The Value of the Gurkha - Part 2

Discussion in 'Gurkhas' started by smallbrownprivates, Oct 22, 2012.

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  1. BBC News - Gurkhas 'too expensive to retain' says Oxford professor

    Some interesting points.

    In terms of value, it would be useful to see what retention figures are now under the new TACOS.
    If more are resttling here, doesn't that mean less of a drain on the UK economy/more pension value returned?

    Then there is of course the Brunei question. Should a brigade of troops be ringfenced to maintain a strategic relationship with an increasingly marginalised partner in an area of rising global importance (Spratleys/Paracells - depart Seria, steam due north)

    There hasn't been a good regimental handbag session for a while, so seconds out etc etc
  2. Argggh....

    Simple answer is : Nil Value.

    They are now more expensive then homegrown soldiery:
    1. Maintaining the Depots in Nepal
    2. Travelling expenses
    3. Language Training (it's not even a real sodding language!)
    4. Pay parity with the British Army.
    5. Pensions.
    6. Housing the little buggers when they retire and the social costs of upkeeping their families.
    7. and so on and so on......

    They are a sentimental anachronism that should now be consigned to history. All this soppy talk of 'loyalty to the Crown' is simply bollocks - they are foreign mercenaries; they 'fight' for the shilling they earn and to get themselves out of the shit-hole that is their country. Their Anglo officers are a dangerous breed - brought up in the 'days of the Raj' surroundings of a Gurkha Battalion, when and if they ever have to join the real Army, they largely haven't got a clue about leadership or management because they are untested in these fields; the Gurka Major and his mafia sort all that out. A life of 'Yesh Sharb, no sharb' is not a sensible base for a Military career. They were fun whilst they lasted, whizzing around in fancy dress murdering the bagpipes but NOW is the time for them to to be thanked and paid off. If the Sultan of Brunai is again used as an excuse for keeping them, let him have the bloody lot of them and he, I'm quite sure, can pay for the whole shebang, lock stock and barrel.
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  3. Off the fence there Queensman. I'm not a Gurkha, but:

    They don't get subsidiesed long leave any more - they have to pay their own travel expenses.
    Retention rate far beyond Brits.
    There aren't too many Depots left.
    They're still fun!

    Someone once said that we (the Brits) had become the Gurkhas of the American Army - quite entertaining to have around and do a bloody good curry. Be careful what you wish for!
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  4. Queensman, your cap badge is that of a foreign power (the House of Braganza) and of a regiment originally raised to police a dismal hole far from home rather than as infantry of the line. It begins to sound rather like the Gurkhas.

  5. Who else would do all the shit demo troop roles?
  6. If they went you'd have to train Brit wives up to make the momos for Regimental Open Days. And to look gorgeous in saris rather than like a fat chav mess in too tight leggings.
  7. Queensman, i agree with what you say, and i can say that having spent a good deal of my time serving with Gurkhas.
    The Gurkha Major does indeed have the say on who gets this and that. But it depends on how strong the UKTAP CO is. But its all personality led. the biggest danger is a CO who loves the old Raj days and enjoys the "yes sahb" fawning that the Gurkhas naturally do. This hides underlying weaknesses of Gurkhas in a modern Regt. Strong/weak GM or CO can make the difference. And dont forget without touching on anything racist, you are in a minority when serving with Gurkhas and unless you learn the language who the **** knows what they are saying about you. I find a lot of SNCO's etc become lazy and some holding Regtl appointments should never have got them and this goes back to the GM influence. But on the flipside if you get them onside, they can be very good. And as touched upon, they very rarely are undermanned and for some bizzare reason high ranking Officers seem to think they look good so use them for such things as demo troops a lot of the time.
  8. Im out in Brunei at the moment. Ive worked with the RA, RE, RGR, Cheshires, Lancs,1 Scots, Signals and a mish mash of attatched types in my time. Gurkhas are frikkin nails in the trees.
    The encumbent Regiment out here at the moment has got the highest fitness and deployability levels of any mob I've worked with.
    Theyre exellent at what they do. Their ethos and Regimental nuances may be unusual-even antiquated-but I doubt anyone could beat them at jungle warfare.
    If you can operate in the jungle to the level that they can, then any other theatre is also within their remit.
    But hey, what do I know (as I'm sat in work, in Brunei with 2RGR....).
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    FORMER_FYRDMAN LE Book Reviewer

    (My bold) That doesn't follow at all. They couldn't be used in Northern Ireland and weren't used in our last two heavy metal encounters.

    They have an excellent record but they are an anachronism and their time is done. It's increasingly hard to watch British units with excellent records go to the wall in order to protect the foreign mercenary remnant of an army which no longer exists and which is retained at a time of savage cuts because of great PR and mis-placed nostalgia on the part of the Great British Public.
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  10. How many of the battalions cut in SDSR were self-financing?
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  11. I take your point Fyrdman, but you cannot avoid the absolute that man for man they're cheaper than a Brit because their retention is so good. Perhaps we should be concentrating on our retention?

    FORMER_FYRDMAN LE Book Reviewer

    I'd be interested to see the figures but, given all the accompanying social and pension paraphernalia, I wonder whether they are that cheap on a lifecycle basis and based on their utility.

    The fact remains that while the Gurkhas exist in their current form, the UK Government is institutionally off-shoring UK jobs and in a way that drives the Regular Army even further away from its citizen base, which is not healthy either. I don't believe that's the way forward. Given the history, there is perhaps an argument to recruit as individuals as per Commonwealth citizens but the days of formed foreign units with special requirements within the British Army should be over.
  13. So that's the jocks buggered then!
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  14. If you're going down the foreign mercenary route should we stop recruiting Commonwealth soldiers? Similar principles apply.

    The Gurkhas will never go, purely because of their historical value let alone any economic argument.
  15. Auld-Yin

    Auld-Yin LE Reviewer Book Reviewer Reviews Editor

    If the Gurkhas do go, then what is the betting that within 9-12 months of them going our illustrious Phillies will send in the troops to a jungle conflict! :(
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