DORSET soldiers paraded in front of Prince Edward in a celebration of becoming the UK's new Armour Reinforcement Regiment.
Hundreds of friends and family turned out to see the parade at Bovington Army barracks earlier today.
See video below:
Soldiers from the different squadrons of the regiment paraded in front of HRH Prince Edward, accompanied by the Band of the Blues and Royals and the regimental mascot ram – Ramrod D’Arcy the Third.
The Prince, who is the regimental honorary royal colonel, spent time talking to all the squadrons.
As part the Army's new 2020 design, the Royal Wessex Yeomanry, together with squadrons in Dorset, Wiltshire, Devon and Gloucestershire, will provide the Army Reserve’s armour unit.
They will provide fully trained Challenger Two main battle tank crews, in support of the new British Army reaction force.
The parade celebrated a new unifying cap badge for the whole regiment, incorporating the Wessex Dragon symbol, and the amalgamation of a squadron from the Royal Yeomanry into the new regiment. The Swindon-based unit will now become Y Squadron of the Royal Wessex Yeomanry.
As part of the Royal Wessex Yeomanry’s restructure and re-role the operational command will be moving from Tidworth to Bulford.
Prince Edward praised the time and effort that had gone into the parade and thanked all the families and friends of the soldiers who had turned out to watch.
He said: “It’s great to see so many of you.”
The Prince welcomed the new Y Squadron to the Royal Wessex Yeomanry and praised the new unifying cap badge. He said: “The Wessex Dragon represents a very rich heritage.”
He added: “I cannot adequately describe the pride, the honour and the privilege I feel at being your royal honorary commander.”
Lieutenant Colonel Chris MacGregor, Commanding Officer of the Royal Wessex Yeomanry said that in their new roles the soldiers would be crewing the Challenger Two main battle tank, including driving, gunning and loading.
He said the soldiers felt ‘delighted’ to have been given a weighty task.
He praised the soldiers adding: “They are men and women that want to do something out of the ordinary. We can give them that.”
Corporal Susie O’Hara from the Bovington squadron said she had really enjoyed the parade.
Private Emma Whitbread, who is Miss Weymouth 2014, is part of the Bovington squadron and passed her basic training in May.
She said it had been really nice to parade with her squadron in front of the Prince.
She said: “It’s definitely a proud moment.”