1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment

1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (1 RAR) is a regular motorised infantry battalion of the Australian Army. 1 RAR was first formed as the 65th Australian Infantry Battalion in 1945 and since then has been deployed on active service during the Korean War, the Malayan Emergency, the Vietnam War and more recently in Somalia, East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan. Additionally, the battalion has deployed on peacekeeping operations to a number of countries including Japan, East Timor and the Solomon Islands. In 2006, 1 RAR was one of the Australian Army's most heavily deployed units sending detachments to Iraq as part of SECDET, Tonga, the Solomon Islands and Timor Leste. The battalion is currently based at Townsville, Queensland, where it forms part of the 3rd Brigade.

1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment
Active12 October 1945 – present
BranchAustralian Army
TypeMotorised infantry
Part of3rd Brigade
Nickname(s)Big Blue One
Motto(s)Duty First
MarchWaltzing Matilda (Band)
Mascot(s)Shetland Pony "Septimus"
EngagementsKorean War

Vietnam War

East Timor
Iraq War
War in Afghanistan
DecorationsUnit Citation for Gallantry
Meritorious Unit Commendation (United States)
Colonel-in-ChiefHM The Queen (Australian Infantry Corps)
Unit Colour Patch
INF1001 - UCP - 1RAR
Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment arriving in the Solomon Islands (23-12-2004)
Soldiers from 1 RAR arrive in the Solomon Islands in December 2004



With the conclusion of the war in the Pacific in 1945, Australia was committed to provide troops for occupation duties in Japan.[1] This commitment led to the formation of the 34th Australian Infantry Brigade. The brigade was made up of three battalions: the 65th, 66th and 67th Australian Infantry Battalions. On 12 October 1945 the 65th Battalion, later the 1st Battalion was formed out of 7th Division at Balikpapan and quickly sailed to Morotai from where they undertook training prior to being sent to Japan as part of the British Commonwealth Occupation Force.[2]

In line with the formative plan to raise an Interim Army, the battalions were re-designated as of the Australian Regiment in 1948 and the 65th Battalion became the 1st Battalion, Australian Regiment.[1] On 31 March 1949 the regiment received the prefix "Royal", becoming the Royal Australian Regiment.[1] 1 RAR was initially based at Ingleburn, but later moved to Enoggera and Holsworthy and is now based at Lavarack Barracks, Townsville.[3]

Occupation of Japan

Under an agreement signed between the Allied nations, Australia would contribute troops towards the occupation of Japan.[4] The Australian contribution was a brigade element, the 34th Brigade, consisting of three infantry battalions each with their own area of responsibility.[5] By the middle of June 1946 the Australian brigade was in place, with the 65th Battalion located at FukuyamaOnomichi, 150 kilometres (93 mi) south of Osaka.[5] The battalion was charged with enforcing the directives of the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, which involved various tasks such as ceremonial duties, escorting displaced persons, restoring law and order and overseeing the disarmament process.[5] During this time they participated in the search and destruction of wartime materials.[6] The operation was a dangerous one, the area was honeycombed with caves and tunnels and large quantities of explosives, ammunition and poison gas were discovered.

In April 1946 the battalion took part in the surveillance of Japanese elections.[7] The battalion also kept a close watch on a number of repatriation centres in the area. At the end of 1948, the 1st Battalion left Japan, while all Australian troops had left Japan by 1951 with the signing of the San Francisco Treaty.[8]


1RAR was in Australia when the Korean War began in 1950; however, the battalion was not deployed immediately as Australia's initial commitment consisted of 3RAR. In 1951, in anticipation of deployment to Korea, 1RAR was brought up to strength with volunteers from 2RAR and new enlistments from the 'K' Force recruiting campaign which brought a large number of men with experience from World War II into the battalion. In September 1951 the battalion received orders to move to Korea and after a farewell march through Sydney 1RAR departed for Japan on 18 March 1952 onboard HMAS Devonshire.[2] After a period of training in Japan, 1RAR arrived in South Korea on 6 April 1952, joining the 28th Brigade on 1 June. On 19 June 1952 1 RAR moved into the line taking over from the 1st Battalion, Royal Leicesters.[2]

In July 1952 1RAR was detached to the 29th Brigade, relieving other battalions on Hills 159, 210 and 355.[1] It took part in general patrolling along the Jamestown Line, which involved securing defences, repairing minefield fences, and undertaking reconnaissance of enemy positions to gather information on them.[1] Other major operations that 1RAR took part in usually aimed at capturing a prisoner or destroying enemy defences. Operation Blaze was 1RAR's first major action, which involved an attack on Hill 227 in order to capture a prisoner.[1] The attack failed in its objective and the battalion suffered four killed and 33 wounded in action.[2]

On the night of 13–14 September the battalion captured its first prisoner as it continued to conduct patrolling operations.[1] By the end of the month 1 RAR was relieved and whilst one company was detached to 1st Battalion, Welsh Regiment to occupy the Yong Dong hill feature the rest of the battalion was placed into the brigade reserve.[2] This lasted until November when as part of Operation Nescala, 1RAR relieved the 1st Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment on Hill 355.[2] The position had been poorly maintained and over the course of the next ten days 1 RAR had to regain control of the approaches and re-establish security in the area, suffering 50 casualties in the process.[1] At the same time, the battalion also supported the Royal Fusiliers in Operation Beat Up by launching a diversionary attack on Hill 227 on 25–26 November 1952.[1]

On the night of 11–12 December 1952 1RAR was involved in Operation Fauna, which was only a partial success as the Australians failed to capture a prisoner, although they did manage to destroy an enemy position.[1] The battalion suffered 22 wounded and three missing as a result of this action. Operation Fauna turned out to be 1RAR's last action of the war was they were relieved by 3RAR on 29 December 1952.[2] On 21 March 1953, 1RAR was relieved by 2RAR at Camp Casey, near Tongduchon, and returned to Australia later that month on the MV New Australia. The battalion suffered 42 killed and 107 wounded during the nine months that they served on combat operations in Korea, however, 1RAR members also received the following decorations: two Distinguished Service Orders, two Officers of the Order of the British Empire, three Members of the Order of the British Empire, seven Military Crosses, one British Empire Medal, 21 Mentions in Despatches and three Commander-in-Chief Commendations.[2]

In April 1954, 1RAR returned to Korea as part of the UN forces stationed in the country after the armistice, and was involved in training and border patrols. It would remain there until March 1956.[1]


In response to the Malayan Communist Party's push to convert Malaya into a Communist state and increasing civil unrest the British Commonwealth Far East Strategic Reserve was established, with Australia contributing a rotating battalion group.[9] On 20 September 1959, the battalion embarked on MV Flaminia for Malaya.[2] After arriving at Singapore the battalion trained at Kota Tinggi and moved to base camps at Kuala Kangsar, Sungei Siput, Lasah, Lintang and Grik where they undertook a month of acclimatisation.[10] The battalion began Operation Bamboo on 16 November 1959 in the Thai/Malay border area in Perak, relieving the 1st Battalion, The Loyal Regiment.[2] For the next 18 months 1RAR operated in 210 square miles (540 km2) area of dense jungle searching for the elusive Communist terrorists (CTs).[2]

The area was largely inaccessible except by helicopter, boat or on foot. Platoon sized patrols would be sent for three week long search operations before returning to the base camps for ten days rest. Even though there were 117 official 'finds' during these operations, no kills were recorded by the battalion at this time as the CTs began to negate the Australian patrols by crossing the border into Thailand where they could not be followed.[2] In April 1960 1RAR took part in Operation Magnet, which involved FESR units crossing the border for the first time in the conflict in an attempt to drive the CTs back into Malaya where other units were ready to carry out ambushes upon them.[10] Later in June, Operation Jackforce was launched, using similar tactics and during this 1RAR finally was involved in one contact.[10]

In July 1960, the Malayan Emergency was officially declared over, although 1RAR remained on operations until the following year when it was withdrawn and began a period of intensive training as part of the FESR, including a number of brigade level exercises.[2] On 29 October 1961, the battalion left Penang for Sydney on the MV Flaminia, having suffered two men killed in action.[10] The battalion returned to Malaysia in early 1969, after two major exercises, 'Jumping Wallaby' and 'Sheer Hell', the unit withdrew from Malaysia, joining the Selarang garrison in Singapore in December 1969. The unit remained in Singapore until July 1971 when it returned to Lavarack Barracks in Townsville.[2]


Ex-servicemen from 1 RAR during the 2009 Melbourne Anzac Day march

Two tours of Vietnam were completed by 1 RAR during the Vietnam War, the first one being between March 1965 and June 1966 and the second between April 1968 and February 1969.[11] In March 1965 advanced elements of 1 RAR deployed for Vietnam by charter aircraft, whilst the rest of the battalion followed later on HMAS Sydney.[2] The battalion arrived at Bien Hoa Air Base in June and was placed under command of the US 173rd Airborne Brigade, becoming the first Australian unit to serve in a US formation.[2] Initially, the Australian contingent was restricted only to providing security to the airbase, however, these limitations were later removed by the Australian government and in September 1965 began conducting offensive operations against the Viet Cong (VC) including search and destroy missions, security operations and conducting fighting patrols around the Bien Hoa area of operations.[11]

Throughout the remainder of 1965 the battalion conducted a number of operations along with the rest of the 173rd Brigade in areas such as 'Ben Cat', 'War Zone D', and 'The Iron Triangle'.[2] In January 1966 1 RAR took part in Operation Crimp, a search and destroy mission in the Ho Bo Woods, north of Saigon, during which the battalion conducted an air assault and uncovered the Cu Chi tunnel complex which was serving as the underground hideaway for a VC higher command element.[11] A large stockpile of weapons and a large number of documents were found in the tunnel complex which was the deepest and most elaborate system that had been found up to that time.[2]

1RAR continued operations until April 1966, taking part in a number of joint operations with US troops until the arrival of the 1st Australian Task Force. On Anzac Day, as the battalion was preparing to return to Australia, they were visited by Prime Minister Harold Holt.[2] They were finally relieved in June and they returned to Australia that same month.[2]

The battalion's second tour came two years later when it returned to Vietnam, arriving at Nui Dat on 9 April 1968 to relieve 7 RAR.[11] Operating out of Phuoc Tuy Province the battalion was mainly involved in patrols, searches, reconnaissance and security operations before being redeployed in May to an area north of Saigon where throughout April it carried out Operation Toan Thang, which was aimed at cutting off the withdrawal of enemy forces following the Tet Offensive.[11] After conducting two small operations in Long Khanh Province, 1 RAR moved to Fire Support Base Coral. Whilst they were there, the base was attacked twice. The first attack which on the night of 15 May was only a probing attack by a battalion sized element, whilst the second attack came on the night of 16 May 1966, when the base was attacked by a force later identified as the 141st NVA Regiment.[2] After fierce fighting with the help of accurate artillery fire from the 102nd Field Battery the attack was beaten off and on 6 June 1966 the fire base was closed and 1 RAR returned to Nui Dat.[11] Later it was estimated that 162 enemy were killed as a result of Operation Toan Thang.[2]

Between July and September several more operations were carried out including a follow up mission called Operation Toan Thang II that saw the battalion move to the Bien Hoa–Long Khanh border and conduct sweeps through the Hat Dich, Tua Tich and Ba Ria areas.[11] Between 28 September and 12 October, 1 RAR was once again sent into the Hat Dich area when they undertook Operation Windsor.[2] This operation was later followed by a sweep mission through the north-western areas of Phuoc Tuy Province, before 1 RAR participated on Operation Goodwood, rotating on this operation with 9 RAR and 4 RAR until the battalion's tour of duty finally ended in February 1969.[2] In between these operations the battalion continued to carry out the normal duties of an infantry battalion in Vietnam, conducting cordon and search missions, escorting convoys, patrolling and security operations.[2]

1 RAR was officially relieved by 5 RAR on 15 February 1969 and it departed Vietnam the following day.[11] Total 1 RAR casualties for both tours were 50 killed and 411 wounded.[11][Note 1] Balanced against this, the battalion was credited with having killed 404 VC.[2] Members of the battalion also received the following decorations: three Distinguished Service Orders, three Members of the Order of the British Empire, six Military Crosses, three Distinguished Conduct Medals, 10 Military Medals, four British Empire Medals and 21 Mentions in Despatches.[11]


On 21 May 1987, after a military coup in Fiji, 1RAR received orders to deploy a rifle company from the Operational Deployment Force as part of Operation Morris Dance.[12] In the end the force was not deployed on the ground, however, a large naval task force was established off the Fijian coast to intervene if necessary and 'B' Company was flown to Norfolk Island where it embarked upon HMAS Tobruk.[2] From there elements of the company were spread across the task force to assist in the evacuation of Australian nationals and expatriates from the island before returning to Townsville on 3 June 1987, after the Australian government decided against taking more active measures to intervene.[2]


The Bougainville Copper Mine during 1988–89 was causing enough attention in Australia that the Australian Government placed 2/4 RAR on standby for a short notice deployment to the fractured isle. A significant number of soldiers from 1 RAR bolstered 2/4 RAR for the possible deployment. This deployment did not occur, however.


Op Solace DN-ST-93-02615
1RAR soldiers prepare to board a United States Marine Corps helicopter in Somalia

In 1991, the sub-Saharan African nation of Somalia was gripped by a deadly civil war, which coupled with widespread famine, that threatened a humanitarian disaster on a massive scale.[13] Initially the global response was slow, but in late 1992 the United Nations requested assistance in securing the nation as it went about the task of reconstructing the shattered nation's infrastructure and delivering humanitarian assistance.[13] In response Australia pledged to deploy a 937-strong battalion group in Operation Solace under the auspices of the wider US-led Operation Restore Hope as part of the Unified Task Force (UNITAF) in Somalia.[13]

1RAR, as part of the Operational Deployment Force, was chosen as the main unit upon which the Australian battalion group would be based and on 17 December 1992 was warned out for deployment.[2][Note 2] Deploying onboard HMAS Tobruk, HMAS Jervis Bay and charter aircraft, the battalion group was committed for a finite period between January and May 1993, and was given responsibility for a 17,000 square kilometres (6,600 sq mi) area centred upon Baidoa, which was a provincial town in the south-western area of Somalia.[13]

During its deployment, 1RAR took part in seven major operations and on 17 February 1993, they had the first of 11 contacts with Somali gunmen.[2] Approximately 1,100 foot patrols were undertaken whilst the battalion group was deployed, ensuring the safe delivery of 8,311 tonnes of humanitarian relief supplies. Additionally, 935 weapons including 544 rifles and 145 machine guns were seized.[14] Seven Somali gunmen were killed, four were wounded and 70 were detained and turned over to the Auxiliary Security Forces.[2] On 14 May 1993, the battalion handed responsibility for the Humanitarian Relief Sector to the French element of the United Nations Force. 1RAR returned to Australia on 22 May 1993 and marched through the streets of Townsville, Queensland.[2]

Operation Solace was the first active service deployment of Australian soldiers since the Vietnam War. Members returning to Australia were awarded the Australian Active Service Medal (AASM) and Infantry Combat Badge (ICB).[15]

Machine gun team from 1 RAR during RIMPAC 2012
A 1 RAR machine gun team training in Hawaii during RIMPAC 2012

Solomon Islands

During a battalion defensive exercise at High Range Training Area in 2000, elements of 1 RAR (CO Tac and C Coy) were recalled back to Coral Lines to assist with evacuation operations out of the Solomon Islands. Operation Plumbob ensued but the battalion group did not leave HMAS Manoora.

On Christmas Eve 2004, following the shooting death of Australian Protective Services Officer Adam Dunning, 1 RAR was ordered to deploy the Ready Company Group (RCG), based on Battalion HQ (Tac) and 'A' Company to the Solomon Islands. This was achieved within 18 hours of being ordered to deploy. Calm was quickly restored to the Solomon Islands, and the RCG returned to Australia in late January 2005.

In April 2006, riots flared in the capital Honiara after a non-favourable Prime Minister was appointed. The headquarters from 1 RAR and 'D' Company were deployed to assist the RAMSI to control the violence.[16] 'D' Company spent a majority of their time providing stability to the China Town region which was almost completely destroyed during the riots. Once the security situation had improved in the capital, the Task Force began sending patrols to the regional areas of the country. Some of the more remote communities had not seen an Australian patrol for almost two years.

East Timor

On 25 October 2000 a battlegroup based upon 1 RAR took over the role of the Australian Battalion of UNTAET from 6 RAR.[17] 1 RAR assumed control over 1500 km² of East Timor. The battalion's mission was to provide security to the people of East Timor so that civil infrastructure and government systems could be re-established under the guidance of the UN in order to help the East Timorese transition to an independent nation. Actions taken by the battalion resulted in one militia killed and one friendly wounded.[2] In April 2001, 1 RAR was relieved by 4 RAR.[18] The battalion deployed on its second tour of East Timor in May 2003, taking over from 5/7 RAR.[19]

In May 2006, Australian forces returned to East Timor following a resurgence in violence and an increase in civil unrest.[20] 'A' Company 1 RAR deployed from Townsville in mid-May on HMAS Manoora, flying into Dili by Blackhawk on 27 May. 'A' Company conducted sustained security, stability and public order operations in Dili for approximately two months. Operation Chindit saw the company conduct airmobile operations to Manatuto and Baucau to conduct further security operations, before returning to Australia in August.

In September 2006, further violence flared in Dili which resulted in the deployment of 'B' Company 1 RAR to East Timor to reinforce the efforts of the Battle Group already in country. 'B' Company took up a blocking position in the hills behind Dili, operating mostly in and around Gleno. The platoons of 'B' Company were often required to conduct Air Mobile Operations to other parts of the country. Early in 2007, a battlegroup consisting of 1 RAR's Battalion Headquarters and two rifle companies ('B' and 'C') deployed to Timor Leste (as East Timor has since become).

Iraq and Afghanistan

In 2006, a detachment of 109 soldiers from 'B' Company, 1 RAR, were deployed on the eighth rotation of SECDET, during which they were tasked to provide protection and escort for Australian government personnel working in the Australian Embassy in Baghdad.[21] Early in 2007, 'A' Company, 1 RAR, deployed to Iraq as part of SECDET 11 and conducted operations throughout the capital city of Baghdad.[22] 'D' Company, 1 RAR deployed to Afghanistan.[16] During the deployment, the company provided force protection for Australian and coalition forces as part of the Security Task Group assigned to Reconstruction Task Force 2. They worked closely with engineers from the 3rd Combat Engineer Regiment, undertook vital asset protection and several long range patrols during which they encountered numerous improvised explosive devices and experienced several engagements with Taliban forces.[23]

In 2009, 1 RAR was deployed to Afghanistan as a part of the Mentoring and Reconstruction Task Force 2 (MRTF2). MRTF-2 was engaged in reconstruction, mentoring and security operations in Uruzgan Province.[24]

In January 2014 soldiers from 'C' Company 1RAR and 3/4 Cav deployed to Kandahar and Kabul as part of FPE-1, they returned July 2014.

In 2014–15, soldiers from 'A' Company, 1 RAR and B Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment made up Force Protection Element Two (FPE 2) deployed to Afghanistan to provide security to mentors working with the Afghan National Army in Kabul and in Kandahar. They returned home in February 2015.[25]


On 18 November 2006, a platoon from 'A' Company was deployed to Tonga as a result of violence and a break down of law and order in the capital city, Nuku Alofa. The platoon conducted security operations in conjunction with the Tongan Defence Services for three weeks prior to returning to Australia.[26]

Current role & composition

In 2017 the battalion commenced the transition to the motorised role with the adoption of the Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicle.[27][28]

1 RAR currently consists of:

  • Battalion Headquarters
  • 3 Rifle Companies – 'A', 'B', 'C'
  • Support Company
  • Administration Company

1RAR also features its own Battalion Band, which consists of Australian Army Band Corps (AABC) Musicians providing general and ceremonial support functions.[29]

Battle honours

Commanding officers

From To Rank Name Notes
22 October 1945 25 April 1948 LTCOL R.H. Marson DSO, ED 65 Aust Inf Bn
26 April 1948 5 May 1949 MAJ T.E. Archer ED 65 Aust Inf Bn (administering Command)
6 May 1949 3 January 1951 LTCOL J.L.A. Kelly DSO 1AR/1 RAR
4 January 1951 1 April 1951 LTCOL D.L.B. Goslett MC, ED 1RAR
2 April 1951 6 July 1951 LTCOL Frank Hassett OBE 1RAR
7 July 1951 1 November 1951 LTCOL Ian Ferguson DSO, MC 1RAR
2 November 1951 20 October 1952 LTCOL Ian Hutchison DSO, OBE, MC, ED 1RAR
21 October 1952 1 October 1953 LTCOL Maurice Austin DSO 1RAR
2 October 1953 24 January 1955 LTCOL N.A.M. Nicholls 1RAR
25 January 1955 21 January 1956 LTCOL G.B. Combes OBE 1RAR
21 January 1956 26 March 1957 LTCOL Oliver David Jackson 1RAR
27 March 1957 4 December 1958 LTCOL W.J. Finlayson MVO, OBE 1RAR
5 December 1958 28 June 1960 LTCOL W.J. Morrow OBE 1RAR
28 June 1960 29 October 1961 LTCOL Stuart Paul Weir MC 1RAR
12 November 1961 25 July 1962 COL K.R.G. Coleman MC 1RAR
26 July 1962 15 May 1964 COL Sandy Pearson MC 1RAR
16 May 1964 28 February 1965 COL Donald Dunstan MBE 1RAR
1 March 1965 3 December 1965 LTCOL I.R.W. Brumfield DSO 1RAR
3 December 1965 10 June 1966 LTCOL A.V. Preece DSO, MVO 1RAR
11 June 1966 14 July 1967 LTCOL K.P. Outridge 1RAR
15 July 1967 1 March 1969 LTCOL Phillip Bennett DSO 1RAR
1 March 1969 15 July 1971 LTCOL J.B.M. Trenerry 1RAR
16 July 1971 21 January 1973 LTCOL I.R.J. Hodgkinson MBE 1RAR
22 January 1973 3 December 1974 LTCOL Peter White MC 1RAR
4 December 1974 10 January 1977 LTCOL K.A. Patterson 1RAR
10 January 1977 16 December 1978 LTCOL I.J.C. Hearn 1RAR
17 December 1978 9 December 1980 LTCOL P.W. Beale DSO, MC 1RAR
10 December 1980 14 January 1983 LTCOL Barry Caligari 1RAR
15 January 1983 13 August 1984 LTCOL Peter Cosgrove MC 1RAR
14 August 1984 14 December 1986 LTCOL John McAloney MC 1RAR
15 December 1986 14 December 1988 LTCOL J.P Salter MC 1RAR
15 December 1988 14 December 1991 LTCOL J.D. Petrie AM 1RAR
15 December 1991 14 December 1993 LTCOL David Hurley DSC 1RAR
15 December 1993 14 December 1995 LTCOL R.J. Martin 1RAR
14 December 1995 14 December 1997 LTCOL Mark Kelly 1RAR
14 December 1997 14 December 1999 LTCOL M.D. Bornholt 1RAR
14 December 1999 14 December 2001 LTCOL John Caligari 1RAR
14 December 2001 3 December 2003 LTCOL Stuart Smith 1RAR
4 December 2003 December 2005 LTCOL Chris Field CSC 1RAR
December 2005 LTCOL A.D. Gallaway 1RAR


See also


  1. ^ Note there appears to be some discrepancy with these figures, as the Royal Australian Regiment Association 1 RAR History cites figures of 54 killed and 295 wounded.
  2. ^ The battalion group also included armoured personnel carriers, artillery, field engineers, signals and a company sized battalion support group. See Odgers 1994, p. 530.
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, Korea". Australian War Memorial. Archived from the original on 1 December 2008. Retrieved 4 April 2009.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah Royal Australian Regiment. "Royal Australian Regiment Standing Orders—Annex A to Chapter 1: 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment: A Brief History" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 May 2009. Retrieved 4 April 2009.
  3. ^ Horner & Bou 2008, pp. 45, 100, 108.
  4. ^ Grey 2008, p. 201.
  5. ^ a b c Horner & Bou 2008, p. 23.
  6. ^ Horner & Bou 2008, p. 24.
  7. ^ Horner & Bou 2008, pp. 24–25.
  8. ^ Grey 2008, p. 203.
  9. ^ Dennis et al. 1995, pp. 384–385.
  10. ^ a b c d "1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, Malayan Emergency". Australian War Memorial. Archived from the original on 6 September 2008. Retrieved 4 April 2009.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, Vietnam". Australian War Memorial. Archived from the original on 24 July 2009. Retrieved 4 April 2009.
  12. ^ Grey 2008, p. 264.
  13. ^ a b c d Dennis et al 1995, p. 359.
  14. ^ Odgers 1994, p.531.
  15. ^ "Operation Solace". Digger History. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
  16. ^ a b Blaxland 2013, p. 193.
  17. ^ Morgan 2006, p. 40.
  18. ^ Morgan 2006, p. 43.
  19. ^ Morgan 2006, p. 49.
  20. ^ Grey 2008, p. 277.
  21. ^ Horner & Bou 2008, p. 332.
  22. ^ "Iraq". 1 RAR Association. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  23. ^ "D Coy OP SLIPPER". The First Battalion Association. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
  24. ^ Connolly, P.J. "Counterinsurgency in Uruzgan in 2009" (PDF). Australian Army Journal. VIII (2): 9–34. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
  25. ^ "Townsville soldiers return from Afghanistan". Department of Defence. 29 January 2015. Archived from the original on 5 February 2015. Retrieved 5 February 2015.
  26. ^ "Defence Mission in Tonga Complete". Department of Defence. Retrieved 25 April 2010.
  27. ^ McLachlan 2017, p. 7.
  28. ^ "Force Structure". Australian Army. 15 June 2017. Retrieved 5 February 2018.
  29. ^ "Band of the 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment". Our work. Australian Army. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  30. ^ "Appendix 2 to Annex A to Chapter 6 of the RAR Standing Orders: List of 1 RAR COs to 1999" (PDF). Royal Australian Regiment Association. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 May 2009. Retrieved 25 July 2010.
  31. ^ Horner & Bou 2008, pp. 438–439


  • Blaxland, John (2013). The Australian Army from Whitlam to Howard. Port Melbourne: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1-107-04365-7.
  • Dennis, Peter; Grey, Jeffrey; Morris, Ewan; Prior, Robin, eds. (1995). The Oxford Companion to Australian Military History. Melbourne, Victoria: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-553227-9.
  • Grey, Jeffrey (2008). A Military History of Australia (3rd ed.). Melbourne, Victoria: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-69791-0.
  • Horner, David; Bou, Jean (2008). Duty First. A History of the Royal Australian Regiment. Sydney, New South Wales: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 978-1-74175-374-5.
  • Morgan, Benjamin (2006). "A Brief History of Australian Army Operations in East Timor, 1999–2005". Academic research paper. Archived from the original on 23 October 2009. Retrieved 20 March 2009.
  • Odgers, George (1994). Diggers: The Australian Army, Navy and Air Force in Eleven Wars. Volume 2. London: Lansdowne. ISBN 1-86302-387-9. OCLC 31743147.
  • McLachlan, MAJGEN Angus, AM (2017). "SITREP: from Commander Forces Command". Ironsides: The Journal of the Royal Australian Armoured Corps. Hopkins Barracks, Puckapunyal, Victoria: The Royal Australian Armoured Corps: 7. OCLC 808384287.

Further reading

  • Breen, Bob (1988). First to Fight: Australian Diggers, NZ Kiwis and US Paratroopers in Vietnam, 1965–66. Nashville, Tennessee: The Battery Press. ISBN 0-89839-126-1.
  • Breen, Bob (1998). A Little Bit of Hope: Australian Force Somalia. St Leonards, New South Wales: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86448-702-X.
  • Ferndale, Steven, ed. (2001). Operation Lorosae: A Record of the 1st Battalion Group's Tour of Duty in East Timor 25 October 2000 – 25 April 2001. Townsville, Queensland: 1st Battalion Regimental Institute. ISBN 1-876439-44-0.
  • McAulay, Lex (1988). The Battle of Coral: Vietnam Fire Support Bases Coral and Balmoral, May 1968. London, England: Arrow Books. ISBN 0-09-169091-9.
  • McAulay, Lex (1991). The Fighting First—Combat Operations in Vietnam 1968–69: The First Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment. North Sydney, New South Wales: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 0-04-442219-9.

External links

Media related to 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment at Wikimedia Commons

161st Independent Reconnaissance Flight (Australia)

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The ANZAC Battle Group was an Australian-led battle group deployed to Timor Leste as part of Operation Astute. The battle group was established in September 2006 and comprised several rifle companies, including a company from the New Zealand Army, and sub-units of other Australian Army units.

Battle of Gang Toi

The Battle of Gang Toi (8 November 1965) was fought during the Vietnam War between Australian troops and the Viet Cong. The battle was one of the first engagements between the two forces during the war and occurred when A Company, 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (1 RAR) struck a Viet Cong bunker system defended by Company 238 in the Gang Toi Hills, in northern Bien Hoa Province. It occurred during a major joint US-Australian operation codenamed Operation Hump, involving the US 173rd Airborne Brigade, to which 1 RAR was attached. During the latter part of the operation an Australian rifle company clashed with an entrenched company-sized Viet Cong force in well-prepared defensive positions. Meanwhile, an American paratroop battalion was also heavily engaged in fighting on the other side of the Song Dong Nai.

The Australians were unable to concentrate sufficient combat power to launch an assault on the position and consequently they were forced to withdraw after a fierce engagement during which both sides suffered a number of casualties, reluctantly leaving behind two men who had been shot and could not be recovered due to heavy machine-gun and rifle fire. Although they were most likely dead, a battalion-attack to recover the missing soldiers was planned by the Australians for the next day, but this was cancelled by the American brigade commander due to rising casualties and the need to utilise all available helicopters for casualty evacuation. The bodies of the two missing Australian soldiers were subsequently recovered more than 40 years later, and were finally returned to Australia for burial.

Battle of Suoi Bong Trang

The Battle of Suoi Bong Trang (23–24 February 1966) was an engagement fought between US, Australian and New Zealand forces, and the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army during the Vietnam War. The battle occurred during Operation Rolling Stone, an American security operation to protect engineers building a tactically important road in the vicinity of Tan Binh, in central Binh Duong Province, 30 kilometres (19 mi) north-west of Bien Hoa airbase. During the fighting, soldiers from the US 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division and the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (1 RAR), which had been attached for the operation, fought off a regimental-sized Viet Cong night assault. Repulsed by massed firepower from artillery and tanks, the Viet Cong suffered heavy casualties and were forced to withdraw by morning. After the attack, the Americans and Australians made no attempt to pursue the Viet Cong, focusing on securing the battlefield and evacuating their own casualties. The Viet Cong continued to harass the American sappers with occasional sniper and mortar fire, but these tactics proved ineffective, and the road was completed by 2 March.

List of allied military operations of the Vietnam War (1965)

This article is a list of known military operations of the Vietnam War in 1965, conducted by the armed forces of the Republic of Vietnam, the United States and their allies.

List of allied military operations of the Vietnam War (T–Z and others)

This article is a list of known military operations of the Vietnam War, a war fought by America to try to stop communism in Southeast Asia, conducted by the armed forces of the Republic of Vietnam, the United States and their assorted allies. This is not a complete list.

Mark Kelly (general)

Major General Mark Andrew Kelly, (born 31 October 1956) is a former senior officer in the Australian Army. He served as Commander Joint Task Force 633 commanding all Australian Forces in the Middle East Area of Operations and Afghanistan from 12 January 2009 until 14 January 2010, and as Land Commander Australia from July 2005 to December 2008. He was appointed as the Repatriation Commissioner on 1 July 2010.

Mark Salmon (surf lifesaver)

Mark A. Salmon (born 1967 in Sydney New South Wales,) is a former Australian surf lifesaver and rugby union player who played for the Australian Army, Port Hacking and Southern Districts Rugby Club in the Sydney Rugby Premiership. and Nottingham Rugby Football in the English Rugby Union Premiership.. While playing Rugby Union with Nottingham R.F.C., Salmon resided in the township of Awsworth where he represented Awsworth Babbington Cossall Cricket Club for three seasons.

Mark Salmon was a member of Royal Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers RAEME for five years as well as serving with 2nd Cavalry Regiment (Australia) 2CAV, A Squadron based in Darwin N.T and 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment 1RAR over subsequent years of Service.

Mark Salmon is a current Member of Wanda Surf Life Saving Club (Long Service) and a Former member of Elouera Surf Life Saving Club. Salmon has served as both Club Vice Captain and Club Captain of Wanda Surf Life Saving Club between 1992 and 1997. In 1994 Salmon was awarded The Meritorious Award Bronze (Medallion 107) Medallion for Bravery in Surf Rescue, the highest bravery honour in Australian Surf Life Saving for successfully completing a solo cliff rescue in Burleigh Head National Park, Queensland. Salmon received numerous citations for Bravery over many years of Surf Life Saving before retiring from Active Service at the conclusion of Season 2009

Maurice Austin

Brigadier Maurice "Bunny" Austin, (15 December 1916 – 13 October 1985) was an Australian Army officer. He served in the Second Australian Imperial Force in the Second World War, commanded the 2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment in 1952, and led the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment in the Korean War in 1952–53.

His appointments included Commandant of the Jungle Training Centre; Commander of the Logistic Support Force; Director of Personnel Services and honorary ADC to the Governor General.

On retirement from the army he was appointed the Australian Army Historian where he researched and published works on the history of the army in Australia from 1788 to federation.

The nickname "Bunny" comes from the fact that Thomas Austin (no relation) is believed to have been the first person to introduce rabbits in Australia.

In 1940, Austin married Enid Veronica Lyons, the daughter of Prime Minister Joseph Lyons and Dame Enid Lyons.

Max Gaylard

Maxwell "Max" Gaylard (born 1946) is a former Australian diplomat and international public servant.

Born in Nambour, Queensland, he was educated at Nambour State Primary and High Schools, then the University of Queensland and Australian National University.Joining the Department of External Affairs in 1968, Gaylard was the first diplomatic cadet to be conscripted into the army. He then graduated from the Officer Training Unit at Scheyville in 1968 where he was awarded the Sword of Honour. He was then assigned as a Second Lieutenant/Platoon Commander to the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, serving in Malaysia and Singapore as part of a Commonwealth Brigade under the Five-Power Defence Arrangements. He returned to the Department in Canberra in 1970, and subsequently served as an Australian diplomat in Mexico, Burma and Singapore. He was appointed Australian High Commissioner to the Solomon Islands from 1985 - 1988. While resident in the Solomons, he and other diplomats received death threats from an Australian expatriate-dubbed 'Mr Smith' in the media. Reflecting in 2014, Gaylard said that the saga involving Smith had made the posting "fairly tough".At the end of his posting in the Solomons, he was seconded by the Australian Government from 1988 - 1996 to London, as Director of International Relations (later re- named Political Affairs) of the Commonwealth Secretariat. In that capacity, and during an era of democratisation throughout the Commonwealth, Gaylard served as an envoy of the Commonwealth Secretary-General to a range of Commonwealth countries going through the processes of constitutional change and multi-party elections.

In 1997, Gaylard joined the United Nations as an Assistant then Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator with the Oil-for-Food Programme in northern Iraq, after which he served as the Head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Sudan from 1999 - 2002. He was then appointed by the UN Secretary-General as UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia from 2002-2006, and was the Director of the UN Mine Action Service based in New York from 2006-2008. From 2008-2012, he was appointed by the Secretary General as UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Palestine and Deputy Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process. From 2013-2014, Gaylard served as a Senior Adviser to the Government of the United Arab Emirates in Abu Dhabi, and 2015-2016 as a UN Assistant Secretary-General and Senior Adviser to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Riyadh.

Operation Blaze

Operation Blaze (2 July 1952) was an Australian Army operation near Kangao-ri during the Korean War to capture a prisoner. The raid involved a company-sized attack from the newly arrived 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (1 RAR) on Chinese positions on Hill 227. Although the Australians were able to take some of the Chinese positions on the hill, they did not achieve all of their objectives and were eventually forced to withdraw after running out of ammunition.

Operation Hardihood

Operation Hardihood was a security operation conducted from 16 May to 8 June 1966 during the Vietnam War by the U.S. 503rd Infantry Regiment, the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (1RAR) and the 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (5 RAR) in Phước Tuy Province, South Vietnam to secure the area around Nui Dat for the establishment of a base area for the 1st Australian Task Force (1 ATF).

Operation Hump

Operation Hump was a search and destroy operation initiated by United States and Australian forces on 8 November 1965, during the Vietnamese War. The US-Australian objective was to drive out Viet Cong (VC) fighters who had taken up positions on several key hills.

The main US Army operation took place in an area about 17.5 miles (28.2 km) north of Bien Hoa, where the US 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment (1/503), 173rd Airborne Brigade conducted a helicopter assault on an LZ northwest of the Dong Nai River and Song Be River.

The 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (1RAR) was deployed south of the Dong Nai. In a part of the operation (known later as the Battle of Gang Toi), 1RAR attacked a VC bunker and trench system.

Little contact was made through 7 November, when B and C Companies settled into a night defensive position southeast of Hill 65, on a triple-canopied jungle hill.

Operation Marauder

Operation Marauder was an operation conducted by the 173rd Airborne Brigade and the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (1 RAR) in the Plain of Reeds, Mekong Delta, lasting from 1 to 8 January 1966.

Operation Morris Dance

Operation Morris Dance was an Australian military operation conducted in May 1987 in response to the first of the 1987 Fijian coups d'état.

On the morning of 14 May 1987 the Military of Fiji took control of the country in a bloodless coup d'état. In response to the coup, the Australian Defence Force (ADF) began preparations to evacuate Australian citizens from Fiji. Five Australian warships (HMA Ships Stalwart, Sydney, Parramatta, Success, and Tobruk) were deployed to patrol south-west of Fiji. 'B' Company, 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment was added to this force on 23 May, with the soldiers being flown from Townsville to Norfolk Island and transferred by helicopter to Stalwart, Tobruk, and Success. The Australian task force remained off Fiji until 29 May, when the situation in the country had stabilised.

Operation Solace

Operation Solace was the Australian Defence Force's main contribution to the Unified Task Force (UNITAF) which was a United States led, United Nations sanctioned, multinational force which operated in the Republic of Somalia from 9 December 1992 to 4 May 1993. Codenamed Operation Restore Hope, UNITAF was charged with carrying out United Nations Security Council Resolution 794: to create a protected environment for conducting humanitarian operations in the southern half of the Republic of Somalia.

Operation Solace centred on the deployment of the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (1RAR) battalion group to Baidoa in south-central Somalia. The 1 RAR battalion group replaced the 3rd Battalion, 9th United States Marine Regiment in Baidoa on 19 January 1993. The Battalion group was successful in improving the security situation and earned the respect of the non-government aid organisations operating in the region. The 1 RAR battalion group left Somalia on 21 May 1993.

The main Australian units deployed to Somalia during Operation Solace were:

1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment battalion group

HMAS Tobruk

HMAS Jervis Bay

Peter Cosgrove

General Sir Peter John Cosgrove, (born 28 July 1947) is a retired senior Australian Army officer who is the 26th and current Governor-General of Australia, in office since 2014.

A graduate of the Royal Military College, Duntroon, Cosgrove fought in the Vietnam War, receiving the Military Cross in 1971. From 1983 to 1984, he was commander of the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (1 RAR), and he later served as commander of the 6th Brigade and the 1st Division. Cosgrove rose to prominence in 1999, when he served as commander of the International Force for East Timor (INTERFET), which oversaw the peacekeeping mission in East Timor during its transition to independence.

Cosgrove was Australia's Chief of Army from 2000 to 2002, and then Chief of the Defence Force from 2002 to 2005, receiving corresponding promotions to lieutenant general and general. Cosgrove retired from active service following the end of his term as Chief of the Defence Force, and subsequently served as leader of a taskforce helping to rebuild communities in Queensland after Cyclone Larry in 2006. In January 2014, Cosgrove was named to succeed Dame Quentin Bryce as Governor-General of Australia. He was sworn in on 28 March 2014, and created a Knight of the Order of Australia on the same date. On 5 September 2018, Cosgrove announced that he would retire as Governor-General in March 2019, but in December, this was extended to June 2019.

Stuart Smith (general)

Major General Stuart Lyle Smith, (born 1 November 1963) is a retired senior officer of the Australian Army. He commanded the 1st Division from October 2012 until November 2015, when he was appointed Deputy Chief of Joint Operations.

Current battalions
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Australia in the Korean War
Australian units and formations
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