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Gurkha Recruit Intake 19 Training Blog

Welcome to our Blog which will track our Gurkha Intake 2019 trainees through their basic training journey over the next nine months which the pass out parade taking place in November 2019. So make a bookmark on your system and join us as we follow their story.

Recruit Intake 19 attend the Brigade Bhela

By Trainee Rifleman Mahendra Thapa Magar, 5 Platoon

The Brigade of Gurkhas Bhela is one of the most exciting events that takes place once every year in Aldershot, Surrey. This year the event was held on Saturday the 13th July 2019. It is a time of celebration where all the units of the Brigade of Gurkhas gather together to commemorate and strengthen their bonds.

136 fortunate trainees from Gurkha company, Catterick including me, were selected to perform Taekwando and Close Quarter Combat demonstration at the event. The demonstration was led by Corporal Bishnu Magar, Guruji. He guided us in an uncomplicated manner, but with persistance and his friendly nature made us all feel comfortable to learn the drills. Despite of a busy schedule, he along with Sergeant Raju Sunuwar Guruji managed to train us several times a week.

The journey from Catterick to Aldershot took nearly six hours by bus. We were warmly welcomed at the event by our senior Gurujis, Sahebs and their families which created a family like atmosphere.

We were scheduled to perform during half time of Nepal Cup final. For me as the most junior soldier, it was one of the most honourable moments in my life to perform in front of the brigade. The unwavering support from the crowd filled us with energy and pride. It was truly an unforgettable moment for us.

Corporal Bishnu’s effort, determination and guidance were the key to success of our demonstration. On behalf of all the trainees, I heartily thank him and Gurkha Company for providing us with such a golden opportunity.


By Trainee Rifleman Ashish Thapa, 5 Platoon 3 Section Gurkha Company Catterick

B Wing Gurkha Company Exercise BASIC URBAN COMBAT SKILLS (BUCS) AND LOW-LEVEL URBAN SKILL TRAINER (LLUST) was commenced on 8th Jul 2019 at Whinny Hill Village complex in Infantry Training Centre Catterick.

It was new combat skills compared to previous exercises for recruit intake 2019. The exercise started with a series of lessons and demonstration from our instructors and we had the opportunity to practice it.

Initially, it was quite complicated to adopt the drills and skills to fight room to room. However, with the help of our Gurujis, Saheb and practice, we slowly managed to pick up pace and applied it. There were new words of command, procedures and phases to follow to prevent being injured or killed by the enemy.

On the second day, we had a chance to use the Marker Round Training System (MRTS) that made our training more realistic. There was After Action Review (AAR) after every serial to see our every movement. It is a good technology indeed to know our strength and weaknesses during room clearance drill. It helped us to improve our weaknesses. Speed, sound rehearsal and communication were the key to winning the Close Quarter Battle during the building clearance. We should always be vigilant and use initiative-based tactics, according to the situation. And, also situational awareness, timely and accurate passes of information is key to success for urban operation.

On the third night we were attacked by mass enemy at the base and the position was untenable, so we had to bugout quickly to our Wing rendezvous where we received the platoon orders to regain our base. On the dawn of the fourth day our platoon conducted a successful attack to regain our platoon base.

It was a new and important experience for us to learn Urban tactical skills, I personally enjoyed it. I look forward to doing more of these exercises and training in future to sharpen my skills and drill.

Exercise LONG WALK

By Trainee Rifleman Hitson Magar 5 Platoon, 4 Section, Gurkha Company Catterick

On Monday 24th of June 2019, B wing of Gurkha company, 2nd Infantry Training Battalion, Infantry Training Centre, Catterick deployed to the ‘Exercise LONG WALK’.

We were deployed with the objective to learn and experience about day and night navigations. Although navigation takes a lot of physical and mental effort and determination, it is fun and adventurous and we were all excited.

It was cold and foggy, not ideal weather to navigate in. We left Bhanu Square at 1000hrs and reached the starting point at 1200hrs. We were given a brief about safety, routes and actions on; lost and injury before the start of the exercise at starting point. There were four routes with 10 checkpoints. We had to get all of them within two hours to get full marks.

I started my navigation at 1405hrs and my plan was to keep calm and mark the check points correctly on the map because I know how easily you can go wrong way if you rush it. Unfortunately, I managed to visit seven checkpoints due to the time factor and got back the finish line with 10 minutes spare.

After completion of the day navigation, we headed towards our harbour to get some rest to regain our energy for the night navigation. At 2300hrs, we started our night navigation in pairs on a different route. The darkness of night with foggy weather made it even harder to navigate. It was a totally different experience. We had to check the map several times just to make sure we were heading in the right direction. We had a good start, but a disappointing finish with eight checkpoints completed.

In the morning, all of B wing gathered and the medals and certificates were distributed by Captain Bhakta Sherchan (B Wing Commander). Exercise LONG WALK was a great learning experience. There were a lot of mistakes made, but everyone learned something. Navigation is an important skill every soldier needs. As the Wing Commander said “navigation is about getting to the right place at the right time”.

Gurkha Company, Infantry Training Centre Catterick celebrate RGR 25

Royal Gurkha Rifles (RGR) 25th Silver Anniversary photography event took place on Sunday 9th June 2019 at Infantry Training Centre Catterick football complex. Recruit Intake 19 trainees and available permanent staff assigned to Gurkha Company and Training Support Company took part in the event. Gurkha Company Catterick has been planning to celebrate RGR 25th Birthday by organising various activities over periods of June/July 2019. The photography was also a part of the events to mark the Silver Anniversary of the RGR. The spectacle event was planned and designed where all the recruits and staff gathered together and stand inside the cap badge that RGR personnel wear and are proud of.


As part of Combat Infantryman Course 18, C Wing Gurkha Company deployed to Catterick Training Area (CTA) to conduct Exercise THE ATTACK which is the first tactical exercise for Recruit Intake 2019 (RI19). Altogether 135 Trainee Rifleman (T/Rfn) from C Wing (RI19) and 30 Training Team from Gurkha Company were deployed to CTA in the morning on 3rd June 2019 and recovered back to camp in the afternoon on 7th June 2019, after completion of five days exercise in the field. The aim of the exercise is to train and practice the recruits’ ability to conduct section battle drills, an infantry soldier’s key skill. This field exercise started with blended learning with battle lessons and battle exercises leading onto a tactical confirmation exercise with tactical simulation equipment.

During this exercise, a few new lessons were delivered to RI19 with very interesting and effective demonstration. Amongst them Section attack and Platoon attacks were the most fundamental skills for every soldier to have throughout the career. After the lessons, they were given enough opportunities to practice Section attacks with their Section Commanders and Platoon attack with their Platoon Commanders and Sergeants. At the same time, they had the opportunity to practice how to handle the casualties, any people captured in operations. In addition, they learned how to communicate using in-service individual radio equipment. One of the T/Rfn Pawan KC said; “It was very interesting and exciting at the beginning and became tough, challenging and harder towards the end, but I really enjoyed it”, T/Rfn Aush Rai thoughts were; “as a Gurkha soldier, it was a very proud moment to carry a Khukuri in his webbing for the first time”.

This exercise was very exciting with lots of opportunities for trainees to learn new knowledge and skills that will be required in their upcoming exercises and in a long term, and throughout their military careers. It also provided opportunities to see the Platoon Commanders and Platoon Sergeants role in the battle field.

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Our new Gurkhas explore the UK including the seaside

Taekwondo lesson

An introductory Taekwondo lesson for Recruit Intake 2019 by Master Rai at Gurkha Training Company Catterick. Taekwondo is a key point of self defence and self discipline.

Our recruits visit London

Gurkha Company Catterick, B Wing conducted an educational and cultural exercise to London (Exercise TESRO KADAM).

As part of their 9 month training programme there are requirements to introduce the young Gurkha recruits to British Customs and understand how our country operates. This includes a trip to London and a visit to the Parliament and other key locations in London including the MOD Main Building to see the Gurkha Statue.

They also get to see how busy London is compared to Catterick where they carry out their training and how different it is to somewhere like Kathmandu, with opportunities to experience and amazing London underground system.

They also visited the Gurkha Museum in Winchester on the last day of the exercise.

Khukuri Drills with Recruit Intake 2019

Week 10 – 14 (22nd April – 15th May 2019)

Yet again, a successful recruit training so far for Recruit Intake 19, the main highlight of training was; Recruit English Package (REP), Rifle Live Firing, physical fitness test, Annual Combat Marksmanship Training (ACMT) and practice for upcoming Pass of Square (POS).

REP is a key part of the training; it is aimed to develop and enhance recruits’ English standard on reading, writing, listening and speaking skills to meet the required standard set by the Field Army. It also allows them an opportunity to build confidence, develop cultural awareness and to integrate with British society. They are developing gradually in all aspects.

To this date, they have been attending several Rifle live firing training in classrooms and on field respectively. They have quickly grasped all of the skills and have achieved high standard on recent ACMT.

At this stage they are coming towards the end of their basic phase of training. 16th May 2019 is a very important and significant day for all the trainees intake 2019. There will be a series of assessments and tests during the POS including individual bed inspection, dress and turn out inspection, individual drill and Platoon drill as a whole. Once they achieve required standard on all of above, it will be the completion of their basic phase.

The trainees must go through series of assessment on basic fieldcraft, physical fitness and other military related activity before the POS. After POS they can go outside the camp during weekend to visit local shops and stores. Trainees who have done exceptionally well during this phase will be awarded prizes and trophies from Chain of Command. Some of the trainees will also receive the responsibility of Platoon Duty Trainee and Section Duty Trainee from this day. The day will end with the prize giving ceremony followed by a traditional messing in the evening. This is one of the most awaited and a key day for the trainees.


By Trainee Rifleman Nabin Kumar Tamang, 6 (ASSAYE) Platoon, 1 Section

On 19th April 19, we had a navigation competition organized by 6 (ASSAYE) Platoon, Led by Corporal Kailash Limbu Guruji. The whole of B-Wing was taking part in the competition on a lovely sunny day.

We all gathered in the Catterick Backdoor Training Area to receive the brief about the process and safety rules. We were divided into groups of four. There were four routes with the ten checkpoints on each route. The cut off time was an hour and thirty minutes to complete the course with the score of 10 points for reaching each checkpoint. Each group was released in 5 minutes intervals. Our target was to collect as many checkpoints as possible within the time. If we crossed the time limit, we were given penalty points.

The competition was like a marathon for me. I started at 1115hrs and I kept on running to each checkpoint. It was a very long and hard run but I kept on going. It was approximately 7km, and it took me sixty-five minutes to complete. I collected all 10 checkpoints unfortunately one of them was wrong checkpoint. Only 9 checkpoints were counted for the score.

I performed my best and manage to secure the first runner-up of the competition. I learned many new things from this competition; to be more careful while plotting the grid, to collect correct checkpoints and getting back within the time limit. I hope to learn from my mistakes and do much better next time. I am thankful to my Guruji for conducting the competition and letting us all have such a great experience.

Happy Nepalese New Year 2076 B.S. at Gurkha Company Catterick

Nepalese New Year 2076 was celebrated by Nepalese people all over the world with great enthusiasm and fun. With no exception for Gurkha Company Catterick Recruit Intake 19, Permanent Staff and Babaji Comapny have celebrated Nepalese New year on 14th April 19 in traditional and fashionable manner.

Over 600 personnel gathered to celebrate the event. There was much joy as the whole company unites to welcome the New Year BS 2076. Bhanu Square was decorated in traditional Nepalese fashion. Recruit Intake 19 and training team performed cultural show to mark the occasion. Greetings were exchanged, and new year resolutions were made among the staffs and trainees.

This was a unique and first New Year celebration for Recruit Intake 19 in the UK. They have enjoyed this unforgettable event as it was the first formal function for them since their arrival in Gurkha Company. Welcome and farewell programme was also highlight of the event for incoming and outgoing staffs.

With resolution message from Officer Commanding Gurkha Company to all Training Team ‘Prepare and train these young men to best of our abilities and deliver them to the Field Army by November 19’.

Introduction Exercise Three, C Wing Gurkha Company

By Trainee Rifleman MAnish Rai 9 (Meiktila) Platoon

On 1st April 2019, the very last introductory exercise began. This exercise was four days long on which the first two days were revision of all the lessons that we were taught on past exercises.

On the first day of exercise we were taught about the reaction to effective enemy fire, close quarter battle and firing from behind the cover. All those lessons were new and very interesting for us. In the evening, after dinner, we went for night patrol where we learned about actions on lights.

However, the best part for most of us that evening was stalking. Everyone enjoyed that lesson on how to get more closer to the observer whereas on the other side, the observers themselves identifying the stalkers. The next day was very cold and challenging as it started raining early in the morning.

It was our formative test which was taken by our own section commanders. Later that day, we had lessons and more practices of individual, pair and fire team fire and manoeuvre.Finally, the judgement day had arrived; the day of summative test. That day was even more challenging because snowfall was not so pleasure. We had the test about camouflage and concealment, indication of targets, judging distance, observation and fire and manoeuvre where we were marked according to our performance.

Exercise for those four days was demanding but we were so diligent, confident and motivated, we all did very well and proved the saying:

“Obstacles can’t stop you. Problems can’t stop you. Most of all, the other people can’t stop you. The only who stops you is yourself”.

We didn’t stop, and our hard work paid off.

Gurkha Company Recruit Intake 2019 Inter Section Volleyball Competition

By Sergeant Ratna Bahadur Gharti Magar – 5 Platoon, Gurkha Company Catterick

Recruit Intake 2019 Inter Section Volleyball Competition was held on 30th March 2019 at McKay VC Gymnasium in Vimy Barracks. Led by Captain Bel Bahadur Gurung (9 Platoon Commander), the event aimed to develop the team spirit and cohesion within the section and Platoon to promote welfare and boost morale of trainees and permanent staff by means of sporting event.

The gymnasium was full of people where 36 sections of Trainee Rifleman (T/Rfn) and 4 teams of permanent staff were participated. The environment inside the gymnasium was pretty much kind of big sporting event where the trainees could feel friendly atmosphere away from military training. The sharp blast of whistles and echo of the supporters added more excitement and thrilling to whole audiences.

The match was played for 10 minutes running time on knockout basis therefore winning team was awarded two points and zero for the losing team.

The result of Recruit Intake 2019 Intersection Volleyball Competition were as follows;

  • Best Sportsmanship –  T/Rfn Mahendra ThapaMagar, 5 Platoon 4 Section
  • Best Player –   T/Rfn Sachin Darlami, 7 Platoon 2 Section
  • Second Runner up Sect  – Corporal Nagesh Sunuwar, 1 Platoon 2 Section
  • Runner up – Corporal Paribartan Rai, 5 Platoon 4 Section
  • Winner  – Corporal Amar Gurung 7 Platoon 2 Section
  • Runner up Platoon- Lieutenant Sebastian Bird 1 Platoon
  • Winner Platoon – Captain Suresh Sambahamphe 2 Platoon

At the end of the match, Officer Commanding Gurkha Company gave away prizes to the winning teams and individuals and addressed the Company by highlighting the importance of team spirit, team cohesion, winning mentality, our Kaida and maintaining our tradition. He also mentioned that the event was an introduction and more to come in near future.

Introduction Exercise 3 (B Wing)

Introduction Exercise 3 for B Wing Recruit Intake 19 was held over the period of 25th-28th March 19. This Exercise aims to test the recruits on basic fieldcraft skills that are taught during Intro Exercises 1 and 2.

However, on the first day of deployment they are taught fire and manoeuvre lessons; shoot, move and communicate. The second day is to practice and prepare the trainees for the test under their respective Section Commanders. The trainees participated in various tests; target indication, judging distance, camouflage and concealment, fire and manoeuvre (individual, oair and fire team) and observation on the third and fourth days. A test for personal admin in the field was conducted every morning.

They all managed to achieve the required standard and it is pleasing to see some of trainees are on their top of their game. Overall, they have displayed a high standard of basic fieldcraft and soldiering skills during the exercise. Now, B Wing is looking forward to apply these skills on forthcoming exercises.

C Wing and A Wing will be participating on the first week  and 3rd week of April 19 respectively.

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Recruit Intake 19 explore the community

Recruit Intake 19 Pahilo Kadam to Darlington

One of the most memorable early days for Recruit Intake 19 was Exercise Pahilo Kadam (First Step). It is designed to help the recruits understand and familiarise with the British Culture and places.

On 22nd March 19, trainees were briefed by their Section Instructors on various subjects; ranging from how to use public transport, traffic rules, how to shop and how to order in restaurant. They started their journey from Helles Camp to nearest superstore called Tesco. Then they were guided to the nearest bus stand and introduced to purchasing a bus ticket. They took the bus to Darlington via Richmond area. During their ride, they had first ever opportunity to witness the beautiful scenery of  the local area. They also visited the shopping malls in Darlington and had a chance to have their choice of lunch in, McDonalds and or Burger King. It was their first ever day out in the UK.

Exercise PAHILO KADAM – from the words of a recruit

By Trainee Rifleman Saurah Thapa 8 Platoon, 4 Section Gurkha Company

After the recruitment process more new faces from Nepal are introduced to the Brigade of Gurkhas as a new members of British Army. During the 9 month training programme for new Gurkha recruits at the Infantry Training Centre (ITC) Catterick we attend certain cultural events and visits to help us adapt to UK culture.

On 22nd March 2019 we had our PAHILO KADAM, everyone was ready and excited to walk through the streets of Darlington and Richmond. After breakfast we headed towards the local Catterick area where we went into this big department store called Tesco and did some shopping. We also spotted the cinema and were so excited at the possibility of watching Hollywood movies.

Our Gurujis taught us about the normal traffic rules, traffic lights, pedestrian crossings, walking and cycle lanes, the bus station system and much more. Before heading towards Darlington, we quickly scanned the military shop as well for future reference.

When we arrived in Darlington our Section Commanders quickly briefed us and then we had a massive lunch at a Chinese buffet before taking the chance to explore nearby shops. We had hoped to visit the museum at Richmond but unfortunately it was closed and so we were unable to see the history of British Army. However, we will get the opportunity at a later date to revisit the museum. Everything went as per our Gurujis and Saheb brief and the day was a huge success.

Everything here in UK is very systematic and properly managed which is very good to see. I am looking forward to exploring more of the UK in the upcoming weeks and adapt to its culture and traditions. As the saying goes “When in Rome do as Romans do”.

Visit Programme for Recruit Intake 19

Recruit Intake 19 visited to The Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds as a part of their programme on Realities of War. The visit programme was over the period of 18th – 20th March 2019.

A day was allocated for each Wing. Trainees were mesmerised by the different arm and armour that had been used throughout the centuries. A true collection of wide variety of historical periods and cultures. The weapons and armour featured varied from the common to the very exoteric. They enjoyed some excellent shows with outstanding actors. In overall it was a very fruitful day with lots of information. This will definitely help all the trainees to understand, motivate and achieve more in future.

Recruit Intake 19 visited to The Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds as a part of their programme on Realities of War. The visit programme was over the period of 18th – 20th March 2019.

A day was allocated for each Wing. Trainees were mesmerised by the different arm and armour that had been used throughout the centuries. A true collection of wide variety of historical periods and cultures. The weapons and armour featured varied from the common to the very exoteric. They enjoyed some excellent shows with outstanding actors. In overall it was a very fruitful day with lots of information. This will definitely help all the trainees to understand, motivate and achieve more in future.

Introduction Exercise Two

Introduction Exercise Two was the second field exercise for Recruit Intake 19. The aim of the exercise was to practice that was taught on Introduction Exercise One, teach and develop their tactical awareness through a series of fieldcraft lessons and practices.

The lessons were focused on: judging distance, target indication, harbour drill, fire control order, duties of sentries, making sketch, range cards and night movement. It was the very first time that they were firing their rifle with blank ammunition.

The lessons were taught and practiced at day and night. They were taught the methods and techniques on accurate judging distance and importance of target indication in correct sequence of fire control orders.

This was the second time they conducted platoon harbour drill and they were aware of duties of sentries and the importance to produce accurate range cards for sentry positions and their shell scraps. The night movement with in their sections was challenging due to weather.

The trainees are developing day by day and gaining their confidence, adapting from barracks to the field as a soldier. They are enthusiastic and keen to learn and develop in upcoming exercises.

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Two weeks in Gurkha Company, Infantry Training Centre Catterick

Recruit Intake 19 is the largest recruit intake to arrive at Gurkha Company (Coy) in recent history. It is to ensure that the creation of new squadrons throughout the Brigade of Gurkhas can be adequately manned and is the start of a challenging and rewarding journey for the young men from Nepal.

They were greeted at Gurkha Coy lines by all permanent staff, eager to meet their new recruits and begin shaping them into Gurkha soldiers. After an initial brief from the Battalion Second in Command, it was straight to work.

The first week consisted of general admin to ensure all recruits could begin the Combat Infantryman’s Course with the correct kit and equipment.

They were also introduced to the art of ironing their clothes, making their beds correctly and polishing their boots to an impeccable standard. Platoon Commanders began their interviews to meet and began to understand the recruits within their platoon.

The following week, Skill at Arms lessons commenced. This teaches the recruits everything they need to know about their personal weapon the SA 80 A2. This includes the named parts of the weapon, how to take it apart and put it back to together as well as the correct way to clean it.

The culmination of these initial skill at arms lessons will be the weapon handling test which is conducted in week four. This proves the recruits are now safe to operate the weapon on their own and can carry out all the relevant drills correctly.

Introduction Exercise One

Introduction Exercise One was the first field exercise of Combat Infantryman Course and saw the recruits stay out in the field for a night. This exercise aims at teaching the trainees the basic skills to operate and survive in the field.

They received lessons on how to sleep, eat, wash and conceal themselves whilst in the field environment. The exercise also provided an opportunity to practice their morning routine which they will be tested on in subsequent exercises. The highlight for many recruits was the pyrotechnics demonstration which showed the use of various illumination and its effect on visibility at night.

The focus at the moment is on navigation, the recruits have been taught the basics and this will be put to the test at the weekend on their first navigation exercise. They will be required to plot grids and move from point to point without the assistance of their section Commanders.

Many trainees are already looking forward to Introduction exercise two commencing next week, this will put their personal admin to the test and increase their understanding of working within their section.

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Arrival in the UK

Gurkha Recruit Intake 19 arrived in the UK after a long journey from Tribhuvan International Airport Kathmandu to Manchester and London Heathrow Airport.

They are now stationed in Helles Barracks at the Infantry Training Centre, Catterick and eagerly waiting to receive the first part of their basic training. On arrival, a crowd of families and staff welcomed them in Helles Barracks in true Gurkha traditional style. The presence of families and staff created a warm welcoming and family environment which immensely reinforced their confidence in this unfamiliar surrounding.

They are now going through a scheduled week-long induction programme which incorporates camp induction, initial issue of clothing, medical and dental check-ups and some final documentation. They will be given an opportunity to contact their parents and extended families in Nepal and share their first experiences in UK.

From next week, they will commence a tough and enduring training programme. They will complete their initial basic phase of training on 16th May 19 and passage into the advanced phase. All recruits will be graduated from ITC Catterick on 14th November 2019 and by 17th November 2019 they will be joining their new regiments around the UK or Brunei.

Day One in Nepal

Selection to become a Gurkha

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