A NEW era for the Army dawned on St David's Day when The Royal Welsh was officially brought together as the Infantry in Wales.
Formed from the Wrexham-based Royal Welch Fusiliers, the Royal Regiment of Wales and the Royal Welsh Regiment, the Royal Welsh embraces more than 600 years of tradition and offers an exciting opportunity for Wales's soldiers and Army cadets.
History was made on Wednesday afternoon in Cardiff when a Drumhead Service was held to inaugurate the Regiment.
The service saw the whole Regiment come together to honour the past service, commitment, sacrifices and traditions of the Regiments and focus them into the future of The Royal Welsh.
Some 900 regular and territorial Army soldiers and Army cadets were on parade, together with Regimental goat mascots, the Regimental Pioneers, the Regimental Band and Drums and Regimental Comrades and Standards.
'The Formation of The Royal Welsh on St David's Day 2006, is a unique and significant occasion for the Army in Wales,' said Brigadier Roddy Porter, Colonel of the Regiment.
'We want to dedicate ourselves to following in the footsteps of our predecessor's faithful and professional service and thank them for the heritage they gave us.
'We look forward to our future as the Infantry Regiment of Wales and to the opportunities that will arise to make our nation proud.'
Last year a campaign was launched to save the historical name in the shake-up.
Numerous letters of complaint were mailed to Whitehall over the decision by Geoff Hoon, the Defence Secretary, to put the existing names of the regiments after the new regimental title.
They were particularly incensed that the Scottish Regiments were allowed to use the existing names first and demanded to know why Wales was being treated differently.