On Friday, The Duke of Cambridge will attend a ceremony and issue Operational Service Medals to soldiers of No. 2 Company, 1st Battalion Irish Guards who were deployed to Afghanistan this past year.
In October of this year, soldiers of Number 2 Company of the 1st Battalion Irish Guards, returned from Helmand in Afghanistan. The Company served on Operation Herrick for six months.
During a Company Medals Parade, Prince William will bestow the medals to the recipients as well as meet with their families after the ceremony.
Based in Mons Barracks in Aldershot, the Irish Guards are one of the 5 Foot Guards regiments that guard The Queen and one of the 7 that make up the Household Division.
As well as the Irish Guards, other Foot Guards regiments in the Household Division include the Grenadier Guards, the Coldstream Guards, the Scots Guards, and the Welsh Guards. Although the Guards perform ceremonial duties, they are infantry soldiers first and guarding the Sovereign is considered an important part of their duties.
In 1900 the regiment was created by command of Queen Victoria in acknowledgement of the bravery performed during the Second Boer War by Irish soldiers. Taken from the Order of St. Patrick, the order of chivalry which was established by King George III, the regiment’s motto is ‘Quis Separabit’ meaning ‘Who shall separate us.’ Each year on St. Patrick’s Day a shamrock is given to guards in the regiment.
The 1st battalion is comprised of five companies. Part of the regiment’s role was to mentor Afghan National Army soldiers during their tour in Afghanistan.
Prince William has been Colonel of the Irish Guards since 2011 and wore the uniform of the Irish Guards to his wedding in 2011.