On 14 November 1967 the new mascot, Trooper Courage, then six weeks old, was presented to the unit. The first ceremonial activity that Courage took part in was a Beating of the Retreat at Victoria Barracks Sydney in 1969. Courage paraded with the Regiment on nearly every ceremonial occasion since that time including the presentation of the guidon on 5 August 1972, when she won much praise by the then Governor of NSW, Sir Roden Cutler. The highlight of her career was in February 1974 when she took part in the house guard for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Courage was promoted through the ranks to Sergeant, and became a very tolerant mascot, even attending dinners in the Sergeants Mess.
On 2 April 1987 Sergeant Courage died. Her death was commemorated with a memorial service and a special edition of Routine Orders was published. Her record of service is as follows:
|Date of Birth||6 August 1967|
|Date of Enlistment||14 November 1967|
|Promoted Corporal||10 December 1971|
|Promoted Sergeant||16 March 1984|
|Deceased||2 April 1987|
Courage is trained to fly to his handler, a skill which has made him a feature of several parades. Courage flew onto parade at the presentation of the Guidon, and the opening of Waler Barracks.
On Friday 17 November 1997 Corporal Courage was participating in flight training with his handlers on the Regimental parade ground. Late in the afternoon he refused to co-operate with his handlers and flew away. He was not found until 1600 hrs on Sunday 8 November, four kilometres from the guard room. An extensive search had taken place over two days, involving the guard and other soldiers of the Regiment. Charged with AWOL, he was reduced to Trooper. Due to good behaviour and commendable service he was promoted to the rank of Corporal again on 2 July 1998.
His service details to date are as follows:
|Date of Birth||14 August 1987|
|Date of Enlistment||15 October 1987|
|Promoted Lance Corporal||25 November 1994|
|Promoted Corporal||28 November 1996|
|Reduced Trooper||13 November 1997|
|Promoted Corporal||2 July 1998|
To perpetuate and symbolise the traditions of past Light Horse and Cavalry units which were traditionally linked to 2nd Cavalry Regiment through 4th/19th Prince of Wales Light Horse, approval was sought and gained for selected members of the Regiment to carry lances and wear bandoliers on ceremonial occasions. Official approval was granted in February 1974 for Warrant Officers Class 2, Staff Sergeants and Sergeants to wear bandoliers and carry lances on ceremonial parades and guards. This form of dress was first worn officially by the left and right guides of the Guard provided for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at Parliament House, Canberra in February 1974.
Members of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment wear bandoliers and carry lances when they undertake formal parades.
With the general wearing of the slouch hat across the Army, colour patches were reintroduced in the early 1990s. The reintroduced colour patches were based on the designs of the 1st and 2nd AIF colour patches. The design and colour of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment colour patch is based on that of the 4th Light Horse and is light blue over dark blue, divided diagonally from lower to higher, on a rectangular patch. This design was chosen because of links with A Squadron 4th/19th Prince of Wales Light Horse (descended from 4th Light Horse) and is worn on the right side of the puggaree on the slouch hat by all members of the Regiment (including those from other Corps).
From its earliest days, the Regiment wore the black beret as dress of the day, on ceremonial occasions and in the field. This was consistent with the dress of the 2nd AIF Armoured units and it was understandable that the Regiment would wear the beret of the Royal Tank Regiment, given the source of the personnel who first formed A Squadron 4th/19th Prince of Wales Light Horse. With the introduction of the kepi cap and crewman helmet, the beret was sensibly replaced as field dress. When Army Standing Orders for Dress (ASOD) were introduced in the 1990s there was a greater emphasis placed on the wearing of the Australian slouch hat in the Army. For RAAC units that had direct links to the ALH, emu plumes were an essential accoutrement to retain the Light Horse traditions. All RAAC personnel were given authority to wear plumes in the slouch hat with the brim up or down in 1996. The black beret is retained for Regimental and other ceremonial occasions. Personnel from other Corps who are posted to the Regiment wear the black beret (with their respective Corps badge) and wear emu plumes in their slouch hat.
On 20 November 1970, Lieutenant Colonel Keldie assumed control of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment (Reconnaissance). It was this appointment date that determined the birthdate of the Regiment. The Regiment’s birthday is 20 November although, in the development of unique traditions it is celebrated on 31 October, which is Beersheba Day. This date was chosen to celebrate the Regiment’s birthday, since it was a successful Australian battle and retained links with the Light Horse. A Squadron 4th/19th Prince of Wales Light Horse, who were later redesignated as A Squadron 2nd Cavalry Regiment, were the recipients of the 1st Australian Imperial Force 4th Light Horse battle honours, so the choice of Beersheba Day as the date for the celebration of the Regiment’s birthday seemed only fitting. The Regiment’s birthday is typically celebrated every year with a parade and a dining in night.
The Regiment conducts a mounted parade to celebrate the Regimental Birthday
Competitions Competition between troops and squadrons is, and always has been, fierce. The Regiment has many military and sporting competitions. Some, such as the volleyball competition and trophy, date back to A Squadron 3rd Cavalry Regiment whilst others are more recent. The major competitions are the prizes most sought after.
This trophy is named after the second Commanding Officer and was awarded to the squadron with the best overall small arms results for the year. With the introduction of ASLAV and in recognition of the primacy of AFV Gunnery the Competition was changed to an assessed crew level gunnery competition in 1997. Winners of the A. H. Smith Trophy are shown below.
This is awarded to the champion Squadron, selected on the basis of placing in military and sporting competitions over the year. The trophy is named in honour of the first Honorary Colonel of the Regiment and was first awarded in 1997. The champion squadrons of the Regiment are shown below.
This Regiment was formed with the outbreak of World War II and developed a proud tradition during that conflict. The Regiment was the first armoured unit formed at Ingleburn on 3 November 1939 as 6th Australian Division Cavalry. B Squadron made history when it attacked Port Gearnon 12 December 1940 which established it as the first AIF unit action against land forces in the war. The regiment fought against all the nations of the Axis Powers - Italy, Germany, Vichy France and Japan. In doing so it won the following battle honours:
2nd Cavalry Regiment was chosen by the past members of the 2nd/6th Cavalry (Commando) Regiment to hold and preserve these Battle Honours. On 9 October 1971 at a ceremonial parade the Regiment was presented with a scroll and bronze plaque affiliating the two Regiments. The scroll hangs in RHQ and the plaque is fixed to a large sculptured rock at the base of the Regiments flag pole. The book ‘To The Green Fields Beyond’, written by Shawn O’Leary details the 2nd/6th Regiment's history.
On 21 August 1974 Brigadier General Charles P. Graham (a past Commanding Officer of 2nd Armoured Cavalry Regiment) visited Jordan Lines for the establishment of a ‘Bond of Friendship’ between 2nd Cavalry Regiment and 2nd Armoured Cavalry Regiment. The 2nd Cavalry Regiment presented him with a plaque and a photo album, filled with photographs of his visit and received in turn a plaque from 2nd Armoured Cavalry Regiment which now hangs in RHQ.
Copyright (c) 2001 Dept of Defence