The Special Reconnaissance Regiment (SRR) is a Special Forces regiment of the British Armed Forces, which conducts special reconnaissance, predominantly, but not exclusively, in a Counter-Terrorism posture. It was established on 6 April 2005 at RMA Sandhurst and is a component of United Kingdom Special Forces (UKSF) alongside the Special Air Service (SAS) and Special Boat Service (SBS), supported by the Special Forces Support Group (SFSG).
Thought to be based near Hereford, the SRR is a Tri-Service unit administered by the British army. The regiment was established following a Strategic Defence white paper identifying a requirement for assets to engage in covert special reconnaissance and surveillance in support of military activities worldwide.
It is the newest Special Forces regiment in the armed forces, announced by the then Secretary of State for Defence Geoff Hoon in 2004. The regiment was formed around a core of already existing assets, thought to be an allusion to Joint Communications Unit (Northern Ireland) (JCU(NI)), known in popular culture as 14 Intelligence Company, which formed a similar role against Irish republican and loyalist terrorism in Northern Ireland since the 1970s.
Few details are publicly available, but it is believed that the unit is less than half the size of the SAS.
Personnel retain the uniforms of their parent organisations with the addition of a Lovat green coloured beret and the SRR cap badge. The cap badge shares the Sword of Damocles or Excalibur in common with the other SF emblems, in the case of the SRR placed behind a Corinthian helmet surmounting a scroll inscribed RECONNAISSANCE. The stable belt of the SRR is similar in style to that of the SAS, however is darker in appearance, being Royal Blue.
Nothing has been released to the public domain regarding recruitment and selection, however predicated around the JCU(NI) model the regiment recruits both sexes from throughout the British armed forces.
UK Government policy is not to comment on Special Forces activities, and personnel are bound by the same confidentiality agreement as other UKSF operators, therefore no verifiable information exists regarding the activities of the SRR.
The SRR cap badge consists of a Corinthian helmet placed in front of a Special Forces sword with a scroll underneath depicting the word ‘reconnaissance’. This reflects the SAS and SBS cap badges in design, ensuring conformity within the UK Special Forces Group. The Corinthian style helmet, favoured by the ancient Greeks, was used from the early 7th to the 4th centuries BC. The helmet is facing forwards and suggests the viewer is being watched, while the wearer behind the mask is anonymous.