Fury over new Army regiment’s cap badge that is ‘identical’ to those worn by apartheid terror squad

Fury over new Army regiments cap badge that is identical


Officer fury over new Army regiment’s ‘racist’ cap badge that is ‘identical’ to those worn by brutal apartheid terror squad who fought black insurgents and killed civilians in 1960s and 70s

  • The Ranger Regiment’s new beret has been compared to the Selous Scouts
  • Apartheid squad fought to keep white-minority rule over what is now Zimbabwe, fighting black insurgents and was accused of killing civilians 
  • Officers in the newly-formed regiment have raised concerns about similarities over the badges which both feature birds of prey
  • The Ministry of Defence said the comparisons were ‘completely inaccurate’ 










The Army is facing fury among officers over concerns a new regiment’s cap badge is ‘identical’ to those worn by a brutal apartheid terror squad.

The beret for the newly-formed Ranger Regiment, which features a bird of prey, has been compared to the badge worn by the Selous Scouts, a feared special forces regiment from the Rhodesian Army in the 1960s and 1970s apartheid South Africa. 

The Selous Scouts fought black insurgents and were accused of civilian atrocities as they attempted to keep white-minority rule over what became Zimbabwe. 

A Defence source told The Telegraph it ‘seems outrageous’ to have a ‘cap badge in this day and age with any connection to a racist regime whatsoever’.

But the Ministry of Defence rejected claims the new badge was inspired by that worn by the apartheid terror squad, saying while the Ranger Regiment’s was designed around a peregrine falcon, the Selous Scouts badge depicted an osprey.

The new Ranger Regiment badge

The Selous Scouts badge

The Army is facing fury among officers over concerns a new Ranger Regiment’s cap badge (left) is ‘identical’ to those worn by a brutal apartheid terror squad (right)

The Ranger Regiment has been formed as part of the Army's Future Soldier concept to turn infantry soldiers into elite fighters in the hope they can then help tackle missions abroad. Pictured is commander of the new Rangers battalion, Brigadier Gus Fair

The Ranger Regiment has been formed as part of the Army’s Future Soldier concept to turn infantry soldiers into elite fighters in the hope they can then help tackle missions abroad. Pictured is commander of the new Rangers battalion, Brigadier Gus Fair

The Ranger Regiment has been formed as part of the Army’s Future Soldier concept to turn infantry soldiers into elite fighters in the hope they can then help tackle missions abroad.

A share of £120million will be invested in the new unit over the next four years as it works alongside Special Forces in high threat environments.

It will undertake training and accompany partner forces from foreign countries – roles previously performed by the Special Air Service and Special Boat Service.

All those serving within the regiment will wear the new metal badge, irrespective of rank.

However, the design of the new badge has been met with fury by numerous officers who have reportedly raised concerns about its similarities to the badge worn by the Selous Scouts.

But, it is understood the new badge has already had the Queen’s approval so attempts to stop it going into circulation are unlikely to succeed.

The defence source said: ‘An officer said he had seen an email saying that it was actually based on the Selous Scouts.

‘It’s almost identical to the Rhodesian Selous Scouts, which is controversial due to their involvement with an apartheid regime.

‘There’s obvious differences but it’s f****** close and clearly based on it.’

Prime Minister Boris Johnson poses in an armoured vehicle of the new Ranger Regiment during a visit to mark Armed Forces Week, at the Aldershot Garrison on June 24, 2021

Prime Minister Boris Johnson poses in an armoured vehicle of the new Ranger Regiment during a visit to mark Armed Forces Week, at the Aldershot Garrison on June 24, 2021

The Selous Scouts collected intelligence on insurgents during the Rhodesian Bush war so they could be attacked by elements of the security forces.

They also attacked insurgents themselves, over time, and operated in neighbouring countries of Rhodesia. Because of this, the unit developed a reputation of being a brutal apartheid terror squad.

Their methods led to the deaths of large numbers of insurgents but were ultimately counterproductive as they further alienated the black community away from the white-minority Rhodesian government, all the while increasing international opposition.

Following Rhodesia’s transition to majority rule and its transition to Zimbabwe, Prime Minister Robert Mugabe disbanded the Selous Scouts in April 1980 and many of its members were recruited by the anti-apartheid security forces in South Africa.

Despite both badges being designed on a bird of prey, The Ministry of Defence said comparison between the two were ‘completely inaccurate’.

An Army spokesman said: ‘The Ranger Regiment cap badge has been designed around the peregrine falcon.

‘Any comparison or association to the osprey depicted in the Selous Scouts’ cap badge is completely inaccurate.

‘The Ranger Regiment is very proud of its new cap-badge which takes inspiration and spirit from the peregrine falcon; fast, agile and fiercely loyal to its partner, it operates around the world in all environments including deserts, mountains and cities.’ 

Who were the Selous Scouts? 

The Selous Scouts, a now disbanded special forces regiment from the Rhodesian Army, fought black insurgents and killed civilians in the 1960s and 1970s as they attempted to keep white-minority rule over what became Zimbabwe.

The special forces unit collected intelligence on insurgents during the Rhodesian Bush war so they could be attacked by elements of the security forces.

They also attacked insurgents themselves, over time, and operated in neighbouring countries of Rhodesia. Because of this, the unit developed a reputation of being a brutal apartheid terror squad.

Their methods led to the deaths of large numbers of insurgents but were ultimately counterproductive as they further alienated the black community away from the white-minority Rhodesian government, all the while increasing international opposition.

Following Rhodesia’s transition to majority rule and its transition to Zimbabwe, Prime Minister Robert Mugabe disbanded the Selous Scouts in April 1980 and many of its members were recruited by the anti-apartheid security forces in South Africa.



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