Royal Scots Dragoon Guards

The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards
(Carabiniers and Greys)

Cap badge of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards
Active 2 July 1971 – present
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Branch  British Army
Type Line cavalry
Role Light Cavalry
Size One regiment
Part of Royal Armoured Corps
Garrison/HQ HHQ - Edinburgh Castle
Regiment - Leuchars
Nickname(s) Scotland's Cavalry
Motto(s) Nemo me impune lacessit (No one provokes me with impunity)
Ich Dien (I Serve)
Second to None
March Quick (band) - The 3DGs;
(pipes & drums) - Hielan' Laddie
Slow (band) - The Garb of Old Gaul; (pipes & drums) - My Home
Mascot(s) Drum Horse (Talavera)
Anniversaries 13 April (Nunshigum)
18 June (Waterloo)
25 October (Balaklava)
Colonel-in-Chief HM The Queen
Colonel of
the Regiment
Brigadier S R B Allen
Tactical Recognition Flash
Arm Badge Prince of Wales's feathers
from 3rd Dragoon Guards (Prince of Wales's)
Tartan Royal Stewart (Pipers kilts and plaids)
Abbreviation SCOTS DG

The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers and Greys) (SCOTS DG) is a cavalry regiment of the British Army, and the senior Scottish regiment. The regiment, through the Royal Scots Greys, is the oldest surviving Cavalry Regiment of the Line in the British Army. The regiment is currently based at Leuchars Station, as part of the Scottish 51st Infantry Brigade.


It was formed on 2 July 1971 at Holyrood, Edinburgh, by the amalgamation of the 3rd Carabiniers (Prince of Wales's Dragoon Guards) (themselves the product of the amalgamation in 1922 of 3rd Dragoon Guards (Prince of Wales's) and 6th Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers)), and The Royal Scots Greys (2nd Dragoons).[1]

The regiment has deployed on four tours of Northern Ireland in 1972, 1974, 1976 and 1980, suffering one fatality in 1972, when Trooper Ian Hunter Caie, was killed by a bomb in a beer barrel that exploded in the path of his Ferret scout car in Moybane, near Crossmaglen County Armagh.[2]

The Scots Dragoon Guards raise the regimental flag on their Challenger 2

It saw active service during the Gulf War in 1991 deploying 57 Challenger tanks[3] and in Bosnia as part of SFOR in 199697.[4]

In 1998, it became the first regiment in the British Army to operate the Challenger 2 main battle tank.[5]

It deployed to Kosovo, as part of KFOR, in 2000.[6]

The regiment deployed to Iraq for Operation Telic, the British element of the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The bulk of the regiment deployed as part of the Scots Dragoon Guards Battle Group with a single squadron (A Squadron) detached to the First Battalion The Black Watch Battle Group. All deployed elements of the regiment took part in the advance on Iraq's second largest city, Basra. Prior to reaching Basra, A Squadron fought in and around Az Zubayr and C Squadron was detached from the SCOTS DG BG to fight with 3 Commando Brigade in actions south of Basra that included Britain's largest tank engagement since the Gulf War, when 14 Challenger 2 tanks engaged and destroyed 14 Iraqi tanks (the so-called '14–0' engagement).[7]

The regiment deployed to Iraq in 2006, where it suffered two casualties Lieutenant Richard Palmer[8] and Corporal Gordon Pritchard.[9] The regiment also saw service in Iraq in 2008.[10]

More recently in 2008, 2011 and 2013/14 the regiment deployed to Afghanistan.[11]

The pipes and drums have distinguished themselves, most recently winning the award for Album of the Year at the 2009 Classical Brits.[12]

In November 2013, the unit bade farewell to its Challenger 2 tanks and converted to a Light Cavalry unit, armed with Jackal vehicles.[13]

Under the Army 2020 plan, it was re-reroled as a light cavalry unit, and moved to Leuchars Station in summer 2015.[14]

Current organisation

Jackal Vehicles in use with the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards

The regiment has converted to the role of light cavalry as part of restructuring in the army under Army 2020. It is now equipped with Jackal armoured fighting vehicles.[13] The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards is also affiliated to A (Ayrshire (Earl of Carrick's Own) Yeomanry)[15] & C (Fife and Forfar Yeomanry/Scottish Horse) Squadrons of the Queen's Own Yeomanry regiment of the Territorial Army.[16]

Royal Scots Dragoon Guards Museum

The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards have a regimental museum situated at Edinburgh Castle. Opened in 2006, the exhibits include uniforms, medals, weapons, regalia, music and a captured enemy standard from the Battle of Waterloo.[17]

Official abbreviation

The regiment's official abbreviation (as listed in Joint Service Publication 101 (Service Writing)) is SCOTS DG (note all capitals and the space), the format of which follows the traditional Cavalry line.[18]

Accoutrements and uniform

Officers of the SCOTS DG in No.1 dress uniform

The cap badge features an eagle, which represents the French Imperial Eagle that was captured by Sergeant Charles Ewart, the Royal Scots Greys at Waterloo, from the French 45th Regiment of Foot.[19] It is always worn with a black backing in mourning for Tsar Nicholas II, the last Tsar of Russia, who was their Colonel-in-Chief at the time of his execution. The cap badge also has the crossed carbines of the 3rd Carabiniers at the rear of the eagle.[20]

The Plume of The Prince of Wales with its motto "Ich Dien" is worn by all members of the Regiment embroidered on the upper part of the left sleeve. The right to wear this badge was granted to the 3rd Dragoon Guards in 1765, subsequently became the cap badge and later, with the crossed carabines, formed the badge of the 3rd Carabiniers (Prince of Wales's).[21]

The distinctive yellow zigzag (or "vandyke") cap band was inherited from the Royal Scots Greys, who had worn it since the mid-19th century.[22]

As a royal regiment, the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards is permitted to wear the Royal Stewart tartan, which was a privilege granted by HM King George VI, and is worn by the regiment's pipers.[23]


The Loyal Toast is drunk at formal dinners in the Mess and is always drunk seated, except when Royalty is present. On evenings when a military band is present, besides playing "The Queen' the band also play "God Bless the Prince of Wales", an old 3rd Dragoon Guards custom, and the "Imperial Russian Anthem" in memory of Tsar Nicholas II, the Colonel-in-Chief of the Scots Greys, killed during the Russian Revolution.[24]

Regimental mottos

Pipes and Drums

The regiment has its own Pipes and Drums, who were first formed in 1946 and tour widely, performing in competitions, concerts and parades. Their most famous piece is "Amazing Grace", which reached number one in the charts in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and South Africa in 1972. The track sold over seven million copies by mid 1977, and was awarded a gold disc.[25] The band released a new CD in late November 2007 through Universal Music, featuring a number of classic pipe tunes along with some modern arrangements and was recorded while the regiment was based in Iraq. The album Spirit Of The Glen was produced by Jon Cohen and released by Universal on 26 November 2007. It featured a remake of their famous "Amazing Grace", which featured an orchestra playing in back, they called it "Amazing Grace 2007". Spirit Of The Glen was officially launched at Edinburgh Castle[26] and won Album of the Year at the 2009 Classical Brits.[12][27] They have also made regular appearances at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo over the years.[28]

Order of precedence

Preceded by
1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards
Cavalry Order of Precedence Succeeded by
Royal Dragoon Guards


1881 Childers Reforms 1922 Amalgamations 1957 Defence White Paper 1966 Defence White Paper - today
3rd (Prince Of Wales's) Dragoon Guards 3rd Carabiniers (Prince of Wales's Dragoon Guards) Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers and Greys)
6th Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers)
2nd Dragoons (Royal Scots Greys)


Affiliated yeomanry

Battle honours

Combined battle honours of 3rd Carabiniers and Royal Scots Greys, plus:


  1. "Royal Scots Dragoon Guards: History". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  2. "Sutton Index of Deaths". Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  3. "British Units in the Gulf War". Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  4. "Royal Scots Dragoon Guards launch £1m appeal to raise cash for injured comrades". Daily Record. 11 October 2011. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  5. "Challenger 2". Retrieved 20 January 2015.
  6. Tank Spotter's Guide. p. 124. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  7. "UK Operations - Iraq 2003". Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  8. "Lt Richard Palmer of The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards killed in Iraq". Ministry of Defence. 16 April 2006. Retrieved 29 July 2016.
  9. "Corporal Gordon Alexander Pritchard killed in Iraq". Ministry of Defence. 31 January 2006. Retrieved 29 July 2016.
  10. "Scottish pipers record album while serving in Iraq". The Telegraph. 9 November 2008. Retrieved 29 July 2016.
  11. "The Serving Regiment". Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  12. 1 2 "Classical Brits". Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  13. 1 2 Ministry of Defence (2013-11-20). "Royal Scots Dragoon Guards receive new Jackal vehicles". GOV.UK. Retrieved 2014-05-03.
  14. "Regular Army Basing Plan - 5 Mar 2013" (PDF). Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  15. "A (Ayrshire (EOCO) Yeomanry) Sqn". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 29 July 2016.
  16. "C (FFY/SH) Sqn". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 29 July 2016.
  17. "Scots DG, The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, SCOTS DG Museum, Battle of waterloo - SCOTS DG Homepage". Retrieved 2009-01-24.
  18. "The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards Shop". Royal Scots Dragoon Guards. Retrieved 29 July 2016.
  19. "The Battle of Waterloo and The Royal Scots Greys and Sergeant Charles Ewart". British Battles. Retrieved 29 July 2016.
  20. "Collar badge, The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers and Greys), 1971". National Army Museum. Retrieved 29 July 2016.
  21. Doyle & Foster, p. 37
  22. Wood, Stephen (2015). Those Terrible Grey Horses: An Illustrated History of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards. London: Bloomsbury Publishing.
  23. "Army Regiments and their Pipers, part 6". Piping Press. Retrieved 29 July 2016.
  24. "Colonels-in-Chief". Royal Scots Dragoon Guards Museum. Retrieved 29 July 2016.
  25. Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 320. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
  26. "Scotland on TV - Videos about Scotland and all things Scottish". Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  27. "Royal Scots Dragoon Guards band wins Classical Brit award". Daily Record. 15 May 2009. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  28. "Scottish Regiments". Edinburgh Tattoo. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  29. "Gulf Battle Honours". Retrieved 20 January 2015.
  30. "House of Commons Hansard Written Ministerial Statements for 10 Nov 2005 (pt 1)". Retrieved 20 January 2015.


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