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Sydney University Regiment

Sydney University Regiment (SUR) is an officer training regiment of the Australian Army Reserve. It can trace its lineage back to 1900 when the University Volunteer Rifle Corps was raised as a unit of the colonial New South Wales Defence Force. Over time this unit has undergone a number of name and role changes.

The Role of SUR is to conduct directed individual training for Soldiers and Officers for the Hardened Network Army Reserve. 

SUR's main effort is the preparation of Officer Cadets for graduation from the Royal Military College – Duntroon (RMC). In order to achieve the unit is staffed by a team of highly skilled and motivated Officers, Warrant Officers, Senior Non-Commissioned Officers, Soldiers and Officer Cadets. 

The University Volunteer Rifle Corps was raised on the 17th of November 1900, as part of the colonial Military Forces of New South Wales. In 1903, the UVRC changed its name to the Sydney University Scouts and the establishment had by then doubled to two rifle companies. When universal conscription was introduced in 1911, the Scouts numbers increased and it became a militia battalion. 

On the outbreak of the Great War, over sixty percent of the Scouts enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force (AIF). Members of the Scouts served widely within the AIF. In mid 1918 a University Company was recruited from students at the University of Sydney for active service in the AIF. The war ended before it mobilised for service. 

In 1927 the Scouts were renamed the Sydney University Regiment. 

In 1929, His Majesty King George V approved SUR's affiliation with the 60th Regiment, The King's Royal Rifle Corps (KRRC) and consequently the regiment's embellishments and badges of rank became black with a red felt backing. These distinctive arrangements continue and are unique in the Australian Army. This alliance is maintained with The Royal Green Jackets of the British Army, the successor regiment to the KRRC. 

During the Second World War SUR went into hibernation. However, as in the Great War, many serving and former members of the regiment enlisted in the Second AIF and served with distinction in all theatres of war. 

In 1948, the Citizen Military Forces was re-raised and SUR was reformed as an infantry battalion. The reintroduction of National Service between 1952 and 1960 saw a rapid increase in the strength of the Regiment to 1,900 members at its peak. A field engineer troop was raised in 1956, and an artillery battery in 1958. 

Regimental strength again increased in the period 1965 to 1972, during the period of 'selective' National Service. The Australian National University Company of SUR was raised in 1965. Since 1960, the regiment has been specifically tasked with the provision of first appointment training for potential officers of the Army Reserve. 

In 1997, the Regiment came under command of the Royal Military College of Australia. It presently conducts training that prepares part-time officer cadets for their final attendance at the College. 

In 2002, the regiment raised two new detachments: the Charles Sturt University Detachment at Bathurst, and the Riverina Detachment at Wagga Wagga with the aim of placing 10 Staff Cadets in training at each location in 2003. 

The New England University Company was transferred to the University of New South Wales Regiment (UNSWR) in November 2001, ending a half-century association with the Sydney University Regiment. 

In 2008, command of the University of Wollongong Detachment was transferred from UNSWR to SUR. The  regiment was also transferred from under command of the Royal Military College to under the command of the 5th Brigade at the same time.

Last updated
13 December 2016
Army: Courage. Initiative. Respect. Teamwork.
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