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Last Updated: Monday, 12 March 2007, 20:57 GMT
'Time will judge us' says officer
Lt Col Paul Harkness was an officer with the Queen's Own Highlanders which merged with the Gordon Highlanders in the 1990s to form the Highlanders.

The commanding officer of the Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland, said the year-old regiment should be given a chance to prove itself.


It is very difficult to measure success over such a short period of time.

In the history of the Army we invariably measure success over almost hundreds of years, if not generations.

Royal Scots farewell parade in Edinburgh
Royal Scots' farewell parade in Edinburgh

So to measure it over one year is not as easy as it might sound because we always compare ourselves over a period of longer time such as a generation.

But we formed up on the 28 March and we are going strong and gaining strength everyday.

We are not yet at the end of the recruiting year - it runs from April to April like the financial year - therefore the jury has not yet sat as we have not got the results in.

As far as my own battalion is concerned our recruiting figures are up already on last year's with still a month to go.

We have since the formation of the regiment had the 5th Battalion, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, serve in Afghanistan.

The rest of us are all actually in the queue desperate to get away on operations and go and do what we joined up for.

Both the 1st and 2nd battalions are earmarked for this year to head off on operations and 5 Scots are earmarked for next year.

I am sure that 3 and 4 are similarly committed although I have not yet seen the final commitment plot for the Army.

Clearly the regiment has moved on, but we are a living beast. We are constantly moving forward and evolving.

'Golden thread'

It is understandable that people who had served in the Army were upset or indeed angry at the decision to change what they knew in the same way all of us got upset, or angry, or dismayed that things that we knew and loved have been changed and we didn't understand why at the time or we didn't want to understand at the time.

I am sure there are still people who will wish we never went to decimalisation, but thankfully we did.

As far as the regiment is concerned there are those who understandably and quite rightly in their own mind have made a stand against changing something which they believed worked.

And it did work.

What we have done in creating the new regiment is we have not thrown away anything that worked and indeed the golden thread or the bits that people would recognise still live on in the new regiment.

Time will judge us whether we got this right or wrong.



SEE ALSO
'Generations will judge regiment'
12 Mar 07 |  Scotland
Fight goes on for Scots regiments
12 Mar 07 |  Scotland
Views on the year from the ranks
12 Mar 07 |  Scotland

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