The Preparations to Becoming an Officer in RGR

Merls

Swinger
Namaste,
I am a frequent visiter to the site and have found the content and members to be very useful with this sort of thing, however I still have a few nagging queries of my own which I have yet to source from other posts, so here we go.

After careful examination of all the roles the british army (and the other services) have to offer, I have grown more and more drawn to the Infantry and more importantly serving as an Officer in the Royal Gurkha Rifles.

Firstly I understand that as a small regiment there are thus very few postings for young officers, making competition very stiff at Sandhurst, with potential officers needing to within the top third of the top third of cadets. I am currently within my first of a four year course at University so I know I am a long way from that point yet, but I would very much like to get the ball rolling so to speak. I live 20 minutes from Shorncliffe Barracks in Folkestone and would be very keen to organise a fam visit to the Regiment. does anybody know what this visit would entail? Would I be wiser to do this closer to the join date instead of this early stage in preparation?

Secondly what are the cultural and academic expectations of officers in the Gurkhas? having grown up in a boarding school in Kent where I have formed close friendships with Nepali/Gurkha children and have visited their home in Nepal briefly, I was hoping that I would stand a decent chance? Would this be correct or are they expecting experts in Asian languages and culture? I have been in discussions about visiting and aiding the Welfare Trust in Pokhara, but this seems pretty unlikely looking at their website and the information I can get from my Friend's Dad currently in this job. Lastly is there a particular stereotype of the Gurkha officer? from all the examples I can gain they seem to be adventurous, well educated and well travelled types. Would this be about right?

I apologise for what must come across as a very longwinded and perhaps unnecessary post, but I am essentially starting the thread to open discussions with serving Gurkha officers and soldiers.

Thank you in advance, Jai Gorkhali!

Merls
 
I don't know much. I know nothing. I'd heard you do language training in Nepal, and you've got to essentially be Bruce Lee on steroids
The Nepalis I know are cracking people though, good luck to you.
 
The way Ghurka's are attempting to get exactly the same terms and conditions as the remainder of the Army, it may not be long until they price themselves out of the market. The greed of some of them may close the chance for young men to take up the opportunity they benefited from.
 
The way Ghurka's are attempting to get exactly the same terms and conditions as the remainder of the Army, it may not be long until they price themselves out of the market. The greed of some of them may close the chance for young men to take up the opportunity they benefited from.
O & F that is horribly true.
Allowing for the fact Merls you are starting a four year degree course, it is likely to be five years before you enter RMAS and another year before Commissioning. That is a long time allowing for the changes we have seen in the last two years. So yes put plans in place, but be flexible and realise that there are bound to be major changes before you get to your Regiment. Thats if there is a Regimental system in place by then (being provocative - sorry!)
 

Merls

Swinger
Cheers for the replies lads. I am well aware of the stage of limbo that the Gurkhas seem to be in at the moment; although obviously a strong supporter of them I do find the call for equality (although entirely worthy in my eyes) dangerous to the future of their Regiment. However Looking at the situation sensibly, the maintenance of a fully manned and constantly heavily subscribed regiment might bode useful in the uncertain future, and perhaps their value for money might still be maintained regardless of equality of pay and pensions? But this has been done to death I know so I would ideally like to keep this thread from turning into another debate about the 'value of the Gurkha'.
Should I really be that worried about their potential disbandment? After all they have so far survived Army 2020 (as far as I am aware). Any suggestions for worthy backup options? I have looked into the Gunners, Sappers, Rifles and my local Regiment the Princess of Wales Royal Regiment, all of which I have heard very good things about.
 

spaz

LE
Firstly I understand that as a small regiment there are thus very few postings for young officers, making competition very stiff at Sandhurst, with potential officers needing to within the top third of the top third of cadets.
So the top ninth then. I hope you're not studying Maths.
 
Having served in the Bde, they are excellent at some things and poor at others. If you understand the Gurkha and play to his strengths, you will get some outstanding results. In my experience, RGR Officers are cracking and it would be an honour to serve with them.

Some people love the Gurkhas, some hate them. Generally those who hate them don't understand them or weren't accepted by them. I will certainly look forward to serving with them again.

I'm pretty sure the RGR are safe until 2020, but I'm afraid the long term prognosis is pretty bleak for Gurkhas in the British Army. They have indeed priced themselves out of the market, and despite what the Military may think of them, politicians will be loathe to employ foreigners in the Army when Brits are being turned away.
 

Merls

Swinger
Haha I am indeed shocking at maths, but the repetition was there purely to make a point of all the rumours I have heard about how difficult it is to be chosen to join the Regiment (honest) . I gather that for some terms they don't even have any places in the regiment for young officers. Knowing my luck, even if they are still going by the time I hopefully get to Sandhurst, there won't even be any places available.
 

Merls

Swinger
"Having served in the Bde, they are excellent at some things and poor at others. If you understand the Gurkha and play to his strengths, you will get some outstanding results. In my experience, RGR Officers are cracking and it would be an honour to serve with them."

What would you say those strengths and weaknesses are, if you don't mind me asking UKTAP? I hear that the young Gurkhas are a bit 'robotic' and lack the intuition that British soldiers seem to have? I can understand that, because of the initial language problems and fear of going against what they have been told, but I always imagined through growing up in such an environment, making do and improvising would be a bit more natural?
 
Certainly with the QGE there can be problems with them robotically following orders blindly without thinking it through.
 
O & F that is horribly true.
Allowing for the fact Merls you are starting a four year degree course, it is likely to be five years before you enter RMAS and another year before Commissioning. That is a long time allowing for the changes we have seen in the last two years. So yes put plans in place, but be flexible and realise that there are bound to be major changes before you get to your Regiment. Thats if there is a Regimental system in place by then (being provocative - sorry!)
Namaste, mero nam Matt ho!

My thoughts exactly. I never served with the Gurkhas, but I was a director of a company that employed former Gurkha soldiers in Taiwan, Mozambique, Cambodia and elsewhere. They are the finest soldiers anyone could wish to serve with (they regard themselves as being soldiers even after they retire).

Saint Joanna did them a short term service by bringing their terms and conditions of service more into line with those of the rest of the army. However they then lost some of the perks and privileges that they had enjoyed for many years and their numbers were reduced.

It can be expected that the Gurkha contingent of the British army will be further reduced in future due to the cost of administering them which is significantly higher than the UK based squaddy - flights for them and their families between Nepal the UK; running a recruiting system in Nepal (including Gallawallahs); welfare needs in Nepal; language training for the BGO's and so on. In effect, we may be saying goodbye to Gingabeer pun, in the not too distant future.

To put it bluntly, there may not be a Gurkha Rifles to join in five or six years.

On the other hand, if the Jocks bugger off and it all goes tits up in Europe, we may need to increase the Gurkha contingent to fill the gaps.
 
Top Tip, dont become a pompus bellend and treat your men like 3rd rate citizens wether they are ghurkas of not. 2 Ghurka co's whom I have had the mispleasure of serving with are just pompus arrseholes......
 
The future of the Gurkhas is probably more likely to be decided in Nepal, as the current government has said clearly that once it gets itself sorted out it will stop the recruitment of Gurkhas in Nepal, effectively putting an end to Gurkhas in the British Army, at least as a unit. Understandable given that "Saint Joanna" tore up the tri-partite agreement between UK, India and Nepal which at least meant that ex-Gurkhas would return to Nepal and spend/invest their pay there, while now many (most?) are not only moving to the UK but not investing their money in Nepal, leaving little reason for Nepal to encourage/allow its citizens to serve in a foreign army.

Having served in a number of British units, including Gurkhas, I can tell you that there are no good or bad units, only units that go through good or bad phases mainly as a result of their commanders. Decide what you want to do in the Army, the sort of role you would enjoy (infantry/armoured/mainly people/mainly technical) and then make your choice accordingly.
 
Top Tip, dont become a pompus bellend and treat your men like 3rd rate citizens wether they are ghurkas of not. 2 Ghurka co's whom I have had the mispleasure of serving with are just pompus arrseholes......
I had the misfortune of having a Chief instructor on the jungle Warfare instructors course back in the early 80s. He had spent all his service in the Far East and was nicknamed the 'White Raj' and sadly a kickback to the Empire. We all would have been delighted to have seen him strapped across a field gun and blasted down range!
 
Realise this is a slight thread resurrection, but don't wanna create a thread duplication, I was wondering if there are any serving RGR officers on here I can ping a few questions to?

TIA
 

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