|Royal American Rifles|
|Current Status||Active, 2nd Canadian Infantry Division, II Canadian Corps, First Canadian Army|
|Engagements||First American Civil War: Antietam, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, Spotsylvania Courthouse, Five Forks, Appomatox
World War I: Champagne-Marne, Aisne-Marne, St. Mihel, Meuse-Argonne, Île de France, Lorraine Second American Civil War: Concord, Portland, Skowhegan, Caribou World War Two: Market Garden, Gothic Line, Liberation of Albania, Hungary, Moldavia, Odessa, Crimea, Sevastopol
The Royal American Rifles (RAR) is a mechanized infantry regiment in the Canadian Army, headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario. It recruits from Canadian and Commonwealth citizens who consider themselves American Exiles, and since the number of Exiles has waned, from any citizens with American ancestry.
The RAR was formed in 1935 by former soldiers of the 103rd US Infantry from Maine and New Hampshire, who had fled the country when the UAPR gained control over New England during the Second American Civil War, as the American Volunteer Battalion. It subsequently grew to oversize regiment strength through the enlistment of many other former US military personnel and civilian refugees and was renamed the American Regiment. The American Regiment carried on the lineage and traditions of the 103rd US Infantry and subsequently the 20th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment, dating back to the First American Civil War. The battle flag of the 20th Maine was smuggled out of the UAPR and adopted by the American Regiment.
The Canadian Army did not forbid the use of the flag and traditions of the 20th Maine, but considered it likely to provoke the new and unstable UAPR and thus quietly discouraged it. During a visit to Canada by Prince George, Duke of Kent in 1937, the Duke was able to inspect the regiment on parade and learn their story. Upon returning to the United Kingdom, he related the story to his brother King George VI, who granted the regiment the title "Royal American Rifles" and encouraged Canadians to allow them to retain their traditions.
The Canadian Army was originally hesitant to deploy the RAR in combat, but the need to send soldiers to Europe during World War II caused them to relent. The RAR was shipped to the British Isles in 1941, and subsequently participated in battles in Italy, the Balkans, Romania, and the Soviet Union, accumulating nine battle honours.