalry capability to 51 Infantry Brigade.

SNIY and SCOTS DG are Combat units mounted on lightly armoured wheeled vehicles fitted with heavy weapons and charged with the Army’s newest role, Light Cavalry. The role of Light Cavalry is to find, understand and influence the enemy across the battlefield, fighting for information if required to do so and as a result its soldiers are trained to be ‘readily employable and rapidly deployable’.

 Since its formation last year SNIY have worn the dark navy blue beret of Queens Own Yeomanry (QOY), from whom they inherited three of their Squadrons. In February, the Army Dress Committee approved the adoption of a grey beret with the regimental cap badge to be mounted on New Brunswick Green to reflect the North Irish Horse contingent. The grey beret originates from the colour of the horses (Scots Greys) ridden by the SCOTS DG’s ancestors into battle; most famously at the battle of Waterloo where they captured an Imperial Eagle and Napoleon Bonaparte was heard to describe them as “those terrible men on grey horses”. SCOTS DG formally adopted the beret colour in the 1970s.

 The SNIY regimental cap-badge was selected as the wolf as, unlike the more common Saxon perception, it is noted in both Scottish and Irish Folklore for warning, guiding and protecting locals and travellers. The backing of the lances was deliberate to represent the common military background in the squadrons and the new Light Cavalry role; upon the amalgamation of the 9th/12th Royal Lancers and The Queens Royal Lancers in May 2015.

 SNIY are now one of only two regiments, which depicts lances within its cap badge. The design of the Tactical Recognition Flash (Blue – Green – Blue) represents the two Scottish and one Irish Sabre Squadrons that existed at the formation of the Regiment.

 SNIY are actively looking for new reservist recruits to join its Light Cavalry squadrons and can provide information to anyone considering a part-time career in the British Army. Of particular note are the myriad of opportunities that currently exist within NI’s northwest and Greater Belfast areas (including vehicle drivers, commanders, heavy weapon gunners, intelligence analysts, influence and communication operators, medics, chefs and Human Resource specialists).

For further details on the SNIY, visit the Army website at

 For further details on the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, visit the Army website at

 For further information about the exciting career opportunities available in the Army Reserve search “Join the Army Reserve” or visit