1st Battalion Rhodesian Light Infantry Regimental Association ®

The 1st Battalion, Rhodesian Light Infantry

The 1st Battalion, The Rhodesian Light Infantry, commonly known as the RLI, was a regiment formed in 1961 in Southern Rhodesia as a light infantry unit within the army of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. 

After Rhodesia's Unilateral Declaration of Independence on 11 November 1965, the RLI became one of the country's main counter-insurgency units during the Rhodesian Bush War, which pitted the government security forces against the rival communist guerrilla campaigns of the Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (ZANLA) and Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA).
For many years, the Battalion played a major part in anti-terrorist operations. Towards the end of 1976 the Unit began training for an airborne role carrying out more operational parachute descents than any other unit in the world. It was the Battalion's success in operations which led the then Prime Minister, The Hon. I. D. Smith M.P., at the Annual Regimental Sundowner in 1968 to propose a toast to "The Incredible RLI".

The RLI was disbanded on the 31st October 1980. 

Rhodesian Light Infantry Regimental Association ®

In 1968 it was decided to retain that feeling of “belonging”, and to broaden the “family” by providing a forum for ERE members, ex-RLI men now civilians – throughout the world – and the RLI itself by forming a very special club: the exclusive RLI Regimental Association.

The original aims of the Association were to provide assistance wherever possible to the RLI itself – there was considerable talent and expertise amongst ERE officers and men, and amongst ex-RLI, now civilians.


Membership

Individual membership is available for persons who served in the RLI, a branch of the security forces, direct descendants and members offspring

History

An exclusively white regiment, the RLI was made up wholly of professional soldiers until 1973, when conscripted national servicemen were first introduced.

Museum

The Museum comprises the finest collection of Rhodesian Forces memorabilia. Click on the link below to take a virtual tour