Discussion in 'Gurkhas' started by John_Gurkha, Feb 9, 2006.
The heart of the site is the forum area, including:
Sorry accidentally moved this....
And this one...
Xenophon should we just look at this from a slightly impartial view. Why would the government possibly want to disband 2 fully recruited Infantry Battalions that wear the same clothes, cost as much as any other Battalion to run, have very few discipline problems, are committed to go (without question) anywhere in the world to fight for the Queen without a massive AWOL problem, can maintain equipment (including themselves) to a very high standard when on the flip side it can merge two Battalions that are 50% manned, cannot recruit sufficient soldiers to provide capability, Keeps the Adjt in a job 36 hours a day dealing with discipline issues and can barely keep their kit off Ebay let alone maintain it?
Just a thought....
Sorry just moved this too...
Whats happened here???
If you're on about the moving of posts, I had slipped the one above into a separate Ghurka thread - Johny is canny at the move as my post, strangely, backs up the defence in this thread.
Sorry was busy doing some administration of the threads to keep subjects seperate. These got caught in the cross fire.
Here's another - take off your rose tinted specs.
Having worked with and commanded Gurkhas they are human beings the same as the rest of us with the same foibles and frailties. I like and admire the soldiers. However there exists an organisation (HQBG) which seeks to portray them as something they are not. It tries to prevent any image other than the one they, and you, are trying to peddle from being presented. They are no better than any British Infantry battalion although God knows why, but they think they are. The officers have very limited perception of their profession because most of them bounce between the UK and Brunei and occasionally go to Afghanistan and Sierra Leone. Good at PSO but we all are. When was the last time they were involved in real warfighting. Don't say the Falklands.
Don't bother playing the discipline card either. I was around when a bunch of them beat up an RMP SSgt who stopped them because he believed the driver of the car they were in was pissed. I don't recall anything happening about it except the SSgt was banned from their camp because of his 'provacative' attitude. I seem to remember a fragging in Hong Kong and a mutiny in Hawaii. Not recent maybe but irrefutable nonetheless.
Most of the soldiers do a good job. But if you were a lad from Glasgow or Newcastle or London or anywhere in the UK who could join the Army and be paid a wage that would make the money earned by his mates at home look like loose change to you. Then you retire on a pension after 16 years service and never have to work again when you got back to Glasgow or Newcastle or London or anywhere else in the UK I doubt if we would have the problems you describe either.
Just a thought.
Namaste John Ghurka
My only complaint about the Ghurkas is some of the "jumped up" Company Commanders that still think they are in the days of the RAJ.
Had 2 good 6 month Belize tours with Jonny and several UK attachments and Brunei courses and was made to feel part of the Battalion, unlike some of the county regiments who couldnt give to shakes of a snakes tale when it comes to supporting there at's and det's.
The culture that they have is totally different and can be a little confusing to UK soldiers (Marooni?) and Im sure they have there admin problems and cases but these are dealt with within the Btn.
Although not comfortable in the cold i.e "Rotterburn" they can still perform and are master's in the Jungle wether it be Belize or Brunei.
That statement is lame and irrelavant , pre Telic it was the war cry of anyone not involved in the Falklands, as you have stated they keep the training establishments "producing" which frees up other Units and manpower, Im sure if given the option the Ghurkas would choose to deploy.
Good drills I say a show of camarade, did they get a long weekend? Im sure if there was any substance to this tale the RMP would have "Followed through" because there good at that.
Im sure that if the ghurkas were really as hopeless as you make out then they wouldnt have any involvement with 16 AA Bde (C Ghurka Coy)
or even the Pathfinders? and what of there involment with UKSF? proof that with the right leadership Jonny really can cut the Kynee.
Maybe its commanders like you Xenophon (Bungaree!) that really do need to start leading correctly and not dribbling......
Egg dan tic cha, honahuncha ,ram ru cha
Theres more about the Bde of ghurkas history here
We also had a good arangement in Aldershot with Church Crookham that did our guards and duties over Xmas/New Year, In return we did theres over D/shera and D/wali.
I have worked alongside JG and found them excellent soldiers and very proud of themselves and what they do. You are correct about them not being comfortable in the cold as observed by me at Brecon, but my query is why FFS? They come from the highest mountains in the world - surely it is feckin cold up there? The explanation I got at the time is they don't like the wet cold so why keep a Bn in a temperate European climate?
Ram ram Johnny dhai,
I have worked with GURTAM for a while and value them higher than some of the dross that graces our ranks these days, they still recruit the cream of their youth, while we take what we get. Yes they are more suited to warmer climes, but perform well in the cold, as many tours as FI RIC prove. To serve my last tour with BG would be the cream on my cake.
I have asked this a few times and the best answer was that not all Ghurkas are from the mountains they also recruit from the "Lower" lands, Just like Scotland, not all scots are alki's.... most are
To be fair we recruit very few from the himals (mountains) most come from the hills (the bit between the mountains and the plains .... its a bit like Wales but with more steep bits....)............
I personally find this almost laughableable. I agree (and thank you very much for bringing to the attention of all) that Gurkhas have the same foilables and frailties as the rest of us.... the discipline thing is such a joke its funny. Your examples (which may well be true) are at best a laugh and at worst a travesty...
maybe that should be xenophobe.
IIRC there have been only 2 units expanded in the british army in the last couple of years; QGS and QOGTR by a squadron each.
In options for change(93-94), while the brit battalions took a 16% hit, the brigade took a 66% cut - The mutterings of old duffers has protected brit battalions a lot longer - campaign for saving undermanned scottish units anyone?
The cut of the third RGR battalion in 1996 happened, but the excess men went to 1 RS, 1 PWRR and 2 PARA to help boost under manned Bns. the life of these gurkha reinforcement companies were repeatedly extended, as Bn numbers didn't come up.
The gurkhas are cost efficient (at the moment, new TACOS permitting - future as well). In brit units where the average retention is about 8 years and a departure at sgt rank, having gurkha HGV drivers still there at a 16 year point, makes the investment in them last twice as long as a brit. Think about the savings on mechanised qualifications.
HQBG is not perfect and yes on occasion the odd t*t gets through the officer selection process. It isn't something confined to gurkha units though. I'm sure many people could name an officer or 2 who believe that their soldiers are there to ensure the next CR is glowing and their position up the next shade list is rising.
Replacing the demo companies at RMAS and ITC wales with brit troops on a 2 year tour could be interesting. don't think it would do wonders for retention, never mind the groundhog day of demonstrations, acting as enemy, etc etc at a continual high standard.
Discipline and cultural sensitivity of the troops in brunei is also the reason why they still exist. Rumour has it during options for change, a british government representative approached the sultan of brunei and asked him how he would feel about the gurkhas being withdrawn and replaced by a brit Bn. The sultan paused, and then asked how the british government would feel about him taking all his money out of UK plc and not replacing it. The interest off his money is such that brunei never has to pump a barrel of oil again
The discipline points raised are petty and equivalent to judging all greenjackets by the spadework of 2.
I'm not holding my breath for any positive reply from xenophon, as gurkhas seem to be a bit like marmite (please excuse analogy ) you either love them or hate them, not much in between. They aren't perfect, who is, but without them army life would be that little bit sh*tter. When they go, and go they will as HMG finds colonial hangovers embarassing, it will be sad as we will lose a little bit more of the diversity that makes this army tick in more ways than one
Separate names with a comma.