Description: Parachute Regiment – Shoulder Flash – 1980s
Condition: Very Good
Comments: Parachute Regiment – Shoulder Flash – 1980s – Worn during 1980s and 1990s.
The Parachute Regiment is the Airborne Infantry of the British Army. One battalion is permanently under the command of the Director Special Forces in the Special Forces Support Group. The other battalions are the parachute infantry component of the British Army’s rapid response formation 16 Air Assault Brigade. It is the only line infantry regiment that has not been amalgamated with another unit since the end of the Second World War. Members of the Parachute Regiment are known to the rest of the army and the British public by the nickname the Paras.
The Parachute Regiment was formed during the Second World War and eventually raised 17 battalions. In Europe, these battalions formed part of the 1st Airborne Division, the 6th Airborne Division and the 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade. Another three battalions served with the British Indian Army in India and Burma. The regiment took part in five major parachute assault operations, often landing ahead of all other troops, during which they fought in North Africa, Italy, Greece, France, the Netherlands and Germany.
At the end of the Second World War, the regiment was reduced to three regular army battalions first assigned to the 16th Parachute Brigade and later the 5th Airborne Brigade. The reserve 16th Airborne Division was formed using the regiment reserve battalions in the Territorial Army (TA). Defence cuts gradually reduced the TA formations to a parachute brigade and then a single reserve battalion. In the same time period, the regular army battalions have taken part in operations in Suez, Cyprus, Borneo, Aden, Northern Ireland, the Falklands, the Balkans, Sierra Leone, Iraq and Afghanistan, at times being reinforced by men from the reserve battalion.