First Raised in Inverness-shire and Aberdeenshire by Alexander Gordon, the 4th Duke of Gordon, the regiment was originally known as the 100th (Gordon Highlanders) Regiment of foot and was raised for the purpose of fighting in the Napoleonic Wars after the outbreak of Revolution in France in 1792. Initial recruitment to the regiment, as regimental legend goes, was aided by the duke’s wife who is said to have offered a kiss to any man willing to join her husband’s regiment.
After its formation, the regiment would be posted to several British bases in the Mediterranean between 1794 and 1796 such as Gibraltar and Corsica. The regiment would not return to Great Britain until 1798 where it would be moved to help suppress the Irish Revolt of the same year. It would be in 1798 as well that the regiment would be renumbered as the 92nd and its members would henceforth informally be known as 'Gordons'. The following year the regiment was moved to the Netherlands to support the Anglo-Russian invasion of the Batavian Republic, allied to Napoleon. The regiment would here win its first battle honours at the Battle of Alkmaar in October before the invading forces were later withdrawn in mid-November.
The regiment would later be sent to Egypt via Minorca where they would fight the French expedition to that same country led by Napoleon. The 92nd would win a subsequent battle honour at the Battle of Mandora in March 1801 which was a smaller engagement prior to the larger Battle of Alexandria later that same month. The regiment was originally not supposed to have participated in this second, larger engagement as its numbers had dwindled due to combat and sickness. At the sound of fighting however, the men of the regiment persuaded the passing British General, Sir Ralph Abercromby, to return them to the line and this would be their last act of that campaign. This was also the period in which the regiment would take the sphinx as the symbol on its distinctive cap badge.
Returning to Britain, the regiment would spend the next few years performing ceremonial, parade and police duties at home before participating in the British expedition to Copenhagen in 1807 in a bid to secure the Danish fleet before Napoleon could after his navy’s decisive defeat at the battle of Trafalgar in 1805.