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Category: Army today/RAR

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Subject to Crown copyright. Do not copy or use without approval

Raised by linking 8 

RAR with 9 RAR on 31 Oct 1973
Battalion colour

Slate Grey ( BCC 154)

& Beech Brown (BCC 69)
Battalion nickname .
Battalion march The Brown & Grey Lanyard Click to hear a small selection
Current home Disbanded 30 June 1997
Mascot A Merino Ram, L/Cpl John Macarthur IV


The 8th/9th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment was formed on the 31st October 1973 from the linking of the 8th Battalion, RAR and the 9th Battalion, RAR as a result of the downsizing of the Army following the Vietnam campaign.

In the 24-year history of the battalion, it trained for war in a period of peace and regional stability. Whilst the battalion was never deployed on operational service it played a key role to the nation and in particular to the local community in the South East Queensland region. In particular the battalion was tasked with the role of disaster relief and the subsequent cleaning up of the substantial damage caused by the devastating Brisbane Floods in 1974.

The battalion survived a number of upheavals in its time, the first in 1980 with the introduction of the Operational Deployment Force (ODF), where the battalion lost over 250 soldiers to bolster the ODF battalions (1RAR and 2/4RAR).

During the 1980s the 6th Brigade, including the 8th/9th Battalion and the 6th Battalion, was tasked with the development of the Australian Army's amphibious capability and to establish fighting procedures in Urban Terrain.

In the early 1990's the battalion embarked on an ambitious endeavour to recruit residents of South East Queensland to the battalion. This was known as direct enlistment and these soldiers were to have served a minimum of four years with the battalion at Enoggera before being considered for posted to another battalion. Whilst this concept was highly successful the subsequent transition to a Ready Reserve Battalion saw many of these soldiers posted to the Operational Deployment Force in Townsville.

In 1990 the battalion was involved in the Papua New Guinea Training program whereby the battalion was responsible for assisting the New Guinea Defence Forces train its soldiers. This role lasted until 1992 before the battalion was re-designated in January 1992 to become a Ready Reserve Battalion with an emphasis on Light Infantry.

The 'Ready Reserve' scheme consisted of soldiers undertaking a commitment to the Army to serve as a "full-time" soldier for a period of one year, followed by five years as a part-time soldier serving a minimum of 100 days each year. In return the Army provided education and employment assistance for each soldier after the completion of the "full-time" year.

On Saturday the 10th October 1992 the battalion was granted the Right to the Freedom of Entry to the City of Brisbane which confirmed the battalions long association with the city and reflected the long term respect and a mutual understanding between the community and the unit.

Lord  Mayor Soorley inspects the battalion

In 1996 as a consequence of the 6th Brigade's transition to a motorised fighting formation the battalion was equipped with Stage 2 Bushranger vehicles and commenced to train in its newly designated role of motorised infantry. The battalion remained in existence until the 30th June 1997 when due to a major restructuring of the Army the 8th/9th Battalion was removed from the 'ORBAT'.

On the 18th June 1997 a final tribute to the Regimental colours of both battalion's occurred before they were laid up at the Infantry Corps museum at the Infantry Centre, Singleton. A large contingent of current serving members of the battalion together with many ex-serving members of the 8th Battalion, 9th Battalion and the linked 8th/9th Battalion attended which led to the subsequent forming of the association.

8/9 RAR Badge Distribution:

On the removal of 8/9 RAR from the 'ORBAT' the distribution of battalion property was a priority with battalion staff conducted an extensive stock take of the battalions memorabilia and possessions and the property was divided into three distinct collections reflective of its origin (ie 8RAR, 9RAR and 8/9RAR) and a small amount was returned to those people who had donated it, on their request.

The large brass "Skippy badges" that were prominently displayed in the battalion area were distributed to a location or unit indicative of its origin with the intention that these units would be the custodian until such time as the badges were required again should the battalion be reformed in the future.

One was placed in the custody of "Depot Company", School of Infantry at Singleton (shown on right) whilst the other is held with the 4th Battalion (CDO), RAR at Holsworthy.

The association would like to thank the former RSM of the Battalion WO1 Mark Levine for his input in regards to this information.

It is possible that there was a 3rd large badge from in front of BHQ that was donated to the RAR Walk


these details and some photos from the 8/9 RAR Association web site

The Roll of Honour for 8RAR and 9 RAR (8/9RAR) at the RAR Walk. Photo: K James, 8/9 and 6 RAR


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