Gurkhas

Cap Badging Day: 400 Trainee Gurkha Recruits Assigned Regiments

It is the largest intake in more than 30 years.

Four hundred trainee recruits have been assigned their regiments at Gurkha Company's annual cap badging day.

They can state their top three regiment preferences, but it is up to the instructors and the training team to decide who goes where.

Training Rifleman Unique Rai said: "It will be our life-changing opportunity... I am excited."

Major Rajesh Gurung, Officer Commanding Gurkha Company, remembered going through the same experience: "It is a big day.

"I think when I asked these individuals in the morning about how excited you are, they all said they were very nervous."

The recruits line up for cap badging.

He continued: "I was quite nervous about it because I remember my days when I was a young recruit."

A total of 84.5% of recruits received their first choice preference.  

The ceremony was also a chance for the Colonel of the Brigade of Gurkhas to say goodbye.

He is retiring from the Army, after more than 30 years in service and seven years in post.

Colonel James Robinson said: "Really hard to leave, but I think after seven years I've got to leave.

"It will be difficult because this is a way of life, and you're part of a bigger family.

The names are read out in the sunshine.

"All of our soldiers serve continuously and I've got so many friends here.

"I think I need to go cold turkey and just go and try and do something different and then hopefully come back and help the brigade in a later date."

Gurkha recruits now have just seven weeks of training left before bidding their Catterick family farewell and heading to their new regimental homes.