The team's origins lie in precision motorcycling demonstrations given by instructors and students from the British Army Signal Training Centre in Yorkshire, beginning in 1927. Riders were normally employed as despatch riders. They have had many names in the past including 'The Red Devils', before the Parachute Regiment team of the same name existed, Mad Signals (on account of the ...poor brakes on the motorcycles) and only adopted the name 'White Helmets' in 1963.
Today's team consists of 25 soldiers, all volunteers from within the Royal Signals. New members begin with two weeks' induction in October and the whole team spends the winter learning routines and stunts, culminating in an opening display in April where white motorcycle helmets are ceremonially presented to successful new recruits. The remainder of the summer is spent touring, giving public performances at events throughout the United Kingdom and abroad such as the Royal Military Tournament.