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The Royal Australian Regiment (RAR)

Designed by Sgt E J O'Sullivan of 1RAR as the 1RAR badge Australia has put many fine units into the field, "in harms way"; none were any better than the men who wear 'Skippy', the men of the Royal Australian Regiment. 

Choose the Battalion that interests you from the list below and Click the link . . .

OR read the History of the Regiment

The Regiment belongs to the 

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A Digger in Koreacirca 1951

The Royal Australian Infantry Corps

A Digger from the Viet Nam era

circa 1968


Today's Digger, fully loaded and ready to go

circa 2000

History of the Royal Australian  Regiment


  • O God, We, Who Have Served In The Royal Australian Regiment,
    • Consecrate Ourselves To You By Giving Ourselves Body And Spirit
    • To Your Service And To The Service Of Our Fellow Man.
    • Cleanse From Us Everything That Could Mar This Service.
    • Grant That We May Live Our Lives 
    • That At All Times We Put Our Duty First.
    • Help Us To Think Wisely, To Speak Rightly, To Resolve Bravely,
    • To Act Kindly And To Live Purely.
    • Give Us The Courage To Defend The Cause Of Justice,
    • Freedom, Truth And The Right To Liberty.
    • This We Ask Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.
In 1998 the Regiment celebrated it's 50th birthday. A special Tattoo was written for the occasion. for a small sample of it. notes
Regimental colour

Infantry scarlet

Regt quick march  El Alemein Chosen November 1981
Regt slow march  Infantry Song Chosen 1989
Regimental motto DUTY FIRST  (suggested by Major K B Thomas MC of 1 RAR)
School The School of Infantry
Battle Honours. Note that as the formation of the Australian Regiment marked the first ever Australian regular Regiment of Infantry it was decided that the new formation would not inherit any Battle Honours from its parent Units. It was to be a fresh start.
  • KOREA 1950-1953
    • Sariwon
    • Yongyu
    • Chongju
    • Pakchon
    • Uijongbu
    • Chuam-ni
    • Machwa-san
    • Kapyong
    • Kowang-San
    • The Samichon
  • VIET NAM 1965-1972
    • Long Tan
    • Bien Hoa
    • Coral-Balmoral
    • Coral
    • Balmoral
    • Hat Dich
    • Binh Ba
PUC;  Kapyong PUC;  Long Tan MUC; Service with US 173rd Airborne Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry Unit Citation

Colours of the various Companies in a Battalion of the RAR

The Regimental Badge

  • This larger than average badge is too large to be a hat badge and too small to be a gate badge.
  • It is probable that it was made to be attached to a wall, door or possibly a vehicle.
  • Note the Tudor (King's) Crown.
  • 6.5 cm x 5.5 cm (hat badge is 4.5 cm x 3.5 cm)
  • Silvered alloy or whitemetal.

The 'Skippy' Badge. The design of the Regiment's Badge was by a Sgt E J O'Sullivan of 1 RAR. 

He intended that it be the 1 RAR badge only. The symbols are . . .

  • The King's (Tudor) Crown signifying service to the nation and the 'Royal' prefix.
    • note that the badge now bears the Queen's (St Edward's) Crown.
  • A kangaroo and a wattle wreath as being distinctly Australian.
  • A boomerang from the TAC Signs of the parent Units.
  • Crossed .303 rifles representing the Infantry nature of the Regiment.
  • It was approved as a badge suitable for the Regiment in 1949. 

  • It is proudly referred to, by those of us who earned the right to wear it, as 'Skippy'.

RAR collar badge (left) >>

badge-rar-gate1.jpg (153455 bytes) In 1950 3 RAR had cast 3 large representations of the Regiments badge. 

They kept one and presented 1 each to the other 2 Battalions. The photo (left) is the I RAR badge. These 3 'gate' badges are the only ones in the Regiment to have the Kings Crown. All other battalions were formed after Queen Elizabeth succeeded to the throne and they therefore have the Queen's (St Edward's) Crown on their badges.  

For many years I believed that the hat badge was NEVER produced with the Tudor (King's) Crown and that the first badges were made in 1954 with the St. Edwards (Queen's) Crown. That may not be the case. I recently saw one with the KC offered for sale. The seller advises that the manufacturer name that shows on the badge is Swann and Hudson, Frankston Victoria
This will give an idea of size of the 1 RAR Gate Badge.  This shows the Queen's Crown on a Gate Badge
The formation of The Royal Australian Regiment in the years soon after the end of the Second World War was of fundamental importance to the Australian Army. Before that time Australia's peacetime army had been substantially a part-time militia, which formed the basis for a voluntary, specially enlisted force for war. The regular component was merely the permanent cadre for the larger citizen army. After 1948, however, for the first time Australia had a permanent, professional army, available in peace and war for any task the government might direct. But although The Royal Australian Regiment was the key component of the new Australian Regular Army, it was not a complete break with the past; it was built on the existing reservoir of soldiers who had seen active service in the Second World War. The Regiment might have been new, but the traditions developed in the Boer War and in two world wars continued.

The continuity of service was preserved because The Royal Australian Regiment had its genesis in three infantry battalions of the 

  • 34th Australian Infantry Brigade, the 
    • 65th, (became 1RAR)
    • 66th  (became 2 RAR) and
    • 67th (became 3RAR) Australian Infantry Battalions, (see their colour patches, left)

raised at the end of the Second World War for special service with the British Commonwealth Occupation Force (BCOF) in Japan. 

These battalions had strong links with the Australian Militia and AIF volunteer traditions as they comprised volunteers from the five Australian Infantry Divisions which had engaged in operations against the Japanese Army in areas extending from the Solomon Islands in the east, through New Britain and New Guinea, to Borneo in the west, as well as earlier service for some of them, in the North Africa campaign. 

On cessation of hostilities in 1945 the Australian Government made a commitment to contribute Australians to the Commonwealth Occupational Forces in Japan. The 34th Infantry Brigade was raised in Morotai, specifically for this purpose, and consisted of three Infantry Battalions, namely the 65th 66th and 67th Battalions. 

On 23 November 1948 the 34th Infantry Brigade was designated as the Australian Regiment, with the Battalions becoming the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Battalions, The Australian Regiment. On 10 March 1949 Royal assent was given and the Regiment became the Royal Australian Regiment.


It was deemed undesirable to have the new Australian Regular Army (ARA) units,  who would have no battle honours or Colours to be numbered higher than AIF Units.

Originally it was proposed that the three Battalions be named . . .

  • 1st Battalion, King George VI's Australian Rifle Regiment
  • 1st Battalion Princess Elizabeth's Australian Footguards and
  • 1st Battalion Princess Margaret's Australian Infantry Regiment

An alternative proposal was . . .

  • 1st Infantry Battalion, City of Sydney's Own Regiment
  • 1st Infantry Battalion, Royal Melbourne Regiment
  • 1st Infantry Battalion, The Oxley Regiment

Eventually it was decided to adopt the British style regimental system and the Australian Regiment was born.

The Regiment was deployed to Korea in 1950 at the outbreak of hostilities between North and South Korea, at the request of the United Nations and served there until 1956. For most of the next two decades the Regiment remained committed on active service operations in Malaya, Malaysia, Borneo and South Vietnam. In recent times the Regiment has provided elements for United Nations peace keeping operations such as Cambodia and Somalia. During service in Australia the Regiment has made a significant contribution to national disaster operations such as cyclones Althea and Tracey.

  • The Royal Australian Regiment has a proud history of serving Australia in both war and peace.

The Regimental Ode



  • 1 RAR, from June 1965 to 1966 June - & May 1966 May 1967
  • 5 RAR replaces 1RAR:- June 1966 to June 1967
  • 6 RAR extra Battalion:- May 1966 to May 1967
  • 7 RAR replaces 5RAR:- June1967 to June 1968
  • 2 RAR replaces 6RAR:- December 1967 to November 1968
  • 3 RAR extra Battalion:- April 1968 April to February 1969
  • 1 Battalion replaces 7RAR:- June 1968 June to May 1969
  • 4 Battalion replaces 2RAR:- November 1968 to November 1969
  • 9 Battalion replaces 3RAR:- February 1969 to March 1970
  • 5 Battalion replaces 1RAR:- May 1969 to June 1970
  • 6 Battalion replaces 4RAR:- November 1969 to December 1970
  • 8 Battalion replaces 9RAR, but not replaced! February 1970 to March 1971
  • 7 Battalion replaces 5RAR:- February 1970 to March 1971
  • 2 Battalion replaces 6RAR:- February 1971 to October 1971 not replaced
  • 3 Battalion replaces 7RAR:- May 1971 to December 1971 not replaced
  • 4 Battalion replaces 2 RAR:- 4RAR/NZ (ANZAC) withdrawn 1971/72
Battalion Birthdays Royal Australian Regiment 23 November
1 RAR 12 October
2 RAR 16 October
3 RAR 20 October
4 RAR 1 February
5 RAR 1 March
6 RAR 6 June (6th of the 6th)
7 RAR 1 September
8 RAR 8 August (8th of the 8th)
9 RAR 13 November
2/4 RAR 15 August
5/7 RAR 3 December
8/9 RAR 31 October


  • Where a photo of the Colours is available the Icon appears under the name

    • As well as these there is a full section dedicated to The Colours

Unit Date Place By Whom
1 RAR 30 March 1957 Brisbane The Governor-General, Field Marshal Sir William Slim, GCB, GCMG, GCVO, GBE, DSO, MC, KstJ
1 RAR  5 July 1976 Townsville The Governor-General, The Honourable Sir John Kerr, AK, GCMG, KstJ, QC
1 RAR 12 May 1988 Townsville The Governor-General, Sir Ninian Stephen, AK, GCMG, GCVO, KBE, KStJ
2 RAR 2 September 1955 Brisbane The Governor-General, Field Marshal Sir William Slim, GCB, GCMG, GCVO, GBE, DSO, MC, KstJ
2 RAR 17 September 1976 Townsville The Governor-General, The Honourable Sir John Kerr, AK, GCMG, KstJ, QC
3 RAR 24 April 1956 Sydney The Governor-General, Field Marshal Sir William Slim, GCB, GCMG, GCVO, GBE, DSO, MC, KstJ
3 RAR 24 April 1985 Sydney The Governor-General, Sir Ninian Stephen, AK, GCMG, GCVO, KBE, KStJ
4 RAR 11 April 1965 Adelaide The Governor-General, The Right Honourable Viscount De Lisle, VC, GCMG, GCVO
4 RAR 11 October 1984 Townsville The Governor-General, Sir Ninian Stephen, AK, GCMG, GCVO, KBE, KStJ
5 RAR  29 October 1967 Holsworthy The Governor-General, Sir Roden Cutler, VC, KCMG, CBE
6 RAR 10 May 1968 Townsville The Governor-General, The Right Honourable Lord Casey, GCMG, CH, DSO, MC
7 RAR 6 October 1968 Holsworthy The Governor of NSW, Sir Roden Cutler, VC, KCMG, CBE
8 RAR 25 September 1968 Terendak,
The Colonel Commandant, Lieutenant General Sir Reginald Pollard, KBE, CB, DSO
8 RAR 1 October 1989 Enoggera The Governor-General, The Honourable Bill Hayden, AC
9 RAR 29 April 1971 Enoggera The Governor-General, The Right Honourable Sir Paul Hasluck, GCMG, GCVO
9 RAR 1 October 1989 Enoggera The Governor-General, The Honourable Bill Hayden, AC


The Tattoo and the other Regimental marches on this site in sample size come from the CD that contains them all in full and is available from the RAR Foundation. Note that the quality of the samples is well below that of the CD because I have compressed them to make them fast loading. They are .wav files in mono at 11megahertz so quality is affected. They are demonstration samples only. The RAR Foundation is the Copyright owner.

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