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        I joined the NZ T.A army in 1985 into the 6th Regt Hauraki inf btn. I transferred to the Waikato Wellington East Coast Sqdrn RNZAC in 1990. New Zealand Scottish as it was called back then wore the stable belt of the RNZAC (which you have pictured as ?Armoured Corps?. They did have the Black Watch pattern but it was worn as mess dress kilts.

        I served from 1985 to 1994. During that time the belt was issued by the army only at the completion of corps training. In the infantry community there was a regimental day where the RSMs from each TA btn visited their recruits at the depot to talk about unit history and to issue each of us with our own brand new belts, to be worn for the first time on the past out parade. It remained the property of the army and retained by the soldier if he elected to purchase the belt or if the units O.C allowed a departing unit member to freely retain the belt, ie: unit transfer or long service. This was standard for T.A units and the belt was seen as the right of passage to full acceptance by the unit.

        TA soldiers are classed as recruits in training until basic training had been completed. Basic training was attended when your employer granted leave and I was a RIT for nearly 18 months. I wasn抰 allowed out of the RIT coy on annual camps or allowed live weapons training. I did conduct ANZAC day ceremonial drill as an RIT and was allowed to where a belt (TA troops under the rank of sgt were not issued ceremonial 1A) but had to return the belt after ANZAC day. We all felt like dumb dickheads without our regimental belts but once earned during corps training it felt like the last hurdle to becoming a man (our average age was 19yrs). The NZ army does not have a lot in the way of regimental dress. The 7th btn wore collar tags once the btn turned 100. There was talk at one stage of turning all the belts into the type you have pictured (the 6th Hauraki) with the cap badge on a metal plate but this did not eventuate. Our btn would petition the army from time to time to be allowed to wear the original cap badge on our green berets, but was always turned down. To this end our regimental belts meant the world to all ranks.

        With thanks to Ex Troop Cpl, WWWC SQN, Paul Thompson

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