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Clip art of a pre-2007 Stable Belt of the Royal Air Force. Newer versions feature a decorative buckle instead of the leather buckle.

A stable belt is an item of uniform used in the armed forces of the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth countries. Gymnastic belts are similar coloured belts used in Brazil and Lebanon. Stable belts or gymnastic belts are also worn by the armed forced of other nations such as Denmark.

Originally, stable belts were worn by cavalrymen in the working dress they used for cleaning the stables and tending to their horses, but in the 1950s they spread to all branches of the armed forces, adding a splash of colour and individuality to the drab khaki working uniforms. Initially they were resisted by many senior officers, who saw them as too individualistic, but they soon became accepted throughout the forces.

Gymnastic belts have a similar appearance but a different origin, being derived from physical training equipment.

A stable belt is a wide webbing belt, usually a single solid colour or horizontally striped in two or more different colours. It is worn around the waist and when worn with Combat Soldier 95 it is worn through the trouser belt loops. In the British Army or Royal Marines, when worn with barrack dress, the belt is placed either in the belt loops of trousers or a skirt or over a jersey. In the Royal Air Force, it is worn with service working dress (No. 2 dress) either covering the top of the trousers (or skirt) and the lower part of the shirt or through the belt loops if they have been specially designed to accommodate the belt's width. Unlike the Army, it is never worn over a jersey. The original cavalry stable belts buckled at the side to avoid chafing the soldier's stomach as he bent down during stable work, but many stable belts are now clipped at the front, sometimes behind a metal belt plate (usually bearing the badge of the regiment), although a few regiments such as the Light Infantry clip their stable belts at the front with the original two leather straps. A large number of units, however, continue to use the traditional method of securing the belt using two leather straps and metal buckles at the left-hand side.

Today, every regiment and corps of the British Army has its own stable belt, often very colourful. The Royal Navy, Royal Marines and Royal Air Force also have their own, although stable belts are rarely worn in the Navy. Stable belts are worn with most styles of informal dress, but not with full dress, service dress or mess dress. Stable belts are purchased by individual service personnel, not issued, so are theoretically neither regulation nor compulsory but since most people own one they are effectively uniform items in the Army.


Firefighters Corps of Paraná - 1923.

Brazilian Firefighters Cadets - 2009.

In Brazil this belt is designated like gymnastic belt (Portuguese language: cinto ginástico ). It is one of the most traditional items of the uniforms of the Military Firefighters Corps; which is used with few modifications, since 1887.[1] At first it was rather reinforced, made of cotton and leather, to serve as climbing harness. Today it is mild and only serves as a ceremonial item.

There are only two models of belts:

The belt has a horizontal strip in blue colour, with the buckles in silver metal. In the 1960s the leather parts were painted with white colour.

Belt CB Of.PNG

The belt is in red colour, with the buckles in gold metal.

Belt CB Pc.PNG


The Danish Army, Home Guard, and Air Force all use stable belts. The Danish armed forces have had in total 42 different stable belts. Today there are only sixteen in use.


Lebanese firefighters (الدفاع المدني, i.e. "Civil Defense") use the same type of gymnastic belt as used by firefighters in Brazil.

New Zealand

The various Corps and Regiments of the New Zealand Army wear stable belts.

Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment

Personnel of the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment, with the exception of those serving in Territorial Force battalion groups, wear the regimental belt of the Durham Light Infantry, being rifle green with two thin red stripes. The belt was adopted as the RNZIR Corps belt in 1970. The Durham Light Infantry regimental belt was given to the 1st Battalion, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment when it relieved the 1st Battalion, Durham Light Infantry at Sarawak, Borneo in May 1966.

Canterbury, and Nelson-Marlborough and West Coast Regiment

Rifle green, derived from the light British Light Infantry

Auckland (Countess of Ranfurly's Own) and Northland Regiment

Two sets of thin Red and White stripes on a Black background, adopted in 1995. Originally the belt consisted of three even sized stripes of Red, Black and White and were based on the Regiment's colours.

Otago and Southland Regiment

The Otago and Southland Regimental belt is that of Queen’s Own Highlanders, and is the pattern of the McKenzie tartan.

Wellington West Coast and Taranaki Regiment

Two separate belts are worn; officers and warrant officers wear a black belt with central stripes of red, green, yellow, mauve, and red, while soldiers below the rank of warrant officer wear a black belt with central stripes of yellow, red, green, and mauve. The belts adopted in 1973 were based on the Royal Hampshire Regiment with colours stemming from the regimental colours and the colours of the lace and facings on the uniforms of the 37th (North Hampshire) Regiment of Foot and 67th (South Hampshire) Regiment.

Hauraki Regiment

Thames blue with a gold strip in the middle, derived from the old Royal Warwickshire Regiment which in turn is derived from the old 6th Regiment of Foot. The 6th Foot were once charged with guarding the Crown Jewels in the Tower of London; hence the blue of the belt represents the Thames river and the Gold stripe, the Crown Jewels.[2] The belt was introduced in 1975 and has a buckle in worn centre which has the Regiments bagde mounted.

Wellington (City of Wellington's Own) and Hawke's Bay Regiment

The 7th Wellington (City of Wellington’s Own) and Hawke’s Bay Battalion Group inherited the York and Lancaster Regiment stable belt. The belt is composed of maroon bands at the top and bottom (16mm wide), with a centre stripe of black (18mm wide) with a silver stripe above and gold stripe (each 6mm wide) below the centre strip. The York and Lancaster Regiment was allied to the Wellington Regiment in 1913 in recognistion of the York and Lancs (65th of Foot) 19 year participation in the New Zealand Wars.

New Zealand Special Air Service

Originates from belt worn by the British Special Air Service. It was first worn in 1965 by 1 Detachment, 1 Ranger Squadron NZSAS. The colours originate from a concept by David Stirling integrating the Oxford Blue and Cambridge Blue.[3]

Queen Alexandra's Mounted Rifles

The QAMR belt is Black with a central Amber stripe as used by the original Queen Alexandra’s Mounted Rifles, they are also the colours of the Taranaki, where the unit’s foundations were laid in the early 1860s.

Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment


United Kingdom

Note that these belts are shown in cross section, the stripes actually being horizontal as worn, and are actually considerably wider than shown, although the stripes are shown in correct proportion. Where belts are asymmetrical, the left-hand side of the illustration is the uppermost as worn.

Cavalry/Armoured regiments

Life Guards Blues and Royals
1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards Royal Scots Dragoon Guards Royal Dragoon Guards
Queen's Royal Hussars 9th/12th Royal Lancers King's Royal Hussars
The Light Dragoons Queen's Royal Lancers Royal Tank Regiment
Royal Yeomanry[4] Royal Mercian and Lancastrian Yeomanry Royal Wessex Yeomanry[5]
Queen's Own Yeomanry

Infantry regiments

Foot Guards Royal Regiment of Scotland Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment
Duke of Lancaster's Regiment Royal Regiment of Fusiliers Royal Anglian Regiment
Yorkshire Regiment Mercian Regiment Royal Welsh
Royal Irish Regiment The Parachute Regiment Royal Gurkha Rifles
The Rifles Special Air Service Royal Gibraltar Regiment


Royal Horse Artillery Royal Artillery Royal Engineers
Royal Corps of Signals Army Air Corps Royal Army Chaplains' Department
Royal Logistic Corps Royal Army Medical Corps Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers
Adjutant General's Corps
(Staff and Personnel Support)[6]
Adjutant General's Corps
(Royal Military Police)[6]
Adjutant General's Corps
(Military Provost Staff)[6]
Adjutant General's Corps
(Educational and Training Services)[6]
Adjutant General's Corps
(Army Legal Services)[6]
Royal Army Veterinary Corps
Small Arms School Corps Royal Army Dental Corps Intelligence Corps
Royal Army Physical Training Corps Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps Corps of Army Music[7]
Queen's Gurkha Engineers Queen's Gurkha Signals Queen's Own Gurkha Logistic Regiment
Honourable Artillery Company

(RHQ and HQ squadron)

Honourable Artillery Company

(1 squadron)

Honourable Artillery Company

(2 squadron)

Honourable Artillery Company

(3 squadron)

Honourable Artillery Company

(Signal squadron)

Honourable Artillery Company

(Corps of Drums)

Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers Royal Jersey Militia Military Provost Guard Service


1 Regiment RHA
4 Regiment RA 5 Regiment RA 29 Commando Regiment RA
B Battery RHA E Battery RHA F (Sphinx) Parachute Battery RHA
G Parachute Battery RHA (Mercer's Troop) I Parachute Battery RHA (Bull's Troop) K (Hondeghem) Battery RA
L (Néry) Battery RHA N Battery RHA (The Eagle Troop) O Battery RHA (The Rocket Troop)
P Battery RA (The Dragon Troop) Q (Sanna's Post) Battery RA
4/73 (Sphinx) Special Observation Post Battery RA 38 (Seringapatam) Battery RA 46 (Talavera) Battery RA
53 (Louisburg) Battery RA 129 (Dragon) Battery RA

Training units

Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
Aberdeen Universities Officers Training Corps Birmingham Universities Officers Training Corps Bristol University Officers Training Corps
Cambridge University Officers Training Corps City of Edinburgh Universities Officers Training Corps East Midlands Universities Officers Training Corps[8]
Hunting Stewart Tartan
Exeter University Officers Training Corps Glasgow and Strathclyde Universities Officers Training Corps Leeds University Officers Training Corps
Liverpool University Officers Training Corps Manchester and Salford Universities Officers Training Corps Northumbrian Universities Officers Training Corps
Oxford University Officers Training Corps Queen's University Officers Training Corps Sheffield University Officers Training Corps
Southampton University Officers Training Corps Tayforth Universities Officers Training Corps University of London Officers Training Corps
Hunting Stewart Tartan
University of Wales Officers Training Corps

Other services

Royal Navy Royal Marines Royal Air Force[9]

Cadet units

Sea Cadet Corps
Royal Navy Section, Combined Cadet Force
Sea Cadet Corps (Royal Marines)
Royal Marines Section, Combined Cadet Force
Army Section, Combined Cadet Force
Army Cadet Force Air Training Corps
RAF Section, Combined Cadet Force
Girls Venture Corps Air Cadets

Other organisations

First Aid Nursing Yeomanry

Former cavalry regiments

Royal Horse Guards
1st King's Dragoon Guards Queen's Bays (2nd Dragoon Guards) 3rd Carabiniers
4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards 5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards
Royal Dragoons (1st Dragoons) Royal Scots Greys (2nd Dragoons) 3rd The King's Own Hussars
4th Queen's Own Hussars 7th Queen's Own Hussars 8th King's Royal Irish Hussars
9th Queen's Royal Lancers 10th Royal Hussars 11th Hussars
12th Royal Lancers 13th/18th Royal Hussars 14th/20th King's Hussars
15th/19th The King's Royal Hussars 16th/5th The Queen's Royal Lancers 17th/21st Lancers
Queen's Own Hussars Queen's Royal Irish Hussars Royal Hussars
Queen's Royal Lancers (pre-1998)

Former Yeomanry regiments

Many of these belts are still worn by sub-units.

Ayrshire (Earl of Carrick's Own) Yeomanry Bedfordshire Yeomanry Berkshire and Westminster Dragoons
Berkshire Yeomanry Cheshire Yeomanry[10] City of London Yeomanry (Rough Riders)
3rd/4th County of London Yeomanry (Sharpshooters) Derbyshire Yeomanry Duke of Lancaster's Own Yeomanry[11]
East Riding Yeomanry Essex Yeomanry[12] Fife and Forfar Yeomanry
Flintshire and Denbighshire Yeomanry Glamorgan Yeomanry Hampshire Yeomanry
Hertfordshire Yeomanry Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire Yeomanry[13] Inns of Court Regiment
Inns of Court and City Yeomanry[14] Kent Yeomanry Kent and Sharpshooters Yeomanry[15]
Lanarkshire Yeomanry Lancashire Hussars Leicestershire Yeomanry
Leicestershire and Derbyshire Yeomanry[16] Lothians and Border Horse Lovat Scouts
Middlesex Yeomanry Norfolk Yeomanry North Irish Horse
North Somerset Yeomanry North Somerset and Bristol Yeomanry Northamptonshire Yeomanry
Northumberland Hussars Pembroke Yeomanry[17] Queen's Own Dorset Yeomanry[18]
Queen's Own Dorset and West Somerset Yeomanry Queen's Own Lowland Yeomanry Queen's Own Mercian Yeomanry
Queen's Own Oxfordshire Hussars[19] Queen's Own Royal Glasgow Yeomanry Queen's Own Warwickshire and Worcestershire Yeomanry[20]
Queen's Own Worcestershire Hussars Queen's Own Yorkshire Dragoons Queen's Own Yorkshire Yeomanry
Royal Buckinghamshire Yeomanry Royal Devon Yeomanry[21] Royal Gloucestershire Hussars[22]
Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry[23] Scottish Horse Scottish Yeomanry[24]
Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry[25] Shropshire Yeomanry[26] South Nottinghamshire Hussars Yeomanry
Staffordshire Yeomanry Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire Yeomanry[27] Suffolk Yeomanry
Suffolk and Norfolk Yeomanry Surrey Yeomanry Sussex Yeomanry
Warwickshire Yeomanry West Somerset Yeomanry Westminster Dragoons[28]
Yorkshire Hussars Yorkshire Yeomanry Fife and Forfar Yeomanry/Scottish Horse[29]

Former infantry regiments

Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment Black Watch
Border Regiment The Buffs The Cameronians
Douglas Tartan
Cheshire Regiment Devonshire and Dorset Regiment Devonshire Regiment
Dorset Regiment Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry 7th Duke of Edinburgh's Own Gurkha Rifles
Duke of Edinburgh's Royal Regiment Duke of Wellington's Regiment Durham Light Infantry[30]
1st East Anglian Regiment 2nd East Anglian Regiment 3rd East Anglian Regiment
East Lancashire Regiment East Surrey Regiment East Yorkshire Regiment
Essex Regiment Gloucestershire Regiment Gordon Highlanders
Gordon Tartan
Green Howards The Highlanders Highland Light Infantry
Gordon Tartan
2nd King Edward VII's Own Gurkha Rifles King's Own Royal Border Regiment King's Own Royal Regiment
King's Own Scottish Borderers King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry King's Regiment
Leslie Tartan
King's Regiment (Liverpool) King's Royal Rifle Corps King's Shropshire Light Infantry
Lancashire Fusiliers Lancashire Regiment The Light Infantry
Loyal Regiment Manchester Regiment Middlesex Regiment
Northamptonshire Regiment North Staffordshire Regiment Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry
Prince of Wales's Own Regiment of Yorkshire 10th Princess Mary's Own Gurkha Rifles 6th Queen Elizabeth's Own Gurkha Rifles
Queen's Lancashire Regiment Queen's Own Buffs Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders
Queen's Own Highlanders Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment Queen's Regiment
MacKenzie Tartan
Queen's Royal Regiment (West Surrey) Queen's Royal Surrey Regiment The Rifle Brigade
Royal Berkshire Regiment Royal Fusiliers Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment
Royal Green Jackets Royal Hampshire Regiment Royal Highland Fusiliers
MacKenzie Tartan
Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers Royal Irish Fusiliers Royal Irish Rangers
Royal Leicestershire Regiment Royal Lincolnshire Regiment Royal Norfolk Regiment
Royal Northumberland Fusiliers Royal Regiment of Wales Royal Scots
Hunting Stewart Tartan
Royal Scots Fusiliers Royal Sussex Regiment Royal Ulster Rifles
Green Erskine Tartan
Royal Warwickshire Fusiliers Royal Welch Fusiliers Seaforth Highlanders
Sherwood Foresters Somerset and Cornwall Light Infantry Somerset Light Infantry
South Lancashire Regiment South Staffordshire Regiment South Wales Borderers
Staffordshire Regiment Suffolk Regiment Ulster Defence Regiment
Welch Regiment West Yorkshire Regiment Wiltshire Regiment
Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment Worcestershire Regiment York and Lancaster Regiment

Former volunteer infantry regiments

These stable belts may still be worn by sub-units.

Cambridgeshire Regiment Glasgow Highlanders Herefordshire Light Infantry
1st Battalion, 51st Highland Volunteers 2nd Battalion, 51st Highland Volunteers 3rd Battalion, 51st Highland Volunteers
Lancastrian Volunteers Leeds Rifles Light Infantry and Mercian Volunteers
Liverpool Scottish London Irish Rifles London Regiment
London Rifle Brigade London Scottish[31] 1st Battalion, 52nd Lowland Volunteers
2nd Battalion, 52nd Lowland Volunteers 1st Battalion, Mercian Volunteers 2nd Battalion, Mercian Volunteers
Monmouthshire Regiment North Irish Militia Northumbrian Volunteers
Queen Victoria's Rifles Queen's Westminsters The Rangers
Suffolk and Cambridgeshire Regiment Tower Hamlets Rifles Tyneside Scottish
Welsh Volunteers 1st Battalion, Wessex Regiment 2nd Battalion, Wessex Regiment
1st Battalion, Yorkshire Volunteers 2nd Battalion, Yorkshire Volunteers 3rd Battalion, Yorkshire Volunteers
Princess Louise's Kensington Regiment[32]

Former corps

Adjutant General's Corps (1st Pattern) Army Catering Corps Army Fire Service
Army Legal Corps Military Provost Staff Corps Royal Army Educational Corps
Royal Army Medical Corps (1st Pattern) Royal Army Ordnance Corps (1st Pattern) Royal Army Ordnance Corps (2nd Pattern)
Royal Army Pay Corps Royal Army Service Corps Royal Corps of Signals (1st Pattern)
Royal Corps of Transport Royal Military Police Royal Pioneer Corps
Women's Royal Army Corps
Gurkha Military Police Queen's Own Gurkha Transport Regiment

Former sub-units

36 Guided Weapons Regiment RA
47 Guided Weapons Regiment RA
95 Commando Regiment RA

Former training units

Mons Officer Cadet School
Army Apprentices College, Arborfield Army Apprentices College, Chepstow Army Apprentices College, Harrogate
Junior Leaders Regiment, Royal Armoured Corps

Former civil defence organisations

Royal Observer Corps


  1. Imperial Decree 9.829, of december 31 de 1887. (in portuguese)
  2. 6 Hauraki Association
  3. Army News Issue 404 17 November 2009.
  4. Worn by Regimental Headquarters. Squadrons wear old stable belts: Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry, Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry, Leicestershire and Derbyshire Yeomanry, Kent and Sharpshooters Yeomanry, and Westminster Dragoons.
  5. Individual squadrons wear old stable belts: Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry, Royal Gloucestershire Hussars, Royal Devon Yeomanry, and Dorset Yeomanry.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 When it was formed in 1992, all AGC personnel wore the same stable belt, but the branches gradually won the right to wear the stables belts of their predecessor corps and today only the Staff and Personnel Support Branch wears the AGC stable belt.
  7. Musicians usually wear the stable belt of the regiment or corps with whose band they are currently serving.
  8. Sherwood Foresters stable belt with silver stripe to distinguish EMU OTC from its (foster) parent unit.
  9. The RAF Regiment stable belt has the same colours as the general RAF belt; however it features an interlocking RAF Regiment badge.
  10. Now worn by C Squadron, Royal Mercian and Lancastrian Yeomanry and 80 Signal Squadron.
  11. Now worn by D Squadron, Royal Mercian and Lancastrian Yeomanry.
  12. Worn by 70 (Essex Yeomanry) Signal Squadron, Royal Corps of Signals.
  13. Worn by 201 (The Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire Yeomanry) Battery, Royal Artillery.
  14. Now worn by 68th (Inns of Court and City Yeomanry) Signal Squadron and the Band of the Royal Yeomanry.
  15. Now worn by C Squadron, Royal Yeomanry and HQ (Kent and County of London Yeomanry) Squadron, 71st Signal Regiment.
  16. Now worn by B Squadron, Royal Yeomanry.
  17. Worn by 224 (Pembrokeshire Yeomanry) Squadron, Royal Logistic Corps.
  18. Now worn by A Squadron, Royal Wessex Yeomanry.
  19. Now worn by 5 Signal Squadron.
  20. Worn by 67th (Queens Own Warwickshire & Worcestershire Yeomanry) Signal Squadron.
  21. Now worn by D Squadron, Royal Wessex Yeomanry.
  22. Now worn by C Squadron, Royal Wessex Yeomanry.
  23. Now worn by A Squadron, Royal Yeomanry and B Squadron, Royal Wessex Yeomanry.
  24. The Scottish Yeomanry (1992-1999) adopted the stable belt of the 15th/19th Kings Royal Hussars following the latters amalgamation. This was decided due to its similarity to the Ayrshire Yeomanry's previous belt.
  25. Now worn by S Squadron, Royal Yeomanry.
  26. Now worn by B Squadron, Royal Mercian and Lancastrian Yeomanry.
  27. Now worn by A Squadron, Royal Mercian and Lancastrian Yeomanry.
  28. Now worn by W Squadron, Royal Yeomanry.
  29. Now worn by C Squadron, Queen's Own Yeomanry.
  30. Now worn by the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment
  31. Worn by A (London Scottish) Company, The London Regiment.
  32. Worn by 41st (Princess Louise's Kensington) Signal Squadron (Volunteers).


  • Materiel Regulations for The Army, Volume 3, Pamphlet No.16, Optional items of dress, Ministry of Defence, London, 1995

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