The 1st Guides Regiment (French language:1e Régiment des Guides, Dutch language:1e Regiment Gidsen ) was an armoured regiment of the Belgian Army. Previously amalgamated with the 1st Regiment Chasseurs à cheval (2004), in 2011 the regiment was amalgamated with 2/4 Regiment of Chasseurs à cheval to form the Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, Reconnaissance (ISTAR) Battalion.
The two historic Guides regiments of the Belgian Army were created respectively in 1833 and 1874. They formed part of the light cavalry and came to correspond to the Guard cavalry of other nations, providing mounted escorts for the monarchy prior to World War I. Both regiments were mechanised in October 1937, subsequently forming armoured battalions in the post-war Belgian Army.
The modern regiment was formed in 1994 by the amalgamation of the (Francophone) 1er Régiment des Guides and the (Dutch-speaking) 2de Regiment Gidsen, following a reorganisation of the army. The amalgamation saw both regiments withdrawn as operational units, with the name of the new unit, together with the combined battle honours of its antecedents, assigned to the Cavalry Training School (L’école de cavalerie/Pantsercavalerieschool). In addition to this role, the regiment had a reserve role as an armoured regiment, attached to 17th Mechanised Brigade, which was Belgium's main force stationed in Germany. This role ended in 2002. The following year, the regiment was reduced to a single squadron and reactivated as an operational unit. The Eskadron Gidsen was formed as a reconnaissance unit to be attached to the army's Para-Commando Brigade, replacing 3 Regiment Lanciers-Parachutisten. In 2004, the squadron was attached to the 1 Regiment Jagers te Paard, following with the names of the two regiments amalgamating as 1ste Regiment Jagers te Paard/Gidsen.
In 2011 the regiment was again amagamated with 2/4 Regiment to Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, Reconnaissance (ISTAR).
- Halen/Haelen, Charge of Burkel, Antwerpen/Anvers, Maldegem, Gete/Gette, Winterbeek, Zelzate, Campagne 1914-1918
The two Guides regiments of the Belgian Army wore distinctive uniforms comprising a plumed busby, green dolman braided in yellow, and crimson breeches until the early stages of World War I. A modernized green and crimson uniform was introduced for officers' ceremonial dress in the 1930s and continues to be worn by the Guides band and orchestra.
Part of the regiment is the military band of the Guides. The band was founded in 1832 out of the band of the 1st Line regiment on the orders of Leopold I of Belgium and was connected to the royal guard. Over the course of its more than 175 years of existence, the band of the Guides has become one of the foremost military bands in the world. The orchestra consists out of 85 professional musicians, all winners of first prizes at a Conservatoria.
- United Kingdom - Royal Dragoon Guards
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