Another year has passed for the Brigade and Dashain is with us once again. It has been a momentous year and it is right that we should reflect on our achievements as we celebrate the primary event in our cultural calendar. As Gurkhas we have a responsibility to be the best operationally and remember our cultural identity – Dashain provides us with this opportunity.
Operationally we continue to make our mark as we start the drawdown of combat operations in Afghanistan. The Brigade has delivered masses of valued good work in its contribution to the Army as a force for good. Our reputational stock is very high and we are valued as an effective military organisation designed for operations in any theatre in which the British Army is involved. Our priority must be to continue to deliver the high standards of operational effectiveness for which the Brigade is renowned.
Dashain is a time to focus on our families and thank them for the love and support that they give us. To you goes our deepest gratitude and affection. Your strength and fortitude enables us to be who we are – Gurkha soldiers – knowing that we are supported by our families and within that I want to acknowledge our ex-servicemen and their families who have chosen to join us here in the UK. It is good to see our old friends again and welcome you back to your Brigade family in the UK.
We have, as always, many demands ahead of us in 2015. But our reputation could not be higher and we must keep it that way. The year 2015 is also a milestone in our history as it marks 200 years of continuous Gurkha service to the Crown. It is our intention to celebrate this achievement with a series of programme both in the UK and in Nepal to commemorate two centuries of service and provide an opportunity to raise money for the ongoing work of the Gurkha Welfare Trust supporting veterans and their families.
To all members of our Brigade, young and old, our soldiers and their families – both near and far – I send you my warmest wishes for a happy Dashain, and a peaceful but fulfilling year ahead.
I wish you all a happy Dashain and prosperous Tihar 2014.