QOGLR

Discussion in 'RLC' started by Ford_Prefect, Feb 12, 2006.

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  1. I never realised that there was a Gurkha forum on the Arms and Services board; reading the threads on there throws up a series of issues that affects us as a Corps.

    With 3 Sqns currently formed up, there is a train of thought to form up the QOGLR as an actual field force Regiment. This would have seemed logical 10-15 yrs ago, however, today we have a large amount of foreign and commonwealth Soldiers who exist in the Corps with no special treatment or dispensation (surely the RSM, the QM etcs of the QOGLR would have to be Nepalese).

    With Gurkhas (rightly) on equal pay and conditions, why should they not speak English at work and more importantly are we disenfranchising a potential recruiting opportunity by not allowing Nepalese women to join?

    Gurkhas remain a cost effective asset due to their ease of retention, however, as it is only a matter of time before QOGLR soldiers cease to do infantry Trg (for cost reasons) in what way are they any different to other foreign and commonwealth soldier? Is the argument to establish the GLR one that will be used in a few years for a Fijian or West Indian Log Regt? Is this necessarily a bad thing?
     
  2. Ford_P

    May I add to your first sentence? "With 3 Sqns currently formed up, there is a train of thought to form up the QOGLR as an actual field force Regiment (again!)". It was only due to the drawdown of the Bde of Gurkhas from Hong Kong that the Regiment in its first half decade in the UK comprised only of the RHQ and a large Tpt Sqn. With the demands on logistic units over the past decade, one of the reasons that the Regiment has been able to return back to a major unit Orbat so quickly is the ability of Gurkhas to keep up with the demands of change. When faced with the requirment to 'grow', the core framework of a new a sub-unit has been manned with experienced officers and soldiers and the gaps filled with eager new Gurkha recruits from Phase 2 training.

    To develop your thread, there may well be sufficient manpower from other countries to fill a major unit establishment, however a regiment is more than just a group of individuals from a common background. Please do not forget that there are alrady Nepalis serving as RLC capbadged soldiers, but they are not Gurkhas. To serve as a Gurkha in the British Army, an individual must first undergo rigorous selection in Nepal before being accepted (the chances of sucess being 1 in many 1000'ds). Few potential recruits pass on their first attempt and failure for some is considered to be such a loss of face that a few cannot face returning to their families beliveing that they have shamed their reputation. When a recruit reaches ITC Catterick he spend approximately a year in Phase 1 training where in addition to learining basic military skills he learns technical English and 'how' to be a 'Gurkha' (tradition, esprit de corps, fighting skills and values and standards etc). Phase 1 infantly training is the vehicle through which this acheived and is not particualrly expensive when considering that a Gurkha serves for a minimum of 15 years. With every Gurkha trained as a basic infanteer, it enables them (regardless of capbagde) to serve alongside one another with the minimum of disruption and maximum trust - as has been demonstrated in recent conflicts from Sierra Leone, East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan. On TELIC 2 when the threat incrased rapidly overnight, rather than having to call upon a High Readiness unit from out of theatre, the in-theatre QOGLR Supply Sqn was able to re-role and conduct force protection tasks.

    Once a Gurkha joins his regiment, he like any other professional soldier aspires to be the best, wherther reaching the rank of RSM or being accepted for a comission. A Gurkha in this respect is no different from any other professional soldier. All Gurkhas are required to pass English language exams for promotion and many speak, read and write a far better degree of English that those British soldiers they serve alongside. When in a group Gurkhas either speak the langage of their Nepali caste or 'Gurkhali', the same as British soldiers from regional regiments who socialise in their own distinct dialects. For all Brigade of Gurkha units, English is the common command langauage.

    Nepali women have a limited role in the Royal Nepalese Army where competition is less fierce. In the future I am sure that there is likely to be a test case, but at present with British Army GURTAM liability capped at approx 3300 posts, the policy is to take the best.

    The following websites provide useful background to this thread.

    Bde of Gurkhas

    QOGLR
     
  3. Mr Logtastic, a cheap shot I know, but have you considered taking one of the Gurkha english exams? Please tell me you don't set them!
     
  4. Such a cheap shot, its on special offer :)
     
  5. I think a nerve has been hit there.. :mrgreen:
     
  6. General Melchett

    General Melchett LE Moderator

    Very constructive guys. Get back on topic.
     
  7. sorry melchers,

    perhaps if the army was to produce a 'functional' (rather than administrative) bde of gurhas, the QOGLR could provide perfect log sp for them? other than that, with cdo log supporting 3 bde and 13 regt supporting 16 bde, how about the QOGLR supporting 19 'light' bde? or is this too elitist for the RLC to stomach?

    on the other side of the scales; i have personally found the gurkhas to be great infanteers, but very limited when it comes to more technical stuff (eg RLC, RE etc). this is something that has been corroborated (sp?) by (british) people who have spent far more time working with the gurkhas than i. is this sheer racism? my fault for lack of linguistic ability? or true?
     
  8. Dont forget taht Gurkhas aare not just Infanteers and never have been. British Gurkhas formed Engineers, Signals and RCT Regiments before the Bde Drawdon in the 90's as HK closed. QOGLR was only formed as Gurkha Transport Regt became an anachronism when RLC formed and GTR would have remained "odd" initiallty they were to simply become GLR but quick opportunistic thinking and some serious very senior firepower got hem their "Queens Own" soubriquet. They are good guys, but as infantry have their political and practical limitations on use ie. difficult to use where Nepalese Govt might really object and not seen much in the full mech role!!
     
  9. Percy_Pigeon

    Percy_Pigeon War Hero Book Reviewer

    I have found in the past problems with Gurkhas technical ability (and also some excellent examples).

    If the technical chain of command is robust enough and willing to grade an account/Storehouse/TRV UNSATISFACTORY then standards will be maintained.

    Due to the demise of the Stores section then most units have ether a regimental technical officer or aWO1/2. Bearing this in mind there is no excuse for low technical standards.

    So it up to the formations to enforce rigorous standards, and not to be afrid to fail accounts.

    :wink: :wink:
     
  10. B-e-B.

    Thank you for bringing the thread back on track. Bde of Gurkhas is no longer an opertional Bde and the funtional roles of the various Gurkha regiments is as a result of their parent Arms or Service e.g. QOGLR provides 3rd line logistics as part of 101 Log Bde because that is the role that HQ RLC has given it. The Regiment if permitted re-role to provide support to 19 Bde, however there is no requirment to as 19 Bde CSS Bn (split RLC/REME) has been determined by FAS. Gurkha cultue is different to British culture, as is that of all other nationalities. I have worked with Gurkhas who get on extreemently well with their British and Commonwealth conterparts and I have met others who are more comfortable amongst their own. The same can be said for British and Comonwealth soldiers I have worked with. A fact I will present is that Gurkhas upset some (the minority) of Brits by working too hard. Others I have seen have risen to the challenge very well and give the Gurkhas a run for their money. The best way for a Brit to lose the respect of a Gurkha is to bollock him in pubic, as not only does the individual lose face with his peers but in some cases it is also taken personally by other members of the same Nepali caste.

    Outstanding.

    HM bestowed the prefix 'The Queens' Own' as as result of a job well done on Op GRANBY and the GTR was redesignated QOGTR on Aug 92, a year before the formation of the RLC. The QOGTR did not redesignate to The QOGLR unitil Apr 01, some 8 years after the formation of the RLC. The QOGLR comprises of driver, supply and chef trades, none of which are common to the Mech role (you may be getting confused with the RGR who are Lt Bns). Grateful if you could enlighten me as to an occasion when HM King of Nepal (past or present) has objected to a British Gurkha deployment on operations.

    P-P.

    Abolutely agree. Regardless of nationality or cap badge, professional standards must be maintained. QOGLR soldiers only assumed the Supply role in 2001, having previously served as Drivers. Training has been progressive and I read last year that the first QOGLR soldier to qualify as a Class 1 Sup Spec, came top of his course.
     
  11. B-e-B.

    Thank you for bringing the thread back on track. Bde of Gurkhas is no longer an opertional Bde and the funtional roles of the various Gurkha regiments is as a result of their parent Arms or Service e.g. QOGLR provides 3rd line logistics as part of 101 Log Bde because that is the role that HQ RLC has given it. The Regiment if permitted re-role to provide support to 19 Bde, however there is no requirment to as 19 Bde CSS Bn (split RLC/REME) has been determined by FAS. Gurkha cultue is different to British culture, as is that of all other nationalities. I have worked with Gurkhas who get on extreemently well with their British and Commonwealth conterparts and I have met others who are more comfortable amongst their own. The same can be said for British and Comonwealth soldiers I have worked with. A fact I will present is that Gurkhas upset some (the minority) of Brits by working too hard. Others I have seen have risen to the challenge very well and give the Gurkhas a run for their money. The best way for a Brit to lose the respect of a Gurkha is to bollock him in pubic, as not only does the individual lose face with his peers but in some cases it is also taken personally by other members of the same Nepali caste.

    Outstanding.

    HM bestowed the prefix 'The Queens' Own' as as result of a job well done on Op GRANBY and the GTR was redesignated QOGTR on Aug 92, a year before the formation of the RLC. The QOGTR did not redesignate to The QOGLR unitil Apr 01, some 8 years after the formation of the RLC. The QOGLR comprises of driver, supply and chef trades, none of which are common to the Mech role (you may be getting confused with the RGR who are Lt Bns). Grateful if you could enlighten me as to an occasion when HM King of Nepal (past or present) has objected to a British Gurkha deployment on operations.

    P-P.

    Abolutely agree. Regardless of nationality or cap badge, professional standards must be maintained. QOGLR soldiers only assumed the Supply role in 2001, having previously served as Drivers. Training has been progressive and I read last year that the first QOGLR soldier to qualify as a Class 1 Sup Spec, came top of his course.
     
  12. Percy_Pigeon

    Percy_Pigeon War Hero Book Reviewer

    Mr L

    The great challenge is ahead, the role given to the Sqn was mainly Sup Spec type roles TRVs ect.

    Of course with a magic wave of the director’s wand, we are all suppliers and masters of both trades. I can see the Sqn being well managed and kept to there tightly defined role.

    It is now the challenge for the Corps as a whole to make this work, as with many aspects of life there are many contributing factors.

    Sorry about sounding like a doom munger, I have worked with Gurkha loggies quite a bit mainly with first line QM/RQMS and RE resources. And the problems I have found are mainly with accounts rather than physical stock control, hence the need for tight control measures both internal and external to the regt.

    Top chaps though, I really enjoyed working with them and assisting them.
     
  13. B-e-B or Outstanding.

    Any comment?
     
  14. Sorry that I forgot to respond.

    I am aware of no occasion that our Government have placed the Nepalese Government in that situation. I believe that this is no accident and that careful consideration is given to the use of Gurkha Infantry Bns as formed units. What is less clear is how this policy can be managed with the wide spread (not widespread) of individuals Gurkha soldiers across our Logistic, Engineer and Signals units.

    Notwithstanding that they remain good blokes and willing to take on any task.
     
  15. Getting back to the original train of thought......

    Mr_Logtastic conveyed some very accurate information and additionally some historical facts regarding QOGTR/QOGLR and in doing so additionally highlighted the flexibility of these soldiers by including the trades in which they are employed.

    I must point out that several QOGLR soldiers (GURTAM) have been employed as Radio Operators in a couple of RLC Regiments and have passed Class 1 Courses at CSSSD Leconfield. A major undertaking when you consider the language barrier and the high failure rate of some UKTAP (British) soldiers.

    In addition to this they have had an instructor based at the Pirbright BOWMAN trg faciltiy and provided manpower for LAND trawls all over the 'deployed' world.

    Not bad when you consider that the typical RLC soldier is somewhat unremarkable!

    As with all walks of life there are some less 'gifted personnel' than others. but overall they are adaptive, respectfull and very good soldiers if manged well.