The aim of The Second Battalion, The Royal Gurkha Rifles (2 RGR) Junior Leadership Cadre (JLC) 2020 was to train and educate Riflemen in the competencies, command responsibilities and duties required of an infantry section Second-in-command (2IC) and assess their potential to promote to the rank of Corporal. We generated a slogan; ‘Masters of Chaos’.
Firstly, students had to qualify as Defence Train the Trainer instructors. The course then started in full with the Command Leadership Management Course (CLM). It clearly set them in the right direction and created a positive attitude and enforced self-discipline and awareness.
For the first time on JLC the Basic Close Combat Skills (BCCS) was introduced. Sergeant Tula supervised the exercise which focused on four topics: maintaining Battlefield discipline, CASEVAC drills, C-PERS handling and Pairs & F/T fire and manoeuvre. The first Physical Training (PT) session included a 4km squad march, carrying 40kg, followed by a 2.4km best effort booted run. The physical fitness tests were designed not only to test their physical and mental robustness but also to develop and increase their physical stamina and determination. One of the hardest PT assessments was the grueling Steeple Chase on the beach. It consisted of a 1km run through the sea, another 1km carrying a 25kg burden and finished with a 2km run along the beach.
Students went through various assessments such as lecturettes, conduct of the battle exercise, command tasks, map reading tests. Command tasks tested the students’ abilities to think under pressure, create a plan and brief clearly to execute it successfully with the limited time and resources. In the TPs assessment, students were assessed on their ability to conduct and teach the British Army’s weapon systems. The map reading took place in the challenging jungle, where students were tested on the selection of routes, briefing and getting to the check point within the time limits.
On the tactical phase of the course students were initially taught how to conduct Section Deliberate and Hasty Attacks, Ambushes, Recce Patrols and Platoon Advance to Contact. The we moved to 13 days in the jungle, where each student was given two section commander appointments and two section 2IC appointments and tested on their ability to lead sections whilst effectively operating under pressure.
Finally, the JLC students were given the opportunity to meet double above the knee amputee, Hari Budha Magar, and also the football legend, Mr Stuart Pearce during JLC period. Both gave them very inspiring, motivational leadership presentations with their life experience. And no doubt, by the end of the JLC, students had become “Masters of Chaos” as was intended.
By Corporal Shilash Rai, The Second Battalion, The Royal Gurkha Rifles