From 1755 four battalions of the 60th (Royal American) Regiment of Foot were raised in North America and employed by Wolfe as light skirmishers. In 1797 a 5th Battalion was raised in England dressed in green. Green had been worn during the American War of Independence and had justified itself as camouflage. This 5th Battalion, the original Greenjacket Battalion, was disbanded in 1817, but by then the whole regiment was in green with red facings, and still is today. They became the King’s Royal Rifle Corps in 1830 and in 2007 formed part of The Rifles. The choice of green for the 5th Battalion was probably a matter of the prestige which it had acquired, and because the Jager corps in Germany wore green. The Hanoverian King’s German Legion wore uniforms of British pattern and were virtually a part of the British army. The first commanding officer of the Battalion was in fact a Bavarian, and it was no doubt he who encouraged the men to wear moustaches after the German fashion. The red facings of the battalion commemorate the red coats worn by the original four battalions of the 60th, and the short green gaiters are in the light infantry tradition. The weapon is a Baker rifle, superior to the smooth-bore weapon carried by the rest of the army, and a sword-bayonet is worn in a frog suspended from the belt (not visible here); hence the name ‘sword’ by which the regiment referred to its bayonets.
Source: Contemporary print by C. Hamilton Smith.