Military Wiki
The Light Dragoons
File:Light Dragoons cap badge.jpeg
Cap badge of the Light Dragoons
Active 1 December 1992-
Country United Kingdom
Branch Army
Type Line Cavalry
Role Formation Reconnaissance
Size One regiment
Part of Royal Armoured Corps
Garrison/HQ RHQ - Newcastle-Upon-Tyne
Regiment - Swanton Morley
Motto(s) Viret in aeternum (It Flourishes Forever);
Merebimur (We shall be Worthy) (Latin)
March Quick - Balaklava
Slow - Denmark
Colonel-in-Chief HM The King of Jordan
Colonel of
the Regiment
Lt-General Sir Roderick Alexander Cordy-Simpson, KBE CB
Tactical Recognition Flash Light Dragoons TRF.svg
Arm Badge NCOs - Royal Crest
From 15th/19th King's Royal Hussars
ORs - South Africa flash
From 13th/18th Royal Hussars
Abbreviation LD

The Light Dragoons (LD) is a cavalry regiment in the British Army. It was formed in 1992 from the amalgamation of two regiments, the 13th/18th Royal Hussars (Queen Mary's Own) and the 15th/19th The King's Royal Hussars becoming the first dragoon regiment in the British Army for over twenty years.

Present Day

The Light Dragoons are a formation reconnaissance regiment with a history in the reconnaissance role which dates back to the early eighteenth century. Currently based in Robertson Barracks Swanton Morley, Norfolk (formerly RAF Swanton Morley), they are commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Sam Plant MBE.

They are highly experienced operationally with fourteen tours of the Balkans during the 1990s. They have deployed twice to Iraq on Operation TELIC in 2003 and 2005.

C Squadron deployed on a six-month operational tour of duty in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, on Operation HERRICK 5 with 3 Commando Brigade, Royal Marines.

In April 2007 the majority of the regiment including elements of HQ Squadron, B Squadron complete and specialists from D Squadron were deployed for a six-month tour in Afghanistan with 12 Mechanised Brigade on Operation HERRICK 6.

The Light Dragoons recruit principally in the North East of England (Northumberland, Tyne and Wear and County Durham) and in South Yorkshire and have strong connections with these areas. For this important reason, the regiment is known as England's Northern Cavalry.[1]

The Light Dragoons will convert to Jackal mounted light cavalry under Army 2020.[2]

Formation Reconnaissance

By means of formation reconnaissance (FR), commanders at brigade and divisional level are able to gain accurate and timely information from the battlefield.

Operating up to fifty miles ahead of the main body, the FR taskforce identifies the strengths and weaknesses of the enemy's defences, or locates the main thrust of his attack. FR soldiers achieve this either by advancing into contact with the enemy and probing his positions, or by establishing a matrix of covert observation posts which can identify, assess and report the enemy threat.

Information thus gained gives the commander the battlefield intelligence he requires to plan the battle ahead, allowing him to concentrate force against the enemy's weakest point or to best counter an attack.

A formation reconnaissance regiment is equipped with the Scimitar. They also use other vehicles in this class, such as the Sultan command and control vehicle and the Samaritan field ambulance. The organisation is 3 Squadrons (A, B, C), each of 12 FV107 Scimitar and 4 FV103 Spartan, D Squadron has experts in demolitions, sniping, controlling fast jets (JTAC) and using the FGM-148 Javelin anti tank missile system.


Scimitar,Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked)

Spartan CVRT

Sultan CVRT

The Light Dragoons are equipped with the family of Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked) (CVR(T)) vehicles. Although they have been in service with the British Army for some 30 years, they are very capable, fast, manoeuvrable and well protected.

The main recce vehicle is the FV107 Scimitar which is armed with a 30mm cannon and a machine gun and uses a very efficient thermal imaging sight for gathering information and target acquisition.

The Spartan is used as an armoured personnel carrier and is crewed by recce soldiers who are experts in demolitions, sniping, controlling fast jets and the Javelin anti-tank missile system.

The FV105 Sultan is a command vehicle equipped with a state of the art communications system for controlling the battle.[3]


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  • A Squadron "The Empire"
  • B Squadron "The Guards"
  • C Squadron "The Legion"
  • D Squadron "The Enemy"

Recruiting Areas

  • Tyne and Wear
  • Durham
  • Northumberland
  • Yorkshire

Operational Honours

During service in Afghanistan the following members of the regiment were Mentioned in Despatches (MID):

  • Sergeant Michael WILKINSON
  • Lieutenant Nicholas William David BINNINGTON
  • Major John GODFREY


  • HRH The Princess of Wales (1992–1996)
  • HRH The Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon (1997–2002)
  • HM The King of Jordan (2003–)

The Light Dragoons is one of only two regiments in the British Army to have a foreign monarch as its Colonel-in-Chief (the other being the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment (Queen's and Royal Hampshires). HM King Abdullah served in the 13th/18th Royal Hussars, one of the antecedents of the Light Dragoons.

The dragoons were in origin soldiers trained to fight on foot, but transport themselves on horseback. In other words, they moved as cavalry but fought as infantry. During the first half of the eighteenth century British dragoons became dedicated cavalry, but because of their origins were paid less than the "regiments of horse." In the 1750s the first British regiments to be styled "light dragoons" were converted from dragoons.


Affiliated yeomanry

Order of precedence

Preceded by
The King's Royal Hussars
Cavalry order of precedence Succeeded by
The Queen's Royal Lancers



  • Light Dragoons: The Making of a Regiment By Allan Mallinson . Pen and Sword books . 362 pages . 2006. ISBN 1-84415-448-3

External links

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