THE Yorkshire Regiment has set out how it plans to preserve its identity when it loses a battalion in response to army cuts.
Under the Army 2020 restructuring announced last year the 2nd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards) is to be disbanded.
The new unit, bearing the Duke of Wellington’s name, which has historic links with Huddersfield and Halifax, is to remain.
Retired Major General Graham Binns updated the president of the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment Association, Col Nick Borwell, on the implementation which was first announced in July.
He said the first difficulty they face is to determine ‘how physically’ to merge the 2nd Battalion with the 1st and 3rd Battalions.
But he said the ‘majority of personnel’ are now aware of their future movements with a small number awaiting opportunities outside the regiment.
A report produced to update on the merger states it is vital the Yorkshire Regiment maintain its identity.
It states: “The merger of the regular battalions requires us to revisit our organisation, symbology and branding as three antecedent linked regular battalions form into two.
“The strengths of our antecedent military heritage, much of which was focused towards individual battalions, will now be rooted in the regiment as a whole.
“We will draw forward and emphasis those aspects which underline our identity, which resonate today, and which serve us for the challenges ahead.”
The Army is to lose 17 major units in the biggest overhaul of the service for decades.
The changes – to be completed by the end of the decade – will see the regular Army cut from 102,000 to 82,000 while the Territorial Army will be expanded to give a combined force of 120,000.
There were initially fears the cuts would see the end of the Dukes, which has recruited for decades in Huddersfield and Halifax.
The report concludes: “No matter how strong our identity and our sense of purpose, without effective and sustained delivery we will under realise the potential of the regiment.”
Huddersfield MP and Army veteran Barry Sheerman has spoken out about the cuts in the past saying it is a ‘cowardly act’ to cut troops numbers when they signed up for a ‘worthwhile’ career.
Among other units to go are four infantry battalions: the 2nd Battalion the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, the 3rd Battalion the Mercian Regiment, and the 2nd Battalion the Royal Welsh.
A fifth, the 5th Battalion the Royal Regiment of Scotland (Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders) will be reduced to a public duties company to carry out public duties in Scotland.