As early as 1965 when the title 1st Cavalry
Regiment was adopted, the unit started forming a regimental identity. The
Regimental system and all that it implies are reflected in a number of different
ways. The Regiment, despite being young, has a number of traditions.
Immediately after the name 1st Cavalry Regiment was adopted, a Squadron
competition was held to design a distinctive badge for the Regiment. Since the
unit was intended largely to carry out the role of reconnaissance ("the
eyes of the ADF") a bird of prey seemed the logical emblem. The Australian
Wedge Tailed Eagle, with its keenness of sight and its ability to roam over
large distances, was finally selected as the model for a badge. A competition
was run within the unit and won by the orderly room corporal, Corporal T. C.
Burgess. Early in 1967, the 2nd Cavalry Regiment received its new badge, a wedge
tailed eagle swooping, carrying a lance bearing the motto "Courage" in
The colours of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment are green over white. The Regiment's
colours are shown on the pennants carried on lances for ceremonial occasions. (Note
that this is only a reference to the colours used on identification pennets and
the like and is not to be confused with the Regimental Colours of an infantry
unit which are sacred ceremonial flags. In the Cavalry and other horse units
that role is taken by the Guidon).
In ancient days, rallying signs or standards
were introduced to distinguish families, tribes and races and to show the
position of the commander amid the confusion of the battlefield. Their evolution
can be traced from the metal standards of the Roman Legions through the banners
of medieval nobility, to the Standards, Guidons, Colours and Banners of today.
The Guidons of the RAAC are patterned on
those of the British Army and are only carried by an RAAC Squadron Sergeant
Major (SSM), with an escort of two Senior Non Commissioned Officers (NCO). The
Sovereign personally approves the design of the Guidon and either presents it,
or is represented, at the presentation. The Guidon is rectangular with rounded
swallow tails, is made of crimson silk damask and bears the Regimental crest,
title and motto. These are surrounded by a wreath of wattle leaves under an
Edwardian Crown. The pike is a single length of Ashwood and is topped with a
The first guidon was held by A Squadron
after manufacture, awaiting formal presentation. Presentation was originally
planned for early 1971 and initial plans included the movement of B Squadron
from Enoggera for the presentation, using A Squadron 3rd Cavalry Regiment to
hold ground. The Guidon was to be shared between A and B Squadrons. These plans
were made before RHQ was raised. Delays due to the protocols of presentation
meant that by the time presentation dates were confirmed considerable changes
had occurred to the Regiment, with B Squadron becoming A Squadron 4th Cavalry
Regiment, and A Squadron 3rd Cavalry Regiment becoming B Squadron 2nd Cavalry
Regiment. The Queen's representative in NSW, the Governor, Sir Roden Cutler, VC,
KCMG, KCVO, CBE presented 2nd Cavalry Regiment with its first Guidon on 5 August
1972, at a parade in Holsworthy West. This original Guidon was not saved when
the Officers Mess was tragically razed by fire on 4 February 1990. The
Regiment's current Guidon was presented to the Regiment on 20 November 1990, on
a Regimental Parade on the 1st Brigade Parade Ground, Holsworthy, by Lieutenant
General Coates, who was the CGS at the time. Although custom dictates that the
Guidon be housed in the Officers Mess, the Regiments Guidon is now lodged in the
foyer of RHQ. All members of the Regiment now have the opportunity to see the
Guidon. It is customary to salute the Guidon on entering RHQ.
A series of letters were
exchanged until 26 October 1967 when a suitable eaglet was located.
|As a result of the selection of the eagle for a badge, and after
viewing a documentary film dealing with wedge tailed eagles, members of the unit
decided an eagle as a mascot was a sensible idea. The members of the unit
petitioned the 2IC (Captain A.J. Hull) to make a representation to the Wild Life
Division of the CSIRO to obtain an eagle as a mascot.
On 14 November 1967 the new mascot, Trooper Courage, then six weeks old, was
presented to the unit. The first ceremonial activity that Courage took part in
was a Beating of the Retreat at Victoria Barracks Sydney in 1969. Courage
paraded with the Regiment on nearly every ceremonial occasion since that time
including the presentation of the guidon on 5 August 1972, when she won much
praise by the then Governor of NSW, Sir Roden Cutler. The highlight of her
career was in February 1974 when she took part in the house guard for Her
Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Courage was promoted through the ranks to Sergeant,
and became a very tolerant mascot, even attending dinners in the Sergeants Mess.
On 2 April 1987 Sergeant Courage died. Her
death was commemorated with a memorial service and a special edition of Routine
Orders was published. Her record of service is as follows:
|Date of Birth
||6 August 1967
|Date of Enlistment
||14 November 1967
||10 December 1971
||16 March 1984
||2 April 1987
A new mascot, a male wedge tailed eagle, hatched at Taronga Park Zoo on 14
August 1987, and was presented to the Regiment on 15 October 1987. On 25 January
1988 Trooper Courage was a part of the Royal Guard for the arrival in Australia
of HRH the Prince of Wales, who was representing the Queen during Australia’s
Courage is trained to fly to his handler, a skill which has made him a
feature of several parades. Courage flew onto parade at the presentation of the
Guidon, and the opening of Waler Barracks.
On Friday 17 November 1997 Corporal Courage was participating in flight
training with his handlers on the Regimental parade ground. Late in the
afternoon he refused to co-operate with his handlers and flew away. He was not
found until 1600 hrs on Sunday 19 November, four kilometres from the guard room.
An extensive search had taken place over two days, involving the guard and other
soldiers of the Regiment. Charged with AWOL, he was reduced to Trooper. Due to
good behaviour and commendable service he was promoted to the rank of Corporal
again on 2 July 1998.
His service details to date are as follows:
|Date of Birth
||14 August 1987
|Date of Enlistment
||15 October 1987
|Promoted Lance Corporal
||25 November 1994
||28 November 1996
||13 November 1997
||2 July 1998
Meritorious Unit Service Award
The 2nd Cavalry Regiment received a Meritorious Unit Service Award from the
Government of New South Wales, in recognition of the contribution by the members
of the Regiment, in the operations that followed the Northern Suburbs Storm on
21 January 1991. The Award now hangs in RHQ.
Darwin Freedom of Entry
In 1992, the 2nd Cavalry Regiment was the first post war combat unit to move to
Darwin and was set the task of establishing a rapport with the Darwin community.
Subsequently on a parade through the streets on 24 April 1995 the Regiment was
granted the Freedom of Entry to the City of Darwin.
|To perpetuate and symbolise the traditions of past Light Horse and Cavalry
units which were traditionally linked to 2nd Cavalry Regiment through 4th/19th
Prince of Wales Light Horse, approval was sought and gained for selected members
of the Regiment to carry lances and wear bandoliers on ceremonial occasions.
Official approval was granted in February 1974 for Warrant Officers Class 2,
Staff Sergeants and Sergeants to wear bandoliers and carry lances on ceremonial
parades and guards. This form of dress was first worn officially by the left and
right guides of the Guard provided for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at
Parliament House, Canberra in February 1974.
With the general wearing of the slouch hat across the Army, colour patches
were reintroduced in the early 1990s. The reintroduced colour patches were based
on the designs of the 1st and 2nd AIF colour patches. The design and colour of
the 2nd Cavalry Regiment colour patch is based on that of the 4th Light Horse
and is light blue over dark blue, divided diagonally from lower to higher, on a
rectangular patch. This design was chosen because of links with A Squadron
4th/19th Prince of Wales Light Horse (descended from 4th Light Horse) and is
worn on the right side of the puggaree on the slouch hat by all members of the
Regiment (including those from other Corps).
From its earliest days, the Regiment wore the black beret as dress of the
day, on ceremonial occasions and in the field. This was consistent with the
dress of the 2nd AIF Armoured units and it was understandable that the Regiment
would wear the beret of the Royal Tank Regiment, given the source of the
personnel who first formed A Squadron 4th/19th Prince of Wales Light Horse. With
the introduction of the kepi cap and crewman helmet, the beret was sensibly
replaced as field dress. When Army Standing Orders for Dress (ASOD) were
introduced in the 1990s there was a greater emphasis placed on the wearing of
the Australian slouch hat in the Army.
| For RAAC units that had direct links to
the ALH, emu plumes were an essential accoutrement to retain the Light Horse
traditions. All RAAC personnel were given authority to wear plumes in the slouch
hat with the brim up or down in 1996. The black beret is retained for Regimental
and other ceremonial occasions. Personnel from other Corps who are posted to the
Regiment wear the black beret (with their respective Corps badge) and wear emu
plumes in their slouch hat.
|On 20 November 1970, Lieutenant Colonel Keldie assumed control of the 2nd
Cavalry Regiment (Reconnaissance). It was this appointment date that determined
the birth date of the Regiment. The Regiment’s birthday is 20 November
although, in the development of unique traditions it is celebrated on 31
October, which is Beersheba Day.
This date was chosen to celebrate the
Regiment’s birthday, since it was a successful Australian battle and retained
links with the Light Horse.
A Squadron 4th/19th Prince of Wales Light Horse, who
were later redesignated as A Squadron 2nd Cavalry Regiment, were the recipients
of the 1st Australian Imperial Force 4th Light Horse battle honours, so the
choice of Beersheba Day as the date for the celebration of the Regiment’s
birthday seemed only fitting. The Regiment’s birthday is typically celebrated
every year with a parade and a dining in night.
Competitions Competition between troops and squadrons is, and always has
been, fierce. The Regiment has many military and sporting competitions. Some,
such as the volleyball competition and trophy, date back to A Squadron 3rd
Cavalry Regiment whilst others are more recent. The major competitions are the
prizes most sought after.
The Keldie Cup is named in honour of the Regiment's first Commanding Officer,
Lieutenant Colonel J.D. Keldie, MC, and is the premier military competition of
the Regiment. The Keldie Cup was first competed for in 1980 and won by 1 Troop A
Squadron. It is competed for annually by the reconnaissance troops. Whilst the
competition may have had some variations over the years it is essentially an
assessment of troop level reconnaissance tasks. The previous winners of the
Keldie Cup are listed below.
- 1980 1 Troop A Squadron
- 1981 3 Troop A Squadron
- 1982 3 Troop A Squadron
- 1983 3 Troop A Squadron
- 1984 2 Troop A Squadron
- 1985 3 Troop A Squadron
- 1986 3 Troop A Squadron
- 1987 2 Troop B Squadron
- 1988 No competition (Bi-centennial Tattoo)
- 1989 3 Troop B Squadron
- 1990 3 Troop B Squadron
- 1991 3 Troop B Squadron
- 1992 1 Troop A Squadron
- 1993 3 Troop A Squadron
- 1994 2 Troop B Squadron
- 1995 1 Troop A Squadron
- 1996 2 Troop A Squadron
- 1997 1 Troop C Squadron
- 1998 2 Troop A Squadron
The Beersheba Cup was presented to the Regiment by Warrant Officer Class 1 H.
Studdard in 1979, and is awarded annually to the champion troop in military
skills. The Beersheba Cup was first won by forward Support Troop, Technical
Support Squadron. As with the Keldie Cup this competition has seen some
variation. Assessment remains common military skills which allows all troops of
the regiment to compete. The previous winners are listed below.
- 1980 Forward Support Troop Technical Squadron
- 1981 3 Troop A Squadron
- 1982 RHQ/SHQ Troop HQ Squadron
- 1983 3 Troop A Squadron
- 1984 2 Troop B Squadron
- 1985 RHQ/SHQ Troop HQ Squadron
- 1986 RHQ/SHQ Troop HQ Squadron
- 1987 2 Troop B Squadron
- 1988 No competition ( Bi Centennial Tattoo)
- 1989 SHQ Troop B Squadron
- 1990 2 Troop A Squadron
- 1991 1 Troop B Squadron
- 1992 3 Troop A Squadron
- 1993 3 Troop A Squadron
- 1994 1 Troop A Squadron
- 1995 3 Troop A Squadron
- 1996 3 Troop A Squadron
- 1997 2 Troop B Squadron
- 1998 1 Troop B Squadron
A.H. Smith Trophy
This trophy is named after the second Commanding Officer and was awarded to
the squadron with the best overall small arms results for the year. With the
introduction of ASLAV and in recognition of the primacy of AFV Gunnery the
Competition was changed to an assessed crew level gunnery competition in 1997.
Winners of the A. H. Smith Trophy are shown below.
- 1997 Corporal McKendry 22B
- 1998 Lance Corporal Martin 21C
The BRIG Eldridge Challenge Trophy
This is awarded to the champion Squadron, selected on the basis of placing in
military and sporting competitions over the year. The trophy is named in honour
of the first Honorary Colonel of the Regiment and was first awarded in 1997. The
champion squadrons of the Regiment are shown below.
- 1997 A Squadron
- 1998 A Squadron
Alliances and Affiliations
2nd/6th Cavalry (Commando) Regiment.
This Regiment was formed with the outbreak of World War II and developed a
proud tradition during that conflict. The Regiment was the first armoured unit
formed at Ingleburn on 3 November 1939 as 6th Australian Division Cavalry. B
Squadron made history when it attacked Port Gearnon 12 December 1940 which
established it as the first AIF unit action against land forces in the war. The
regiment fought against all the nations of the Axis Powers - Italy, Germany,
Vichy France and Japan. In doing so it won the following battle honours:
- North Africa 1940-41
- Bardia 1941
- Capture of Tobruk
- Syria 1941
- South West Pacific 1944 –45
- Liberation of Australian New Guinea
- Anub River
- Wirui Mission
2nd Cavalry Regiment was chosen by the past members of the 2nd/6th Cavalry
(Commando) Regiment to hold and preserve these Battle Honours. On 9 October 1971
at a ceremonial parade the Regiment was presented with a scroll and bronze
plaque affiliating the two Regiments. The scroll hangs in RHQ and the plaque is
fixed to a large sculptured rock at the base of the Regiments flag pole. The
book ‘To The Green Fields Beyond’, written by Shawn O’Leary details the
2nd/6th Regiment's history.
United States 2nd Armoured Cavalry Regiment (2
On 21 August 1974 Brigadier General Charles P.
Graham (a past Commanding Officer of 2nd Armoured Cavalry Regiment) visited
Jordan Lines for the establishment of a ‘Bond of Friendship’ between 2nd
Cavalry Regiment and 2nd Armoured Cavalry Regiment. The 2nd Cavalry Regiment
presented him with a plaque and a photo album, filled with photographs of his
visit and received in turn a plaque from 2nd Armoured Cavalry Regiment which now
hangs in RHQ.