I find it hard to fill the boots of our dear departed ‘tribal elder’, Tiny Dugan, in proposing the toast to the Regiment – But I will try.


What does it mean to have served in the Regiment?  Some 80,000 men have passed through its ranks since its inception on 23 November 1948 and most have carried the strong bonds of family throughout their lives.  Many of them have a favorite battalion; many have served in more than one battalion.  But the regiment is supreme; the Regiment is family – The Royal Australian Regiment family.


The key to success of the Regiment has been its good leaders, good non-commissioned officers and good soldiers.  I am sure that our soldiers are, and have always been, second to none.  Our warrant and non-commissioned officers are the backbone of the Regiment, brought up in the strong traditions of regimental spirit.  They are the enforcers of professionalism and high standards and the fierce custodians of the Regiment’s reputation.


The officers have guided the way by ability and example and have provided the spark of initiative so essential to success in battle and in training.  It is a tribute to all who have served in the Regiment but particularly the regulars who made the Regiment their careers and provide much needed continuity.  I have the highest praise for the regulars who have served the Regiment loyally in Australia and overseas and set the pattern for what is expected of Australian infantry.


The success of the Regiment has not been without cost and a total of 687 men have died on overseas service with the Regiment.


One cannot forget the families of the Regiment.  The sacrifices made by the wives and children in supporting husbands and fathers, often in difficult circumstances, the staunch and loyal contributions of the families to the success of the Regiment, is very much admired and we acknowledge it.


Please be upstanding as we toast the past, present and future members of The Royal Australian Regiment  –  The Regiment


Major Laurie Hall

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