Gurkhas

Is This The Gurkha Equivalent Of The 'Sorting Hat'?

Recruits in Catterick have discovered which units they will be heading to when their training is complete.

Gurkha recruits in Catterick have discovered which units they will be heading to when their training is complete.

In two months time, each recruit will be sent to one of six units in the Brigade of Gurkhas:

  • Royal Gurkha Rifles
  • Queen's Gurkha Engineers
  • Queen’s Gurkha Signals
  • Queen’s Own Gurkha Logistic Regiment
  • Gurkha Staff and Personnel Support
  • Band of the Brigade of Gurkhas.

However, rather than discovering their fate through the receipt of a letter or email, their future is announced over a loudspeaker system on the parade square in the presence of unit representatives.

Gurkha Company tries to give every recruit his first choice but it is not always possible.

Gurkha recruits unit sorting

The man with the task of deciding the futures of 270 recruits is Gurkha Company Officer Commanding Major Prem Gurung. He told Forces News: "Because of the Brigade needs I have to send someone in a different area than their chosen one - that's where the difficulty comes into play.

"To manage that interest of my training team plus the individuals sometimes is quite difficult.

"Sometimes I have to make the hard decisions - that's life, I'm there to make those decisions."

Major Gurung goes on to say:

"It's a big day because this is where they will spend the rest of their career."

How did the latest Gurkha recruits take to their first experience of life outside of base?

Two recruits, Training Riflemen Sagar Tamang and Aman Gurung say they are "over the moon" as they both got into their first choice of unit - the Royal Gurkha Rifles.

Meanwhile, Training Rifleman Subash Tamang says he could not contain his joy when he found out he had been chosen for the Band of the Brigade of Gurkhas: "When my name was called out I was very much happy and I ran with a lot of joy and happiness.

"We have to carry the history of our ancestors and it's a very big thing to be in here."

This year 77% of recruits received their first choice unit.

They will now continue the remaining eight weeks of training at Catterick Garrison.

More: New Gurkha Recruits Take Their First Steps Into British Society