The Australian Special Air Service Regiment has been around for 55 years, but back when the unit was originally raised on July 25th 1957, it was known as 1st Special Air Service Company of the Royal Australian Infantry. Then in the early 60’s it became part of the Royal Australian Regiment (RAR), which allowed the unit to expand and be redesignated to the Special Air Service Regiment (SASR).
SAS Motto- ‘Who dares wins’
Based in Perth, Western Australia, ranks wore maroon berets that are issued to airborne forces and the cap badge of the Royal Australian Infantry. When the unit’s designation changed so did the cap badge to that of the Royal Australian Regiment. It wasn’t until the mid 60’s that the unit was given permission for its qualified personnel to wear the sandy beret with a metal “Winged Dagger” cap badge on a black background.
The unit is modeled from a similar structure to that of Britain’s 22 SAS with a primary role of special reconnaissance and secondly being a harassment force. Training in the early days was developed on the traditions of the Australian World War 2 Commandos from ‘Z’ Force and the Independent Companies.
These units had worked extensively in Papua New Guinea, Timor and other areas of the South Pacific where they were almost totally self sufficient whilst winning Hearts & Minds with the local inhabitants and fighting the Japanese.