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Is It For You? Recruitment & Training

This page is devoted to explaining the requirements and responsibilities
of those who seek to join the Household Cavalry, what they can expect
if they join, and where their careers may take them. Information is also
provided to enable you to make further inquiries . . . and maybe join.


The Household Cavalry maintain a world-famous tradition dating back to 1660
and it consists of The Life Guards and The Blues And Royals. They are the oldest
and most senior regiments in the British Army and are split between two different
units equipped to perform two quite different roles.

Ready for short-notice operations, at home or abroad, the Household Cavalry
continues an unbroken tradition of service to the country spanning
nearly four centuries. In the Armoured Cavalry role, the Household Cavalry
Regiment (HCR)
is tasked to reconnoitre swiftly ahead of other forces, scouting
for the enemy and understanding the human and physical terrain. The regiment
today capitalises upon recent experience of operations in Afghanistan and Iraq
but also in Bosnia, Kosovo, Northern Ireland and the Falklands Islands. At home,
the HCR has played a critical role in varied UK Operations, from providing security
to the Olympic Games to providing flood relief to local residents in Datchet.

In London, the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment (HCMR) provides the Army's
mounted State Ceremonial and Public Duties capability — the public face of the
British Army to the world, and the mounted escort to Her Majesty The Queen.
Throughout these diverse activities, our people provide our continuity and our
currency, soldiers dual-trained in operational and ceremonial soldiering.

The variety of opportunity in the Household Cavalry requires soldiers who can
adapt to the unique challenges and requirements of modern day soldiering.
More often than not, the Household Cavalrymen who ride down The Mall in
gleaming State Ceremonial Uniforms were only recently operating armoured
vehicles or conducting specialist reconnaissance work on exercise or operations.

Members of the Household Cavalry are the Trusted Guardians who directly
serve the Monarch and the Commander. Regardless of rank, the Nation's trust
is founded on their actions. They are the custodian of a reputation built by
those who served before. They are trained to excel as a mounted soldier,
working in small teams, with mutual respect, to infiltrate ahead of the Brigade.

The characteristics of the Trusted Guardian:
  The highest standards fit for our Monarch

  Leaders selected on merit

  Cavalrymen who inspire and motivate
  Honest reporting to inform the commander
  Mounted excellence
  Mutual respect to work in small teams
  Field craft and self-discipline to endure
   Owning the night, whatever the weather
  Boldness and the skill to achieve the unexpected
  Commanders, at all levels, working for their soldiers
  Strength through diversity

If you were to join the Household Cavalry you could acquire new practical skills
in vehicle mechanics, complex communications systems, education, command,
leadership and management development, and a number of equine qualifications.
You will also develop greater confidence, self-discipline, and make friends for life
through an unparalleled diversity of opportunity that the Household Cavalry enjoys.

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The Household Cavalry Regiment

The Household Cavalry Regiment (HCR) is an Armoured Cavalry regiment permanently
based at Combermere Barracks in Windsor. The HCR sits within the Reactive Force of
the British Army and is ready to respond to crises anywhere around the world.

The main role of Armoured Cavalry soldiers is to gather information from the battlefield
in order to provide accurate, timely and continuous intelligence in all conditions and
situations to allow commanders to make informed and intelligent decisions. The
Household Cavalry achieve this by being experts in both mounted and dismounted

Traditionally mounted on horseback as a fast and overwhelming force, today the
cavalry are mounted on Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked) — CVR(T) —
vehicles. The primary vehicle is the Scimitar; fast, light and agile which can cross the
battlefield at speed and remain undetected. The combination of the Scimitar's modern
Battlegroup Thermal Imager (BGTI) sighting systems and low profile mean it can reach
places where many other vehicles cannot, and then monitor enemy activity undetected
by day and by night. The Household Cavalry also have sniper and surveillance specialists
who can covertly infiltrate into enemy terrain and remain hidden for days whilst gathering
information and intelligence on the enemy force.

The Armoured Cavalry soldier has to rely on his wit, ingenuity and intellect to find,
understand and exploit information pertaining to the enemy and the environment. In the
current operating climate where technology is increasing the bounds of enemy potential
and it is often difficult to distinguish between ally, civilian, and combatant the reliance
on intelligent, thinking soldiers has never been greater.

Over the coming years the Household Cavalry will continue to develop and hone the
Army's understanding of Armoured Cavalry in both a mounted and dismounted capability.
This will be done by deploying on a number of exercises throughout the coming year,
most excitingly in Kenya and Belize. This is all in preparation for the replacement of the
Scimitar with the Ajax armoured vehicle BY 2020. The new Ajax vehicle will have state-
of-the-art sights, protection, weaponry and interoperability. The platform will provide a
step change for how mounted reconnaissance is conducted, and the Household Cavalry
will be equipped ready to conduct operations in the complex nature of the modern

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The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment

The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment (HCMR) maintains a world-famous
tradition dating back to 1660, and yet every man on parade is first and foremost
a fighting soldier, fully trained and operataional.

With a proud tradition of over three centuries' service as a bodyguard to the
Sovereign, and made up of the British Army's two most senior regiments, HCMR
sits at the very heart of the cultural and military heritage of Britain. The Regiment's
rich history stretches back to 1660 from descendants of King Charles II's Life Guards
and the Earl of Oxford's "Blues". Since then it has forged a tradition, ethos and reputation
for excellence and professionalism, whether it is for State Ceremonial duties, or delivering
manpower for the recent military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Every Household Cavalry soldier is first and foremost a fighting soldier and, uniquely in the
British Army, the Household Cavalry use their qualities to excellent effect by combining their
role in armoured fighting vehicles with the mounted State Ceremonial role. It is this flexibility
that has allowed us to remain at the forefront of modern combat operations, whilst still
maintaining the highest standards and strong traditions of the past.

Both soldiers and officers at HCMR are tough and resourceful, proud of their Regiment's
history, and ready to rise to the challenges that modern warfare poses. Above all, service
at HCMR also helps to develop the highly competent reconnaissance soldiers who have
fought in Afghanistan and more recently conducted exercises in the UK, Canada, Kenya
and Belize.

Public Duties and State Ceremonial

A key defence output, and one of the Army's Standing Tasks, Public Duties and State Ceremonial form part of the 'fabric of the nation'. For a country with global interests, these roles offer a powerful symbol of our operational military heritage, whilst enhancing the standing of the Sovereign and the Nation before national and international audiences.

HCMR's key Public Duties and State Ceremonial outputs

The Queen's Life Guard: In early times the Guard was as much as 100 strong and provided Escorts to accompany the Sovereign wherever they travelled by road. It now consists of either a Long Guard or a Short Guard on duty at Horse Guards, with a daily changing ceremony at 11.00 (10.00 on Sundays), on Horse Guards Parade.

Long Guard: When The Queen is in London, the Guard consists of 1 Officer, 1 Corporal Major (who carries the Standard), 2 Non-Commissioned Officers, 1 Trumpeter and 10 Troopers. This is known as a Long Guard.
Short Guard: When Her Majesty is not resident in London, the Guard is reduced to 2 Non-Commissioned Officers and 10 Troopers.
The Queen's Birthday Parade: The highlight of the Ceremonial Season, and televised across the world, HCMR provides four mounted divisions to escort the Sovereign and perform a March Past.
The Garter Ceremony at Windsor Castle: The Regiment is in the dismounted role, lining the route to Windsor Castle's chapel for the investiture of new members to the Order.
Investitures: Around 25 times a year, Household Cavalrymen provide staircase parties as individuals are presented awards and honours by Her Majesty The Queen, the Prince of Wales or the Princess Royal.
The State Opening of Parliament: An historic occasion, each year the Sovereign drives in State to Westminster for the State Opening of Parliament, escorted by four mounted divisions (over 100 men) from the HCMR.
State Visits: Formal visits to the UK by Heads of State from overseas have the aim of strengthening Britain's relationships with other countries. There are normally two visits annfually that would typically see the Sovereign and visiting Heads of State escorted by four mounted divisions (more than 100 men). These could take place in London, Windsor or Edindburgh.
Remembrance Sunday at the Cenotaph: A dismounted division from the HCMR represents the Regiment to commemorate Remembrance Day, the anniversary of the end of WWI in 1918, at 1100 hrs. The national ceremony is held at the Cenotaph on Whitehall, London.
The Lord Mayor's Show: A mounted division (25 men) deploy as part of the procession.
The Major General's Inspection: The whole Regiment is mounted for an annual inspection by the General Officer Commanding London District in Hyde Park prior to the beginning of the main Ceremonial season.
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Some Information To Help You Decide

The HCR is an Armoured Cavalry Regiment forward of the main force of the Brigade
and provides the information on the battlefield and enemy to allow the Brigade commander
to make informed decisions to outwit and ourmanoeuvre the enemy. The HCMR caries out
ceremonial duties both mounted and dismounted on state and royal occasions.

Is it the right job for me?

The Household Cavalry recruits soldiers from all areas of the United Kingdom and from all
walks of life. All we ask is for motivated, intelligent, and tenacious people who have the will
to win, and can work in small teams.

Applicants need to pass the required score in the BARB test but do not need to have previous
experience of riding a horse or working with vehicles. We just expect applicants to be open
to trying something new.

What training will I do?

Initial Training — Every Household Cavalry soldier is first and foremost a fighting soldier.
You will start your basic Phase one 14-week training course at either ATR Pirbright or at
ATR Winchester. Unless you are 16, in which case you'll start at AFC Harrogate for the
44-week-long course.

During these courses you will learn how to march, shoot a rifle, become military fit, get
over an assault course and live out in the field. Once completed, you will proudly pass out
of training in front of your loved ones.

Further Training

Once you complete your Phase one training you will head down to Bovington in Dorset as a
fully-fledged Household Cavalryman for a 12-week military skills course. Here you will learn
how to fire more weapons, including the General Purpose Machine Gun (GMPG), you will be
introduced to the signals equipment that Armoured Cavalry Regiments use and become
more robust to the rigours of living in the field.

Ceremonial Training and role

The current policy of the Household Cavalry is for all new recruits to start their ceremonial
training once they have finished at Bovington. Your progression to become a state ceremonial
trooper will start at Windsor where you will complete the 12-week Khaki Ride. During this course,
you will learn how to ride to a proficient standard and you will be able to gain qualifications in
Stable Management and Horse Welfare. On successful completion of Khaki Ride you will graduate
to Knightsbridge for a four-week Kit Ride. You will learn to ride wearing the iconic State Ceremonial
Kit that generations of a Household Cavalrymen have worn. You will then spend approximately
18-24 months at Knightsbridge guarding the Sovereign on both daily duties and State Ceremonial

Armoured Training and role

Having completed your time at Knightsbridge you will move to Windsor and become part of the
Armoured Cavalry Regiment. You will learn to drive and look after the vehicles, and as you promote
you will learn to use the gun before you can progress to commanding a vehicle. You will also have
the opportunity to train in a number of specialist roles which may include:

Guided Weapons Operator:
Operate a Javelin missile post to observe and destroy enemy tanks.

Advanced Signaller:
Maintain and operate radio equipment to enable reliable and secure communications.

Assault Trooper:
Conduct a range of essential manual tasks. Skills include explosive demolitions, manual methods
of building entry, minefield clearance and construction of defences and obstacles.

Long-range concealed surveillance and precision strike capability.

Gunnery Instructor:
Instruct the regiment's gunners on the Rarden 30mm cannon and L37 co-axial machine gun.

Physical Training Instructor:
Plan and conduct physical training sessions to keep the regiment fit.

Intelligence NCO:
Interpret information from a wide range of sources to produce intelligence for the regiment.

Enforce discipline in barracks and process prisoners abroad.

Welfare NCO:
Provide essential welfare services to support and care for our families at WIndsor.

Maintain the regiment's supplies of spares and equipment and conduct accurate accounting.

What Qualifications can I get?

Throughout your military progression you will be able to gather NVQs in a wide variety of fields.
These might include qualifications in engine mechanics, equine management, education and
teaching, physical training, a wide variety of sporting and adventurous training qualifications
and many more. During your time at Knightsbridge you can also gain qualifications as a
saddler, farrier or riding instructor.

What will my career progression be?

If you have passed the required courses and are good enough you could look to promote
to Lance Corporal in two years, Lance Corporal of Horse in four years where you'll be able
to command an armoured vehicle after six years. You'd then be looking at Corporal of Horse
around the eight-year point before being in a position to be a Squadron Corporal Major after
that. The diversity and variety of career is huge and no two career paths follow the same route.


For SOLDIER recruiting, contact:

Captain Pete Ireland


Phone: 01753 755065

Or write to:
Regimental Recruiting Officer
Household Cavalry Regiment
Combermere Barracks

For OFFICER recruiting, contact:

Captain Ed van der Lande


Phone: 0207 414 2391

Or write to:
Regimental Adjutant
Headquarters Household Cavalry
Horse Guards

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