August 27, 2015

It was a case of out with the old and in with the new as The Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry (SNIY) adopted new grey berets at ceremonies in Cupar, Edinburgh, Ayr and Belfast.

The SNIY has Reserve units covering Scotland’s central belt and across the Irish Sea collectively forming Scotland’s ‘51st Infantry Brigade’ Light Cavalry capability with troops using Land Rovers (R-WMIK) and JACKAL fighting vehicles.

During parades on August 26 to mark this historic occasion, SNIY soldiers and officers were proudly presented with their grey berets by their paired Regular regiment The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (SCOTS DG).

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.

Lieutenant Colonel James Campbell-Barnard, the Commanding Officer of the SNIY, 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 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 head-dress; 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.

HRFCA attended the Cupar changeover (pictured above) to capture the action. The event began with a formal beret handover to Major Blair Smart, Officer Commanding C (Fife & Forfar Yeomanry/Scottish Horse) Squadron, in the combined mess followed by speeches and Major Nick Moffat (Officer Commanding C Squadron SCOTS DG, based in Leuchars) handing over berets to members of the SNIY squadron.

Major Smart said: “I have been in command of the squadron with the SNIY since its inception a year ago and this change is in fact a resurrection of the grey beret for SNIY through a forebear regiment ‘The Scottish Yeomanry’ of which I was a member. I look forward to helping take this historic link forward once again.”


From left: Major Nick Moffat (Officer Commanding C Squadron SCOTS DG), Major Blair Smart (Officer Commanding C Squadron SNIY), WO2 Overton (Squadron Liaison Officer C Squadron SNIY) and WO2 (SSM) Chart (Squadron Sergeant Major C Squadron SCOTS DG).


Major Blair Smart addresses his squadron.


Major Nick Moffat (left) of the SCOTS DG presents a grey beret.


Major Nick Moffat presents berets as C Squadron stands to attention.


Major Nick Moffat presents berets.


Major Nick Moffat addresses C Squadron of the Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry.