Strength of an Army is its Troops. At present the Sri Lanka Army Volunteer Force is consisting with 99 battalions from various regiments. Its history goes back to almost 135 years.



The second phase in the employment of non-British personnel commenced in 1861 after the enactment of an ordinance designed to authorize the creation of Volunteer Corps in the island. It was designated the Ceylon Light Infantry Volunteers (CLIV). This move compensated for the disbandment of the Ceylon Rifle Regiment in 1874. The Ceylon Light Infantry Volunteers was originally administered as a single unit. However, over the years various sections of the volunteers grew large enough to become independent from their parent unit. The different units that emerged from the Volunteer Force were the,



In 1910 the name of the military was formerly changed to the Ceylon Defence Force (CDF). It continued to grow throughout the early period of 20th century. The CDF saw active service when a contingent of the Ceylon Mounted Infantry (CMI) in 1900, and a contingent of Ceylon Planters Rifle Corps (CPRC) in 1902, took part in the Second Boer War inSouth Africa. Their services were recognized by presentation, in 1902, of a color to the CMI, and a presentation in 1904, of a Banner to the CPRC. In 1922, the CDF was honored by the presentation of the King’s and Regimental colors to the Ceylon Light Infantry (CLI).

During the First World War, many volunteers from the Defence Force traveled to England and joined the British Army, and many of them were killed in action. One of them mentioned by Arthur Conan Doyle was Private Jacotine of the CLI, who was the last man left alive in his unit at the Battle of Lys,[which?] and who continued to fight for 20 minutes before he was killed.[1]

In 1939, the CDF was mobilized and an enormous expansion took place which required the raising of new units such as the Post and Telegraph Signals, the Ceylon Railway Engineer Corps, the Ceylon Electrical and Mechanical Engineer Corps, the Auxiliary Territorial Service, the Ceylon Corps of Military Police, the Ceylon Signals Corps and the Colombo Town Guard Unit, which had been previously disbanded, but was later re-formed to meet military requirements. During the Second World War Britain assumed direct control over the Armed Forces of Ceylon.[2]


Following the formation of the army in 1949, the CDF became the nucleus of the Ceylon Army and all volunteer units of the CDF—which was the majority of the CDF— became the Ceylon Volunteer Force (CVF). A large number of Second World War veterans were serving in the CVF at the time and in the post-Independence years the CVF played an important role while a new regular army was being formed.

During this time the CVF was mobilized a number of times to counter riots and strikes that occurred, however, after several of its senior officers were implicated in the failedattempted coup in 1962 the post of Commandant of the Volunteer Force has since been filled by a combat officer of the regular army.

In 1972 when Sri Lanka became a republic the name of the force was changed to Sri Lanka Army Volunteer Force. The current strength of the SLAVF is about 50,000 volunteer combat officers and other ranks attached to various units and regiments of the Sri Lanka Army. The commandant of the SLAVF is normally the third most senior combat officer of the regular army holding, the rank of Major General.


Since the formation of the first cadet platoon with students of the Royal College, Colombo which was attached to the Ceylon Light Infantry, the Cadet Battalion came under the Ceylon Defence Force. From 1949 the Ceylon Cadet Corps with its cadet battalions came under the Volunteer Force until 1988 when the National Cadet Corps was formed as a separate entity.


Sri Lanka Armoured Corps

  • 7th(v) Sri Lanka Armoured Corps

Sri Lanka Artillery

  • 5th(v) Sri Lanka Artillery Regiment
  • 12th(v) Sri Lanka Artillery Regiment

Sri Lanka Engineers

  • 4th(v) Sri Lanka Engineers Regiment
  • 15th(v) Sri Lanka Engineers Regiment

Sri Lanka Signals Corps

  • 2nd(v) Sri Lanka Signals Corps Regiment

Sri Lanka Light Infantry

  • 2nd(v) Sri Lanka Light Infantry
  • 5th(v) Sri Lanka Light Infantry
  • 9th(v) Sri Lanka Light Infantry
  • 14th(v) Sri Lanka Light Infantry
  • 16th(v) Sri Lanka Light Infantry
  • 17th(v) Sri Lanka Light Infantry
  • 18th(v) Sri Lanka Light Infantry
  • 21st(v) Sri Lanka Light Infantry

Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment

  • 2nd(v) Battalion, Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment
  • 3rd(v) Battalion, Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment
  • 5th(v) Battalion, Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment
  • 11th(v) Battalion, Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment
  • 15th(v) Battalion, Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment
  • 17th(v) Battalion, Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment
  • 18th(v) Battalion, Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment
  • 19th(v) Battalion, Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment

Gemunu Watch

  • 2nd(v) Gemunu Watch
  • 3rd(v) Gemunu Watch
  • 10th(v) Gemunu Watch
  • 14th(v) Gemunu Watch
  • 15th(v) Gemunu Watch
  • 16th(v) Gemunu Watch
  • 20th(v) Gemunu Watch
  • 21st(v) Gemunu Watch

Gajaba Regiment

  • 2nd(v) Gajaba Regiment
  • 5th(v) Gajaba Regiment
  • 7th(v) Gajaba Regiment
  • 11th(v) Gajaba Regiment
  • 15th(v) Gajaba Regiment
  • 17th(v) Gajaba Regiment
  • 18th(v) Gajaba Regiment
  • 19th(v) Gajaba Regiment

Vijayabahu Infantry Regiment

  • 2nd(v) Vijayabahu Infantry Regiment
  • 3rd(v) Vijayabahu Infantry Regiment
  • 10th(v) Vijayabahu Infantry Regiment
  • 12th(v) Vijayabahu Infantry Regiment
  • 15th(v) Vijayabahu Infantry Regiment
  • 16th(v) Vijayabahu Infantry Regiment
  • 17th(v) Vijayabahu Infantry Regiment
  • 20th(v) Vijayabahu Infantry Regiment

Mechanized Infantry Regiment

  • 5th(v) Mechanized Infantry Regiment

Military Intelligence Corps

  • 3rd(v) Military Intelligence Corps
  • 6th(v) Military Intelligence Corps

Engineer Services Regiment

  • 4th(v) Engineer Service Regiment
  • 6th(v) Engineer Service Regiment
  • 7th(v) Engineer Service Regiment
  • 8th(v) Engineer Service Regiment
  • 9th(v) Engineer Service Regiment
  • 10th(v) Engineer Service Regiment
  • 12th(v) Engineer Service Regiment
  • 14th(v) Engineer Service Regiment
  • 15th(v) Engineer Service Regiment

Sri Lanka Army Service Corps

  • 2nd(v) Sri Lanka Army Service Corps

Sri Lanka Army Medical Corps

  • 2nd(v) Sri Lanka Army Medical Corps

Sri Lanka Army Ordnance Corps

  • 4th(v) Sri Lanka Army Ordnance Battalion

Sri Lanka Electrical and Mechanical Engineers

  • 2nd(v) Sri Lanka Electrical and Mechanical Engineers

Sri Lanka Army General Service Corps

  • 2nd(v) Sri Lanka Army General Service Corps
  • 5th(v) Sri Lanka Army General Service Corps
  • 6th(v) Sri Lanka Army General Service Corps

Sri Lanka Army Women’s Corps

  • 2nd(v) Sri Lanka Army Women’s Corps
  • 3rd(v) Sri Lanka Army Women’s Corps
  • 4th(v) Sri Lanka Army Women’s Corps
  • 5th(v) Sri Lanka Army Women’s Corps
  • 6th(v) Sri Lanka Army Women’s Corps

Sri Lanka National Guard

  • 1st Sri Lanka National Guard
  • 2nd Sri Lanka National Guard
  • 3rd Sri Lanka National Guard
  • 4th Sri Lanka National Guard
  • 5th Sri Lanka National Guard
  • 6th Sri Lanka National Guard
  • 7th Sri Lanka National Guard
  • 8th Sri Lanka National Guard
  • 9th Sri Lanka National Guard
  • 10th Sri Lanka National Guard
  • 11th Sri Lanka National Guard
  • 12th Sri Lanka National Guard
  • 13th Sri Lanka National Guard
  • 14th Sri Lanka National Guard
  • 15th Sri Lanka National Guard
  • 16th Sri Lanka National Guard
  • 17th Sri Lanka National Guard
  • 18th Sri Lanka National Guard
  • 19th Sri Lanka National Guard
  • 20th Sri Lanka National Guard
  • 22nd Sri Lanka National Guard
  • 23rd Sri Lanka National Guard
  • 24th Sri Lanka National Guard
  • 25th Sri Lanka National Guard
  • 26th Sri Lanka National Guard

Sri Lanka Rifle Corps

  • 1st Battalion, Sri Lanka Rifle Corps
  • 2nd Battalion, Sri Lanka Rifle Corps

Sri Lanka Army Pioneer Corps

  • 2nd(v) Sri Lanka Army Pioneer Corps



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