For Armed Forces throughout the world November is the traditional time of Remembrance. Every year many former and serving personnel of 2nd Field Artillery Regiment meet to celebrate and remember their fallen comrades on the first weekend in November. In 2011 the 2 Field Artillery Regiment Association was formed as a direct result of such an event.
Consequently, and with the support and hard work of many serving members the inaugural General Meeting of the 2 Field Artillery Regiment Association took place in McKee Barracks Privates Mess in January 2012. While there are several associations for former service personnel, the 2 Field Artillery Regiment Association centered its membership on personnel who had served within the ranks of the 2nd Field Artillery Regiment.
During the initial General Meeting one of the first tasks that fell to the members was the election of a Committee and the setting out and adoption of Articles of Association – the purpose of which was to set out the aims and objectives of the Association, this was done to ensure that affilition of the Association would not present any difficulties for serving members in regards to DFR’s. As a result the following objectives were adopted by the Association;
• The bringing together of its members for mutual benefit and support.
• The encouragement and maintenance of comradeship and friendly relations with the Unit.
• To provide a means for members to communicate with, and mutually support each other through:.
a) Promotion of the values and esprit de corps of the Defence Forces and the 2nd Regiment.
b) Monthly Meetings and other social gatherings,
c) Visiting and comforting sick members,
• To assist and support other recognized military oriented organizations.
• To provide opportunities for members with regards to employment, education and personal development on retirement from the Defence Forces.
• To assist former service members who are in personal difficulty.
In 2012, the Minister for Defence announced that the Irish Defence Forces was to be reorganised and the structure of the Forces would change from 4 Brigades to 2 Brigades. With the re-organisation the 2nd Field Artillery Regiment was to be moved from McKee Barracks – its home of almost 60 years to a new station in Custome Barracks, Athlone. With the move came a change in title, the 2nd & 4th Field Artillery Regiments would be disbanded and the 2nd Brigade Artillery Regiment would be formed. But while there have been changes for both Regiments, the ethos of the Artillery remains the same, the old Gunners mantra of ‘My Gun, my horse, my men and me’ is as relevent to the Gunners of today as it was when it was first uttered almost 200 years ago.
Change is the natural state of things – and the Irish Defence Forces is no different to any other organisation, the 2nd Regiment will continue to evolve and change, however the bonds forged in service will remain, and with the continued support of our colleagues in the Defence Forces the 2 Field Artillery Regiment Association will also evolve and grow and continue to provide support to our fellow Gunners wherever they may serve.