Hello and warmest greetings to all the QDG family out there!
I hope you and your loved ones are keeping safe during this pandemic.
Had 2020 gone as planned, many of us would be gathering tonight in Cardiff for the annual Regimental Comrades’ Association Reunion. But, this has been anything but a normal year and we reluctantly cancelled this and other events due to COVID restrictions. So, 2020 will be a year devoid of gatherings and reunions.
This does not, however, mean that 2020 has been a write-off as plenty of work has gone on to take our Regimental Community forward.
The serving Regiment did us proud by playing its part in the national response to COVID-19, operating throughout the East of England as ambulance drivers moving sick patients between NHS hospitals; delivering PPE to frontline staff and setting up mobile testing stations. It handed over in the Summer to take leave before re-starting military training.
The Regiment remains at high readiness until next Spring and is busy preparing for operations. B Squadron has just deployed to Poland as part of a US-led battlegroup providing deterrence on NATO’s Eastern flank. This commitment was originally allocated to The Royal Yeomanry, our paired regiment, but the pandemic disrupted their ability to conduct collective training, so B Sqn has provided the command element and the Royal Yeomanry the bulk of the remainder. This helps cement the relationship between our two regiments.
This relationship will be further reinforced by a new Yeomanry Troop that has been established in Cardiff, enabling those who have recently left, or who will in the future leave, QDG to continue to serve on a part time basis. If you might be interested in this opportunity, please contact Home HQ.
The Regiment is warned off for two deployments to Mali in 2021 – a squadron mid year, followed 6 months later by RHQ and the bulk of the remainder of the Regiment. This is a long-range recce role as part of the UN-led peacekeeping mission, which is ideal for the Jackal platform.
The Light Cavalry role is excellent as it is cheap, effective, highly deployable, and as you can see, significantly committed to operations.
Since assuming the Colonelcy, my focus has been on making our community better connected, of greater benefit to all its members, serving and retired alike, as well as maximising its power as a professional network. This includes binding all elements Regimental Duty, ERE, Full Time Reserve Service, Army Reserve, Cadets, RCA, Trustees and our Museum much tighter.
Harnessing our serving network has enabled us to monitor developments in the ongoing Integrated Defence and Security Review and ensure we are well placed to meet any challenges and opportunities it might present.
We are also nurturing our relationship with Capita to ensure that we increase the flow of Welsh and Marches recruits into our ranks.
In tandem, we are also enhancing our social media presence – so please do your bit by following, liking or sharing QDG posts on our Facebook, Instagram or Twitter accounts.
If you have not yet done so, please join the Regimental Comrades’ Association. This is for serving and veteran QDG, KDG and Bays alike. It is growing and has active regional branches. The RCA keeps our people better connected, offers social events and establishes a network that can look out for each other especially during the lonely months of lockdown.
I would like to thank those serving QDG who contribute to the 1 day’s pay scheme, and to those who have donated to our Benevolence Fund, as your generosity has enabled us to provide swift and decisive support to our people, both serving and veterans, who have faced difficulties. Anyone needing any welfare or administrative support should contact Home HQ, which remains operational throughout the lockdown.
So, keep looking after each other and stay safe during these extraordinary times. I look forward to when we can once again all meet up and enjoy the exceptional camaraderie that makes being a part of the Queen’s Dragoon Guards family so special.