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The Australian Regiment Formed

23 NOV 1948: Today sees the formation of the Australian Regiment, which later became the Royal Australian Regiment (RAR) receiving its ‘Royal’ prefix in October 1949. The Royal Australian Regiment has taken a prominent role in Australia’s wars and peacekeeping operations since its formation.

After the Second World War the Australian Military Forces were reorganised. The Australian Regular Army was formed in September 1947; this was to be supported by the reorganised Citizen Military Forces.

This is the structure that remains in place today, although the full-time component of the army is much larger than it was in 1947 and the part-time component has shrunk considerably.

It is only since 1980 that the “Australian Army” has been officially given this name.

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Before Federation each of the Australian colonies had their own armies composed of a mixture of regular (paid full-time soldiers), militia (paid part-time soldiers), and volunteer (unpaid part-time soldiers) units.

In March 1901 the Commonwealth Government assumed responsibility for defence matters and the colonial armies were merged to form the Commonwealth Military Forces (CMF).

Throughout the next 47 years the Australian Military Forces, as they soon became known, remained a part-time force of citizen soldiers with only a small regular component.

These forces were restricted to service on Australian territory, and two special volunteer forces, both known as the Australian Imperial Force, were formed for service overseas during the two world wars. Citizens’ force units did, however, serve in Australian and Australian-mandated territory in the Pacific during the Second World War. Photo; Lieutenant General Sir Henry Wells, Chief of the General Staff, Australian Army, inspects troops from the 2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment’s support company. Among this group are several old soldiers who served in the Second World War and in Korea. More;

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