The Junior Leadership Cadre (JLC) of The Royal Gurkha Rifles is a rigorous training program to develop and train the future leaders of the British Army.
The program aims to prepare the soldier to take on the role of a Junior Non-Commissioned Officer (JNCO) and to take charge of their subordinates in a professional manner. This year Intake-20 were fortunate enough to train in a new and diverse environment, for the first time in RGR history JLC was conducted in the challenging terrain of New Zealand. Initial training was conducted in jungle environments whilst in Brunei before moving to the mountainous terrain that NZ offers, as well as exposure to the country’s notoriously unpredictable weather patterns.
The JLC is a six-week course that involves both classroom and practical training in the field. The course covers a range of topics including navigation, fieldcraft, tactics, fitness, and importantly, values and standards. Participants are taught how to lead a team, communicate effectively, and make quick decisions under pressure. It also places a strong emphasis on physical fitness, with soldiers undergoing rigorous training to improve endurance and strength, all key attributes of a good JNCO. This year we conducted a ‘fan dance’, substituting Pen Y Fan in Wales for Mount Joseph in New Zealand with the students carrying more than 45 lbs on their back.
The training program instils in the soldiers a sense of discipline, professionalism, and duty, and it helps them to develop the skills and qualities that are essential for success in the military. It is a crucial part of the regiments effort to maintain its reputation for excellence. It helps to ensure that the regiment is always prepared to meet the challenges of modern warfare. By developing the leadership skills of its soldiers at an early stage, RGR can maintain a high level of readiness and effectiveness from our most junior leaders upwards. One of the key goals of the Junior Leadership Cadre is to foster the values and traditions of the regiment in young Gurkha soldiers. This includes a deep sense of loyalty and pride in their service, as well as an understanding of the importance of discipline and teamwork.
The course is led by experienced Gurkhas, who serve as mentors and role models. These instructors pass on their knowledge and skills to the next generation of Gurkha leaders, and we are grateful for their hard work to help us become better soldiers and leaders. Through this course the regiment ensures that its soldiers are not only prepared for the rigors of military service, but also equipped with the skills and values necessary to become successful leaders.
By Rifleman Ghanshyam Pradhan