8/9 RAR was formed on 31 October 1973 by linking 8th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment and 9th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment as part of cutbacks to the army following the end of the Vietnam War. Upon formation the unit was based at Enoggera Barracks in Brisbane where it formed part of the 6th Brigade.[1] The battalion's first major task came in the wake of the 1974 Brisbane flood, when it assisted with the subsequent disaster relief and cleanup efforts.[2]
During the 1980s the battalion lost a large number of its personnel to the
1st and 2nd Battalions, Royal Australian Regiment as part of the Operational Deployment Force, but nevertheless undertook the task of maintaining the Army's amphibious and urban operations specialisations. In 1990, it took on a further role of training Papua New Guinea Defence Force personnel.[2]
In January 1992, the battalion took on the role of a
Ready Reserve unit.[1] Under this scheme Ready Reserve soldiers were posted to the battalion for an initial 12 month full-time period, followed by a further period of four years part-time. On 10 October 1992, the battalion received the Right to the Freedom of Entry to the City of Brisbane.[2] In 1996, the Ready Reserve scheme was abolished by the incoming Howard government,[3] and shortly after this, as part of a restructuring of the Army, 8/9 RAR was disbanded on 30 June 1997.[1]
On 24 August 2006
Prime Minister John Howard announced that the battalion would be re-raised under a new plan to increase the size of the Army. The battalion would continue to be called the 8/9th Battalion and would be based in South East Queensland. On 2 October 2007 the Australian Government announced that 8/9 RAR would be re-raised to be operationally deployable by 2010, and a full battalion by 2011. The battalion would be based in Brisbane at Enoggera Barracks, as part of the 7th Brigade.[4]
The battalion was officially re-raised on 31 October 2007, and was rapidly established as a
motorised unit,[5] equipped with Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicles. Although originally it was intended that the battalion would consist of two motorised rifle companies, a support company and an administration company, this structure was deemed unworkable and the battalion was subsequently reorganised.[6] By mid-2009, the battalion consisted of 620 personnel organised into one motorised rifle company, one light infantry company, a manoeuvre support company and a combat service support company.[5] Meanwhile, 7th Brigade was transformed into a regular motorised formation, following the transfer of its reserve infantry battalions to 11th Brigade. By 2010, 8/9 RAR was established as a motorised infantry battalion, and with 6 RAR and 2/14 Light Horse (QMI) is one of three deployable Battle Groups in the brigade.[7]
In late-February 2010, 130 soldiers from the battalion's 'A' Company took over responsibility of the Timor Leste Task Group, replacing
2 RAR in East Timor.[8]This force was rotated back to Australia in June 2010 after a four-month deployment, and was replaced by 'B' Company, 8/9RAR.[9] The battalion has also contributed small numbers of personnel to Operations Slipper, Anode, Pakistan Assist, and was heavily involved in search and rescue efforts during the 2010–2011 Queensland floods, deploying to its emergency support force on short notice to Grantham in the Lockyer Valley. As of mid-2011, 8/9 RAR consists of a battalion headquarters, three rifle companies and an operational support company.[6]
In late December 2011 8/9 RAR deployed to Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan as part of MTF-4. They returned home in June 2012.
The following Officers have commanded 8 RAR:
  • LtCol J.O. Langtry 1966–1969
  • LtCol K.J. O'Neill 1969–1970
  • LtCol A. Clunies-Ross 1971
  • Major I.S.A. Power 1971
  • LtCol J.M. Murphy 1971–1973
  • LtCol A. Clunies-Ross 1973

The following Officers have commanded 8/9RAR:
  • LtCol A Clunies-Ross MBE 1973 - 1974
  • LtCol E A Chatham MC OAM 1974-1977
  • LtCol T H Holland AM 1977-1978
  • LtCol E F Pfitzner 1978-1980
  • LtCol J.R Brett 1980-1982
  • LtCol R.E Thornley 1982-1984
  • LtCol G.W Hurford, AM 1984-1986
  • LtCol M.J Edwards 1986-1988
  • LtCol G J McKay MC 1988-1990
  • LtCol P F Leahy AC 1990-1992
  • LtCol D.S.M Roche CSM 1992-1994
  • LtCol J.A Robbs 1995-1996
  • LtCol J.F Edwards 1997-1997
  • LtCol S.A Stuart AM 2007-2010
  • LtCol K.S. Fegan DSC 2010-2013
  • LtCol J.A. Hammett 2013-

8/9 Battalion ARA