|The Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment|
Cap badge of the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment
|Active||9 January 1947 - Present|
|Allegiance||HM The Queen|
|Branch||New Zealand Army|
|Role||Light Role Infantry|
|Garrison/HQ||1st Battalion - Linton|
2/1st Battalion - Burnham
5th/7th Battalion - Trentham
|March||1st Battalion -|
Quick - Sons of the Brave
Slow - Scipio
2/1st Battalion -
March on - Action Front
March past (quick) - The Great Little Army
March past (slow) - Scipio
March off - Army of the Nile
|Colonel-in-Chief||HM The Queen|
|Major General K.M. Gordon, CBE (Rtd)|
The New Zealand Infantry Corps was formed on 9 January 1947, consisting of a single Regular infantry battalion, the New Zealand Regiment, and eleven Territorial Force(TF) Infantry Regiments;
The New Zealand Infantry Corps war granted royal status in July 1947. In August 1947 the New Zealand Regiment was reorganised with the two Infantry Battalions in Jayforce joining the New Zealand Regiment:
During 1948 amalgamations further reduced the TF Infantry Regiments to nine;
As part of New Zealand's commitment to he British Commonwealth Far East Reserve, The 1st Battalion, The New Zealand Regiment was deployed to Malaya from October 1957 as part the 28th Commonwealth Infantry Brigade Group. Between 1958 and 1964 the NZ Regiment would rotate 3 Battalions through Malaya;
In 1963 the 2nd Battalion now based in New Zealand was reorganised as a Depot for the 1st Battalion.
On 1 April 1964 all units of the Royal New Zealand Infantry Corps were reorganised into the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment and re-designated as;
During the Indonesia-Malaysia confrontation which began on 20 January 1963, 1 RNZIR would be committed to the conflict from September 1964, seeing service in Mainland Malaysia and Borneo.
1 RNZIR would initially see action in September 1964 when Indonesian paratroopers landed in Johore, 1 RNZIR was one of the few Commonwealth units in the region and with the New Zealand government's permission hunted down the infiltrators. The following month, 52 Indonesian soldiers landed in Pontian on the Johore-Malacca border and were also captured by New Zealand soldiers. 1 RNZIR would later deploy to Borneo where they would combat Indonesian cross border infiltration's. The Indonesia-Malaysia Confrontation officially ended in May 1966.
During the Vietnam War, 1 RNZIR which remained at Terendak Camp in Malaysia, would contribute a series of Rifle company's to serve with the 1st Australian Task Force in South Vietnam. The first contribution was Victor Company (V Coy), a 182-man rifle company to Vietnam which served from May 1967 until November 1967 as part of the 1st Australian Task Force. For the first two weeks the company served with 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment at Nui Dat and then came under 2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment for the remainder of the tour. Despite being under 2 RAR operationally, V Coy did maintain some command autonomy for all non-operational administrative matters which were reported to the New Zealand Headquarters in Saigon. During its six months in Vietnam V Coy participated in;
V Coy was replaced by Whisky Company (W Coy) in December, also from 1 RNZIR in Malaya. A fresh V Coy (Victor 2) also joined and the two New Zealand companies continued to serve under 2 RAR until the formation of the ANZAC Battalion in 1968.
1 March 1968 saw the formation of the "ANZAC Battalion" which was a merger of A, B and C Companies of 2 RAR with V and W Companies of RNZIR and renamed 2 RAR/NZ (ANZAC). W and V Companies operated as New Zealand companies, maintaining their identity and designation within the Australian battalion they were part of. The new ANZAC Battalion's first operation was Operation Pinnaroo (27 February - 15 April 1968) with 3 RAR, followed by Operation Cooktown Orchid (April 1968). In May 1968 Victor 3 replaced Victor 2, 2 RAR was replaced by 4 RAR and the ANZAC Battalion became 4 RAR/NZ (ANZAC). In November 1968 the first Whisky company was replaced by Whisky 2.
In May 1969 4 RAR was replaced by 6 RAR whereupon the ANZAC Battalion became 6RAR/NZ (ANZAC). Two weeks prior to 6 RAR's arrival Victor 3 was replaced by Victor 4 and conducted operations with Whisky 2 until the arrival of the Australians. Whisky 2 was replaced by Whisky 3 in November 1969. During this rotation two New Zealand mortar sections and two Assault Pioneer sections were added.
In May 1970 Victor 4 was replaced by Victor 5. In July 1970 6 RAR was relieved by 2 RAR again and the battalion was once again 2RAR/NZ (ANZAC). After three tours W3 Company was withdrawn from Vietnam in November 1970 along with 8 RAR.
In May 1971 Victor 5 was replaced by Victor 6 and 2 RAR was replaced by 4 RAR thereby becoming 4 RAR/NZ (ANZAC) again, serving until the withdrawal of the last Australian and New Zealand combat troops in December 1971.
As part of 1ATF, New Zealand infantry participated in many operations in Vietnam including;
Victor 4 Company also conducted their own independent operations including;
As the only remaining New Zealand infantry company Victor 5 participated in the ongoing Australian efforts to secure the area and defeat D445 Vietcong Battalion, the primary enemy force in Phuoc Tuy Province. As part of 4 RAR/NZ Victor 5 Company was involved in Operation Phoi Hop (1 February - 2 May 1971.) Victor 6 Company was involved in;
With other Australian battalions having been withdrawn earlier in 1971, only 3 RAR and 4 RAR/NZ remained by mid 1971. Victor 6's last operation was one of protecting the activities of 1 ATF's withdrawal from Vietnam during Operation South Ward (6-16 October 1971). Victor Company was returned to 1 RNZIR in Singapore on 9 December 1971.
RNZIR casualties (including RNZE attachments) during the Vietnam War were:
Having been based at Terendak Camp since 1961, 1 RNZIR relocated to Nee Soon Barracks on Singapore in December 1969. In 1971 the 28th Commonwealth Infantry Brigade Group would be disestablished and 1 RNZIR would come under the command of ANZUK Force. During 1970/71 1 RNZIR would relocate from Nee Soon to Dieppe Barracks. In 1974 ANZUK Force was disbanded and 1 RNZIR became the Infantry component of the New Zealand Force South East Asia which it would remain a part of until 1989 when 1 RNZIR was redeployed to Linton Camp in New Zealand.
In 1973, the Regimental Depot in Burnham Camp was predesignated as the 2/1st Battalion, Royal New Zealand Infantry Battalion, creating for the first time since 1948 a second Regular Infantry Battalion in the New Zealand Army. Today, the RNZIR has two Regular Battalions:
An additional battalion, known as the 3/1st Battalion RNZIR, was occasionally formed as a composite battalion from the Territorial Battalions during exercises.
On 17 March 2013 the six TF battalions were amalgamated into three Battalions;
In the first deployment of New Zealand combat troops to a war zone since the Vietnam War, 1 RNZIR contributed a rifle section to provide security for the New Zealand Supply Contingent in Somalia from July 1993. There would be two rotations with the final section departing Somalia in June 1994.
Alongside troops from Queens Alexandra's Mounted Rifles (QAMR), 1 RNZIR and 2/ RNZIR would both contribute to the Mechanized Infantry Company Group that formed New Zealand's commitment to the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR). Serving as part of a British Battalion from 1994, two Company Group rotations would serve in the Former Yugoslavia.
In the New Zealand Army, an infantry platoon is commanded by a second lieutenant or a lieutenant with a Platoon Sergeant (holding the rank of sergeant), a Platoon Signaller and a medic (where relevant) comprising the Platoon Headquarters. The platoon is sub-divided into three sections of between 7-10 soldiers, each commanded by a corporal with a lance corporal as the Section second-in-command (Section 2iC). Each section can be sub-divided into two fire-teams, commanded by the Section Commander and 2iC respectively, as well as normal two man Scout, Rifle and Gun Teams. In recent years the section organisation consists of the two fire team concept, where the section is divided into two fire teams with a Gun Team in each and one commanded by the section corporal and the other section lance corporal with a section marksmen in each team and the leftover riflemen divided equally among the two fire teams. The section corporal is still in overall command and is in contact with the other fire team via radio if the situation changes.
There are three platoons in a rifle company, which is commanded by a major, and three rifle companies within an infantry battalion, which is commanded by a lieutenant colonel. An infantry battalion will also contain an organic Support Company including a signals platoon, mortar platoon (mortars now officially under the artillery corps but still used by infantry on deployment), Direct Fire Support Weapons Platoon which includes anti armour, heavy machine guns and automatic grenade launchers, Reconnaissance Platoon and Sniper cell, and a Logistics Company (transport and stores). The battalion totals around 400 to 500 soldiers depending on retention levels.
Because it is recruited on a nationwide basis, and has no specific regional links, the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment claims descent from the old New Zealand Regiment and all previous Territorial Infantry Regiments of the New Zealand Army. As a consequence, it is permitted to display a selection of 105 battle honours awarded to ten separate regiments: