A Proud History
On the 22nd June 1940, Winston Churchill called for the formation of an elite Corps of troops.... the PARAS
Following Churchill's wishes for "a corps of at least 5,000 parachute troops, suitably organised and equipped" a Parachute Training School was established at Ringway Airport near Manchester and No 2 Commando was chosen for the first training in parachute duties; the regiment quickly growing into the 11th Special Air Service Battalion and ultimately, on the 1st August 1942, the Parachute Regiment. By the end of WW2, the Regiment comprised of 17 battalions.
Following an exceptional parachute raid in Southern Italy, the PARAS first successful raid came in 1942, with "C" Company of the 2nd Battalion's drop on an enemy radar station at Bruneval, France. The Regiment wore the maroon beret and the
nickname "red devils" was bestowed by the enemy forces during fierce fighting in North Africa. Following many famous operations during the war, the Parachute Regiment went on to serve everywhere from Palestine to Northern Ireland to the Falklands, playing vital roles and winning numerous awards for gallantry. More recently the PARAS led the war in war-torn Kosovo and Sierra Leone - including rescue missions that were a precursor to 1 PARA's new fast - deploying roles as the Special Forces Support Group and in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Parachute Regiment Charter
"What manner of men are these who wear the maroon red beret? They are firstly all volunteers, and are then toughened by hard physical training. As a result they have that infectious optimism and that offensive eagerness which comes from physical well being. They have jumped from the air and by doing so have conquered fear. Their duty lies in the van of the battle: they are proud of this honour and have never failed in any task. They have the highest standards in all things, whether it be skill in battle or smartness in the execution of all peace time duties. They have shown themselves to be as tenacious and determined in defence as they are courageous in attack.
They are, in fact, men apart - every man an Emperor." - Field Marshal The Viscount Montgomery of Alamein
The Parachute Regiment was formed to provide the infantry arm of the Airborne formations raised during the Second World War, in order to deliver a specialised operational capability. Airborne forces were required to operate at reach, with a light logistic footprint, often beyond traditional lines of support. Special qualities were therefore demanded of the airborne soldier, whether launched into battle by parachute or glider. He was required to be physically fit and mentally robust. He had to demonstrate motivation, self-reliance, initiative and intelligence. Through rigorous selection and hard training, the airborne soldier was expected to develop a temper of mind that bred resilience, self-confidence and a fierce determination to succeed, whatever the difficulties. These qualities, constantly sought through training and selection, have continued to be nurtured through subsequent generations, and have proved a winning factor time and again on operations to the present day.
These special capabilities are demanded more than ever in an evolving operational environment where complexity, ambiguity and confusion abound. The requirement for speedy, preventive deployments is still paramount, where airborne soldiers may have to operate at the limits of endurance and sustainability. They must be light and agile, ready to deploy at short notice, inherently self-reliant and innovative, with the skill at arms, cunning and boldness to bring all their firepower to bear. They have to be a highly disciplined and professionally competent force, deployable by helicopter, aeroplane or parachute. Attaining this professional standard requires motivated volunteers whose qualities are above the norm. In sustaining the specialised capability that remains the hallmark of the Parachute Regiment, appropriate selection and training is as critical now as it ever was.
The Regimental Charter
The Parachute Regiment provides the capability to deploy an infantry force at short notice, in the vanguard of operations and in the most demanding circumstances. As such, it is trained and ready to form the spearhead for the Army's rapid intervention capability. Its watchwords are professionalism, resilience, discipline, versatility, courage and self-reliance. It is light by design, because this confers speed of reaction, and is expert at air-land deployments, by helicopter, aeroplane or parachute. It is trained to conduct a range of missions, from prevention and pre-emption tasks, to complex, high intensity war fighting. It is also trained to provide direct support to United Kingdom Special Forces, with whom it maintains close links and to whom it contributes a very significant proportion of manpower. In sum, The Parachute Regiment's approach to the training and selection of its soldiers continues to foster those qualities of resilience and versatility recognised by its founding fathers as the rock on which its particular value is built. It remains a force for good and for all seasons in the Army.
Thinking of joining The Parachute Regiment?
If you are aged between 16 and 33 and are thinking about joining The Parachute Regiment, your first step is to contact us by calling The Parachute Regiment Recruiting Team on 01206 817083 , E-Mail: