The Structure of The British Army: You Thought you knew

The British Army is one of the oldest and most prestigious military organisations in the world, with a long and storied history dating back to the Middle Ages. The formation of the British Army can be traced back to the reign of King Henry VIII in the early 16th century when he established a standing army of professional soldiers to defend the country against foreign threats. Over the centuries, the structure and organisation of the British Army have evolved to meet the changing needs of warfare and society. Today, the British Army is a highly trained and well-equipped fighting force that is capable of carrying out a wide range of missions around the world.

The British Army is divided into several different branches, each with its own unique focus and set of responsibilities. These branches include the Infantry, Cavalry, Royal Artillery, Royal Engineers, Royal Signals, and the Army Air Corps. Within each branch, there are a number of different units and regiments, each with its own specific role and function. For example, the Infantry includes both regular and reserve units, with soldiers trained to operate on foot, in vehicles, or in airborne and amphibious operations. The Army is commanded by the Chief of the General Staff, who is responsible for the overall strategic direction of the organisation. Under him, there are several other high-ranking officers, including the Deputy Chief of the General Staff, the Commander Field Army, and the Commander of Home Command.

The British Army has a strong tradition of discipline, professionalism, and courage, and its soldiers have served with distinction in conflicts around the world. With a focus on innovation and adaptability, the Army is well-equipped to face the challenges of modern warfare and continue to uphold its proud legacy of service to the nation.

The Organisation of The Army

The organisation of the British Army and how it divides its personnel is interesting and complex. From doing an approx. search it could be loosely classed as the following if anyone knows any more detail please add them to the comments.

CategoryAmount of Soldiers
Squadron2 or more troops
Company150-200 part of a battalion
Corps2-3 Divisions
Army2 or more Corps


A section is a basic tactical unit that is typically made up of between six to ten soldiers led by a non-commissioned officer (NCO). Sections are used to carry out a wide range of tasks, from patrolling and reconnaissance to attacking or defending a position. Each section is usually made up of soldiers with specific roles, such as riflemen, machine gunners, or grenadiers, and they work together to achieve their objectives. The NCO in charge of the section is responsible for leading and directing their soldiers, ensuring that they carry out their tasks effectively and safely. Sections are often combined with other sections to form larger units, such as platoons, companies, or battalions, as part of the overall structure of the Army.


A platoon is a basic unit in the British Army, consisting of between 20 to 40 soldiers led by a Platoon Commander, usually a Lieutenant, and a Platoon Sergeant, usually a Sergeant. The platoon is typically organised into several smaller sections, each led by a Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO), such as a Corporal or a Lance Corporal. The platoon is designed to be a flexible and self-contained unit capable of operating independently or as part of a larger force.

Its primary function is to carry out a wide range of tactical missions, such as reconnaissance, offensive operations, and defensive operations, depending on the needs of the mission. The platoon is an essential component of the British Army’s structure and is crucial for the successful execution of a variety of military operations.


In the British Army, a troop is a term used to describe a unit of soldiers within a larger regiment or brigade. Troops are typically led by a troop commander, who is responsible for the training, discipline, and welfare of the soldiers under their command. The size and composition of a troop can vary depending on its specific role and mission but typically consists of between 20 and 30 soldiers. Within the British Army, troops are often associated with the cavalry and other mounted units, where they are used to describe a subunit of soldiers that operate together as a cohesive team. In addition to their military duties, troops are often involved in community outreach and engagement activities, helping to build bridges between the military and civilian populations.


In the British Army, a company is a military unit that is typically composed of between 80 and 150 soldiers, commanded by a major or captain. Companies are organised into battalions, which are in turn part of larger regiments or brigades.

Each company is responsible for carrying out a specific mission or set of tasks, such as providing security, conducting patrols, or engaging in combat operations. Companies may be specialized to perform certain functions, such as the Signals Company, which is responsible for maintaining communications equipment, or the Medical Company, which provides medical care to soldiers in the field.

Within each company, soldiers are organised into smaller units, such as platoons or sections, each led by a non-commissioned officer.


A squadron is a term used to describe a sub-unit of an armored or cavalry regiment. A squadron typically consists of approximately 120 soldiers and is led by a Major or Captain, who is assisted by several other officers and non-commissioned officers.

The role of a squadron can vary depending on the type of regiment it belongs to, but it generally involves operating armored vehicles and providing reconnaissance and security for larger formations. Squadrons are typically organised into troops, each of which is led by a Troop Leader and consists of several sections.

Squadrons in the British Army have a long and distinguished history and have played key roles in many conflicts around the world. They are known for their professionalism, discipline, and courage, and their soldiers undergo extensive training to ensure they are prepared for any mission they may be called upon to undertake.


A battery is a unit of artillery typically consisting of six guns or howitzers and the soldiers and equipment needed to operate them. Batteries are often assigned to support specific infantry or armored units, and they provide direct fire support in battle. The term “battery” comes from the historic practice of grouping artillery pieces together in a circular formation, or “battery,” which allowed them to concentrate their firepower on a specific target. Today, batteries are highly mobile and can be rapidly deployed to support troops on the ground. The soldiers who serve in a battery are highly trained in the operation of their weapons and equipment and are prepared to respond quickly to changing battlefield conditions.


A battalion is a unit consisting of around 500 to 1000 soldiers, commanded by a Lieutenant Colonel. Battalions are a key part of the Army’s structure, with each battalion having its own unique history, traditions, and specialised skills. Within a battalion, soldiers are organized into different companies, each with its own role and function, such as a rifle company or a support company.

Battalions are typically responsible for carrying out a wide range of military operations, from conducting patrols and providing security to engaging in full-scale combat. They may also be called upon to provide support in humanitarian and disaster relief operations. Overall, battalions play a vital role in the British Army’s ability to carry out its mission of protecting the nation’s security and interests both at home and abroad.


A brigade is a large military formation consisting of several battalions or regiments, along with supporting units such as artillery, engineers, and logistics. A brigade is typically commanded by a Brigadier or a Brigadier General, who is responsible for the overall direction and coordination of the units under their command.

Brigades are organised based on their function and mission, with each brigade specializing in a particular type of combat or operation, such as infantry, armored, or airborne. Brigades can be deployed either independently or as part of a larger division, and are often used in a wide range of military operations, from peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance to combat missions in hostile environments.

The British Army currently has several brigades, including the 1st Armoured Infantry Brigade, the 16th Air Assault Brigade, and the 3rd UK Division.


A division is a large military formation made up of several brigades and other supporting units. Divisions are typically commanded by a major general or a lieutenant general and can consist of up to 20,000 soldiers.

Divisions are designed to be self-sufficient, with their own logistics, medical, and administrative units, and are capable of carrying out a wide range of missions, from defensive operations to offensive assaults. Divisions may be employed individually or as part of a larger force, depending on the nature of the mission. The British Army currently has several active divisions, including the 1st Armoured Infantry Division, the 3rd Division, the 7th Infantry Brigade, and Headquarters East.


A corps is a group of soldiers who share a similar function or role within the larger organisation. Corps are often composed of several regiments, each with its own unique history, traditions, and battle honors. The British Army currently has several corps, including the Royal Engineers, Royal Signals, and Army Medical Services, each with its own specific responsibilities and areas of expertise.

The corps system helps to ensure that soldiers are trained and equipped for their specific roles, and allows for greater coordination and effectiveness in carrying out missions. Corps members often wear distinctive uniforms and insignia to identify themselves and their units and may be deployed to serve in a variety of different locations and theaters of war.


In the British Army, a regiment is a large military unit made up of several battalions or squadrons. Regiments are responsible for providing specialised training, equipment, and support to their soldiers, as well as carrying out a wide range of missions and operations around the world.

Each regiment has its own unique traditions, history, and culture, and soldiers are often fiercely loyal to their regiment. The regimental system is an important part of the British Army’s culture and has played a significant role in shaping its identity over the centuries. Today, the British Army has a wide variety of regiments, each with its own specialised skills and areas of expertise, including infantry, armored, and cavalry regiments, as well as specialist regiments such as the Royal Artillery and the Royal Engineers.

Guards Regiments

A Guards regiment in the British Army is a highly prestigious and elite unit that is responsible for providing ceremonial and security duties to the British monarchy and the royal palaces.

The five regiments that make up the Household Division are the Grenadier Guards, Coldstream Guards, Scots Guards, Irish Guards, and Welsh Guards. These regiments have a long and storied history, with roots dating back to the 17th century, and are known for their distinctive uniforms and highly trained soldiers. In addition to their ceremonial duties, Guard’s regiments also play an important role in active military operations, and many have served with distinction in conflicts around the world. Membership in a Guards regiment is highly competitive, and soldiers must meet rigorous standards of physical fitness and discipline to be accepted.

Changing face of British Army regiments, from 1918, 1944 and 2023

Grenadier GuardsGrenadier GuardsGrenadier Guards
Coldstream GuardsColdstream GuardsColdstream Guards
Scots GuardsScots GuardsScots Guards
Irish GuardsIrish GuardsIrish Guards
Welsh GuardsWelsh GuardsWelsh Guards
Royal ScotsRoyal ScotsRoyal Scots
Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment)Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment)Royal Regiment of Scotland
King’s Own Scottish BorderersKing’s Own Scottish BorderersRoyal Regiment of Scotland
Cameronians (Scottish Rifles)Cameronians (Scottish Rifles)None (merged with The Royal Scots)
Royal Inniskilling FusiliersRoyal Inniskilling FusiliersRoyal Irish Regiment
Royal Ulster RiflesRoyal Ulster RiflesRoyal Irish Regiment
Royal Irish Fusiliers (Princess Victoria’s)Royal Irish Fusiliers (Princess Victoria’s)None (merged with Royal Irish Regiment)
South Wales BorderersSouth Wales BorderersThe Royal Welsh
King’s Shropshire Light InfantryKing’s Shropshire Light InfantryNone (merged with The Light Infantry)
Worcestershire RegimentWorcestershire and Sherwood ForestersMercian Regiment
Royal Warwickshire RegimentRoyal Warwickshire RegimentNone (merged with The Mercian Regiment)
Royal Norfolk RegimentRoyal Norfolk RegimentThe Royal Anglian Regiment
Essex RegimentEssex RegimentThe Royal Anglian Regiment
Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire RegimentBedfordshire and Hertfordshire RegimentNone (merged with The Essex Regiment)
Suffolk RegimentSuffolk RegimentThe Royal Anglian Regiment
Duke of Cornwall’s Light InfantryDuke of Cornwall’s Light InfantryThe Light Infantry
Devonshire RegimentDevonshire and Dorset RegimentNone (merged with The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment)
Somerset Light Infantry (Prince Albert’s)Somerset Light Infantry (Prince Albert’s)None (merged with The Light Infantry)
Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light InfantryOxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light InfantryNone (merged with The Rifles)
Gloucestershire RegimentGloucestershire RegimentThe Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment
Duke of Wellington’s Regiment (West Riding)Duke of Wellington’s Regiment (West Riding)None (merged with The Yorkshire Regiment)
East Yorkshire RegimentEast Yorkshire RegimentThe Yorkshire Regiment
South Lancashire Regiment (The Prince of Wales’s Volunteers)South Lancashire Regiment (The Prince of Wales’s Volunteers)The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment
York and Lancaster RegimentYork and Lancaster RegimentThe Yorkshire Regiment
Highland Light InfantryHighland Light InfantryThe Royal Regiment of Scotland
Cameron HighlandersCameron HighlandersThe Royal Regiment of Scotland
Seaforth HighlandersSeaforth HighlandersThe Royal Regiment of Scotland
Gordon HighlandersGordon HighlandersThe Royal Regiment of Scotland
analyais British army regiments WW1, WW2, to 2023 pt1
Queen’s Own Cameron HighlandersQueen’s Own Cameron HighlandersThe Royal Regiment of Scotland
Argyll and Sutherland HighlandersArgyll and Sutherland HighlandersThe Royal Regiment of Scotland
Royal Scots FusiliersRoyal Scots FusiliersNone (merged with The Highlanders)
King’s Own Scottish BorderersKing’s Own Scottish BorderersRoyal Regiment of Scotland
Highlanders (Seaforth, Gordons and Camerons)Highlanders (Seaforth, Gordons and Camerons)The Royal Regiment of Scotland
Liverpool RegimentKing’s Regiment (Liverpool)None (merged with The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment)
East Lancashire RegimentEast Lancashire RegimentThe Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment
Manchester RegimentManchester RegimentNone (merged with The King’s Regiment)
Loyal North Lancashire RegimentLoyal Regiment (North Lancashire)The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment
Cheshire RegimentCheshire RegimentThe Mercian Regiment
Royal Welsh FusiliersRoyal Welch FusiliersThe Royal Welsh
South Staffordshire RegimentSouth Staffordshire RegimentNone (merged with The Mercian Regiment)
North Staffordshire RegimentNorth Staffordshire RegimentNone (merged with The South Staffordshire Regiment)
Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment)Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment)Mercian Regiment
East Surrey RegimentEast Surrey RegimentPrincess of Wales’s Royal Regiment
Middlesex RegimentMiddlesex RegimentPrincess of Wales’s Royal Regiment
London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers)London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers)The Rifles
London Regiment (King’s Royal Rifle Corps)London Regiment (King’s Royal Rifle Corps)None (merged with The Rifles)
Hampshire RegimentHampshire RegimentPrincess of Wales’s Royal Regiment
Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort’s Own)Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort’s Own)The Rifles
King’s Royal Rifle CorpsKing’s Royal Rifle CorpsThe Rifles
Duke of Cambridge’s Own (Middlesex Regiment)Duke of Cambridge’s Own (Middlesex Regiment)Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment
Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent Regiment)Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent Regiment)The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment
Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment)Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment)None (merged with The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment)
Royal Sussex RegimentRoyal Sussex RegimentThe Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment
Essex RegimentEssex RegimentThe Royal Anglian Regiment
Bedfordshire RegimentBedfordshire and Hertfordshire RegimentNone (merged with The Essex Regiment)
Hertfordshire RegimentBedfordshire and Hertfordshire RegimentNone (merged with The Essex Regiment)
Cambridgeshire RegimentCambridgeshire RegimentNone (disbanded after WWI
Analysis British army regiments WW1, WW2, to 2023 pt2

Corps and Regiments of the British Army

  • Household Cavalry and Royal Armoured Corps
  • The Infantry


  • The Adjutant General Corps
  • The Royal Logistics Corps
  • Queen Alexandras Royal Army Nursing Corps
  • The Army Medical Services
  • The Royal Army Veterinary Corps
  • The Royal Army Chaplains department
  • The Corps of Army Music
  • The Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers
  • Army physical training corps
  • General Service Corps
  • Small arms school Corps


  • The Royal Corps of Signals
  • The Intelligence Corps
  • The Royal Engineers
  • The Royal Regiment of Artillery
  • Honourable Artillery Company
  • The Army Air Corps
  • Queens Gurkha Engineers
  • Queen’s Gurkha Signals


  • Special Air Service Regiment (SAS)


  • The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers
  • The Kings Own Royal Border Regiment
  • The Princess of Wales Royal Regiment
  • The Prince of Wales’s Own Regiment of Yorkshire
  • The Kings Own Scottish Borderers
  • The Rifles
  • The Mercian Regiment
  • Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment
  • The Parachute Regiment
  • The Royal Green Jackets
  • The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire & Wiltshire
  • The Duke of Wellington’s regiment
  • The Worcestershire & Sherwood Foresters Regiment (WFR)
  • The Devonshire and Dorset Regiment
  • The Royal Gurkha Rifles
  • The Royal Gibraltar Regiment
  • The Light infantry
  • The Royal Regiment of Scotland
  • The Kings regiment
  • The Royal Anglian Regiment
  • The Chesire regiment
  • The Royal Regiment of Wales
  • The Staffordshire Regiment
  • The Royal Irish Regiment
  • The Green Howards
  • Royal Signals
  • The Queen’s Lancashire Regiment
  • The Black Watch
  • The Highlanders
  • The Royal Welsh Fusiliers
  • The Royal Highland Fusiliers
  • The Yorkshire Regiment
  • Queen’s Own Gurkha Logistic Regiment
  • Scottish & North Irish Yeomanry


  • Coldstream Guards
  • Scots Guards
  • Grenadier Guards
  • Irish guards
  • Welsh guards
  • London Regiment


  • Blues & Royals
  • The Life Guards
  • Royal Horse Artillery


  • The Royal Armoured Corps
  • The Queens Dragoon Guards
  • The King’s Royal Hussars
  • The Royal Dragoon Guards
  • The Light Dragoons
  • The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards ( Carabiniers & Greys)
  • The Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars
  • The Queen’s Royal Hussars
  • The Queens Royal Lancers
  • 9th/12th Lancers (Prince of Wales’s)1st Royal Tank Regiment
  • Royal Wessex Yeomanry
  • -Royal Yeomanry



  • Special Air Services regiments
  • Special Reconnaissance regiments
  • Army Air Corps regiments


  • Challenger 2 tank
  • FV432
  • MCV 80 Warrior
  • Fuchs
  • Scimitar Tanks
  • Sabre Tank
  • Saxon
  • Spartan
  • Map plan 3 levels
  • G, 1 and LG
  • Level 1
  • Army, Battle, Society, Temporary Exhibition space, toilets
  • G level
  • Soldier, Café, toilets, Welcome desk, Main entrance, play base, cloakroom.
  • LG level
  • Templer Study Centre and Archive, Foyle Centre, Atrium, Discover More, Toilets,


British Army Regiment Websites, The Definitive List

Regiment NameWebsite URL
Household Division
Grenadier Guards
Coldstream Guards
Scots Guards
Irish Guards
Welsh Guards
Royal Regiment of Scotland
Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment
Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment
Royal Regiment of Fusiliers
Royal Anglian Regiment
Yorkshire Regiment
Mercian Regiment
Parachute Regiment
Royal Gurkha Rifles
Royal Irish Regiment
Royal Welsh
Army Air Corps
Royal Artillery
Royal Engineers
The King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery
Royal Artillery
Royal Engineers
Queen’s Own Yeomanry
Royal Wessex Yeomanry
The Royal Lancers (Queen Elizabeths’ Own)
Royal Tank Regiment
Royal Yeomanry
Army Air Corps
Royal Army Chaplains’ Department
Royal Army Dental Corps
Royal Army Medical Corps
Royal Army Veterinary Corps
Small Arms School Corps
Royal Corps of Army Music
Corps of Army Music
Intelligence Corps
Military Provost Guard Service
Royal Military Police

Other References:

Corps, Regiments, and Units – British Army

British Army Formation – Army Museum

UK Army Reorganisation

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