Royal Logistic Corps Explained
The Royal Logistic Corps (RLC) provides logistic support functions to the British Army. It is the largest Corps in the Army, comprising around 17% of its strength. The RLC flag is dark blue with the Corps Badge emblazoned on the centre.
The Royal Logistic Corps (RLC) was formed on Monday 5 April 1993, by the union of the following British Army corps:
The RLC comprises both Regular and Territorial Army units.
The RLC is the only (Combat Service Support) Corps of the British Army with battle honours, derived from the usage of previous transport elements (Royal Waggon Train, etc.) as heavy cavalry. The battle honours are:
The RLC has five Victoria Cross holders; these all derive historically from establishments that eventually became the Royal Corps of Transport.
The RLC has ten Albert Medal (lifesaving) holders from its former Corps. Two of the holders exchanged their Albert Medals for the George Cross in 1971.
- Lieutenant SA Rowlandson. Army Service Corps. 21 May 1916.
- Staff Sergeant TM Walton. Army Service Corps. 21 May 1916.
- Private A Anderson. Army Service Corps. 21 May 1916.
- Private JT Lawrence. Army Service Corps. 21 May 1916.
- Major LC Bearne DSO. Army Service Corps. 22 October 1916.
- Private AS Usher. Army Service Corps. 22 October 1916.
- Private A Johnson. Army Service Corps. 30 June 1918.
- Driver A Horne. Army Service Corps. 30 June 1918.
- Lieutenant G Rackham. Royal Army Service Corps. 27 October 1918. (Exchanged for GC)
- Private WC Cleall. Royal Army Service Corps. 11 August 1919. (Exchanged for GC)
The RLC has eleven holders of the George Cross, eight from the former Corps and three to the RLC.
- Lieutenant William Eastman GC. Royal Army Ordnance Corps. 24 December 1940.
- Captain Robert Jephson-Jones GC. Royal Army Ordnance Corps. 24 December 1940.
- Corporal James Scully GC. Royal Pioneer Corps. 8 July 1941.
- Major Kenneth Biggs GC. Royal Army Ordnance Corps. 11 October 1946.
- Staff Sergeant Sidney Rogerson GC. Royal Army Ordnance Corps. 11 October 1946.
- Driver Joseph Hughes GC. Royal Army Service Corps. 26 June 1947.
- Major Stephen Styles GC. Royal Army Ordnance Corps. 11 January 1972.
- Warrant Officer Class 1 Barry Johnson GC. Royal Army Ordnance Corps. 6 November 1990.
- Captain Peter Norton GC. Royal Logistic Corps. 24 July 2005.
- Staff Sergeant Kim Spencer Hughes GC, Royal Logistic Corps 19 March 2010.
- Staff Sergeant Olaf Sean Schmid GC, Royal Logistic Corps 19 March 2010.
George MedalThe RLC has eighty four holders of the George Medal, sixty seven from the Royal Army Ordnance Corps, one from the Royal Pioneer Corps, one from the Army Catering Corps and fifteen to the RLC including one first bar.
- Private Arthur Hilton Royal Army Ordnance Corps GM 20 April 1954.
- Warrant Officer Class 1 JRT Balding GM Royal Logistic Corps 12 October 1993, this was the first GM awarded to a member of the newly formed Royal Logistic Corps.
- Warrant Officer Class 1 NB Thomsen GM Royal Logistic Corps 1995.
- Warrant Officer Class 2 A Islam GM QGM Royal Logistic Corps 1997.
- Captain R Baker GM Royal Logistic Corps, 2000
- Captain J Priestly GM Royal Logistic Corps, 2000
- Warrant Officer Class 2 Gary John O'Donnell, Royal Logistic Corps. 15 December 2006. O'Donnell was later killed by an IED whilst serving in Afghanistan. He was later posthumously awarded a second GM in March 2009 for "repeated and sustained acts of immense bravery" for his actions in Afghanistan in two separate incidents in May and July 2008.
- Capt Daniel Marc Shepherd GM Royal Logistic Corps, 19 March 2010. Killed in Afghanistan following a series of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) with which he had successfully dealt during his tour on Op HERRICK.
- Warrant Officer Class 2 Karl Ley GM Royal Logisitc Corps 24 September 2010.
- Staff Sergeant Brett George Linley GM Royal Logistic Corps 25 March 2011. Killed in Afghanistan whilst conducting Improvised Explosive Device Disposal tasks during his tour on Op HERRICK in 2010.
Conspicuous Gallantry Cross
- Staff Sergeant James Anthony Wadsworth CGC, Royal Logistic Corps. 7 March 2008
Military Cross Members of the RLC have received 6 awards of the Military Cross since 1993, 2 for actions in Iraq, the remainder for actions in Afghanistan.
- Lance Corporal DG Dickson MC Royal Logistic Corps (The Scottish Transport Regiment) Volunteers, 23 March 2005.
- Captain SD Bratcher MC Royal Logistic Corps, 24 March 2006.
- Major ID Scattergood MC Royal Logistic Corps, 25 July 2008.
- Staff Sergeant GD Wood MC Royal Logistic Corps, 24 September 2010.
- Captain SA Scott MC Royal Logistic Corps, 25 March 2011.
- Warrant Officer Class 2 JL Palmer MC Royal Logistic Corps, 30 September 2011.
Queen's Gallantry MedalThe RLC has one hundred and seven holders of the Queen's Gallantry Medal,sixty seven from the Royal Army Ordnance Corps and forty to the RLC including two first bars.
- Major Gary O'Sullivan MBE QGM, Royal Army Ordnance Corps, 16 April 1984
- Warrant Officer Class 1 Robert John McLelland QGM, Royal Logistic Corps. 21 November 1994.
- WO1 Eamon Conrad Heakin QGM, Royal Logistic Corps. 7 September 2004
- Captain Vincent Michael Strafford QGM, Royal Logistic Corps. 19 July 2007
- Warrant Officer Class 2 Colin Robert George Grant QGM, Royal Logistic Corps 11 September 2009 http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/8249145.stm
- Staff Sergeant John Lester QGM, Royal Logistic Corps, 11 September 2009
- Captain Wayne Edward James Owers QGM, Royal Logistic Corps, 19 March 2010
- Lance Corporal David James Timmins QGM, Royal Logistic Corps, 19 March 2010
Bar to Queen's Gallantry Medal
- Captain Eamon Conrad Heakin QGM*, Royal Logistic Corps. 7 March 2008
- Captain Vincent Michael Strafford QGM*, Royal Logistic Corps. 7 March 2008
- Ammunition Technician
- Driver / Tank Transporter
- Driver / Air Despatcher
- Driver / Communications specialist
- Driver / Port Operator
- Driver / Communications Specialist
- Driver / Vehicle Support Specialist
- Logistic Specialist (Supply)
- Marine Engineer
- Movement Controller
- Petroleum Operator
- Postal and Courier Operator
- Rail Operator
- Seaman / Navigator
- Systems Analyst
- Army School of Ammunition
- 1 Logistic Support Regiment
- 2 Logistic Support Regiment
- 3 Logistic Support Regiment
- 4 Logistic Support Regiment
- 5 Regiment
- 6 Regiment
- 7 Regiment
- 8 Regiment
- 9 Regiment
- The QOGLR
- 11 EOD Regiment
- 12 Logistic Support Regiment
- 13 Air Assault Support Regiment
- 17 Port and Maritime Regiment (includes 79 Railway Squadron)
- 19 Combat Service Support Battalion, a combined unit with a logistics squadron and an Equipment Support company.
- 23 Pioneer Regiment
- 24 Regiment
- 25 Training Regiment
- 27 Regiment
- 29 Postal Courier and Movement Regiment
- ARRC Support Battalion (a All Arms unit with logistic squadrons making up the bulk of the battalion)
Notable minor units and joint units with a large RLC element include:
The Corps Headquarters is at Dettingen House,Blackdown Road, Deepcut, GU16 6SQ. It is headed by a Colonel (Colonel RLC) as the professional head of the Corps. Col RLC is responsible for the Moral Component, regimental infrastruture and support and works to the Adjutant General (AG).
There is also a ceremonial head (instituted in 2009), who heads the Corps and its wider family such as the Associations and Cadets, known as the Master-General of Logistics (MGL). MGL remains General Sir Kevin Donoghue, who held until December 2010 the post of Chief of Defence Materiel, the senior military post associated with supply and acquisition in the Ministry of Defence. This post has been civilianised as part of the drawdown of military manpower and the post has been passed to a Civil Servant.
The RAOC Gazette, The Waggoner and the Link are still published every 6 months as a Membership Newsletters of the Forming Corps Associations, and as a sub-section of 'The Sustainer, House journal of The Royal Logistic Corps'. The latter is quarterly magazine published as the Autumn, Winter, Spring and Summer editions.
The Future Home of The Corps
An update was given at Deepcut on 9th February 2012 on the future planned move of HQ RLC & Defence Logistics School from Deepcut to Worthy Down (Project KESTREL) the date of 2013 is still projected for early moves, with new buildings being built from April 2013 with 'ring-fenced' cash not affected by the 'Strategic Defence Review'. The plans are subject to confirmation by the Central Staffs, however a "No move before..." 2014 is more likely.
The current Colonel-in-Chief (an honorary position) is HRH The Princess Royal. The Deputy Colonels-in-Chief are HRH The Duke of Gloucester and HRH The Duchess of Kent.
The RLC cap badge is an amalgamation of the cap badges of the forming corps:
The inscription on the garter band "Honi soit qui mal y pense" can be translated as "Evil to him who evil thinks". It is often seen on the insignia of Regiments and Corps with 'Royal' in their title.
The corps is nicknamed "The Loggies", "Blanket Stackers","Duvet Technicians" or "Really Large Corps", another term of endearment is "REME luggage carriers". The Corps forms approximately 17% of the British Army and is the single largest component of the Army. Royal Logistic Corps soldiers can belong to any one of 18 trade groups. Another common nickname, often used by members of other regiments and corps, is "retards last chance". It is not considered complimentary.
The corps has the alliances with the logistic units of Australia, India, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa and Sri Lanka. It is affiliated with 4 Livery Companies of the City of London.
In the 2004 Olympic Games held in Athens, the Royal Logistic Corps had the most athletes from the British Army competing in the Games. These were Private Musa Audu (Nigeria), Private Seidu Duah (Ghana), Lance Corporal Josephus Thomas (Sierra Leone) and Corporal Joselyn Thomas (Sierra Leone). Private Audu achieved success at the Olympics when he was part of 4 x 400m relay final that won the Bronze medal for Nigeria.
The Royal Logistic Corps has lost 37 Corps members on operations to date (19 April 2011)9 in Northern Ireland, 10 in the Former Republic of Yugoslavia, 5 in Iraq and 13 in Afghanistan.
Notes and References
- Web site: Warrant Officer Class 2 Gary 'Gaz' O'Donnell GM, 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment Royal Logistic Corps, killed in Afghanistan. 2008-09-02. MOD.