Rededication to the colours in the field

By Capt Michael Brooke

5RAR, the Tiger Battalion, was reunited with its original Queen’s and Regiment Colours in a ceremony rich in military tradition.

On a hilltop overlooking Port Augusta, the Tiger Battalion rededicated itself to its Colours in a ceremony at Cultana Field Training Area on April 14.

CO 5RAR, Lt-Col Jake Ellwood, said the Colours, which were originally consecrated and blessed on October 29, 1967, symbolise the regiment’s important links with its history, traditions and its soldiers.

“The rededication of the Colours was perfectly timed as members of the Tiger Battalion prepare for a deployment on Op Catalyst,” he said.

OBG(W)-3, which comprises 5RAR, 2 Cav Regt, 1CSSB, 1CSR and supporting elements including the Australian Army Training Team-Iraq 8, are training hard in the countdown to their deployment to Op Catalyst.”


Lt-Col Ellwood said the rededication of the Colours follows the de-linking of 5/7 RAR and the re-raising of 5RAR on December 3, 2006, after almost three decades as 5/7 RAR.

The ceremony marked a small milestone in Australian military history, with the Tiger Battalion being the first unit to rededicate itself to its original Colours.

Chaplain 5RAR, Padre Morgan Batt, said the Tiger Battalion was reunited with its Colours under Australian Army Regulations and Ceremonial Protocols that allow re-raised units to take back their laid-up Colours and to rededicate themselves.

“The original 5RAR Colours were laid up at the Chapel at Kapooka in the care of the chaplains until very recently,” he said.

“Because the Colours are consecrated and can never be deconsecrated, they were laid-up at the Kapooka Chapel until the re-raising of 5RAR, which has rededicated itself to the Colours,” he said.

5RAR’s rededication ceremony was conducted at sunset .
Army pipers played ‘Scotland the Brave’ as the entire Battle Group comprising several combat teams equipped with APCs, ASLAVs and Bushmasters assembled in parade formation.

Padre Batt received the Regt Colours from an M113 and placed them on drums symbolising a church altar, prior to leading the CO and the 450 personnel preparing for OBG(W)-3 in reciting the 5RAR Colours Rededication Prayer.

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