Commander Home Command Commendation for Major Dammarbahadur Shahi (The Royal Gurkha Rifles).

The Citation

Major Dammarbahadur Shahi has been employed as the Staff Officer Grade Two Personnel Policy within Headquarters Brigade of Gurkhas since February 2016. This FTRS role includes crucially advising all Gurkha soldiers on the myriad of policy changes and the challenges he has faced during his tenure includes advising on Gurkha veteran grievances and keeping up to date with the often-changing UK immigration law. As a singleton post, with no subordinate staff, he has solely supported all serving and retiring Gurkhas including those that have transferred to other areas of Defence as well advising their chains of command. The total number that he is likely directly supported is very difficult to quantify but will total many thousands of Gurkhas through their military careers.

Responsible for the ‘Cradle to Grave,’ through life advice to all Brigade of Gurkhas service personnel, he has acted as a critical voice of experience when educating them through what could be considered the most challenging periods of their lives; their first arrival in the UK from Nepal and then their often very anxious transition to civilian life. Throughout each rotation of new recruits, he personally delivers a series of ‘Life Skills’ presentations detailing what is now expected of them both in the UK and back in Nepal and how, now with a regular UK wage, they should start to manage their personal finances to support their extended family in Nepal, their current living costs and planning for their future including visa fees for families and the cost of gaining a British passport should they wish when they leave service. As individuals then enter the Field Army, he continues to provide ongoing guidance, this includes advising all those who transfer out of the Brigade, those wishing to leave service early and on occasion those facing welfare fears. Directly liaising with relevant agencies, he has been able to regularly secure support not only for the Gurkhas affected but also often for their families. Ensuring that the chain of command is fully appraised of each situation, he will remain in regular contact with individuals going far above and beyond what would normally be expected of his role. When sadly Gurkhas have been lost, Major Shahi has personally supported families by ensuring that they fully understand the benefits that they are entitled to and even secured education opportunities for bereaved children at no cost to the families, thus making a notable difference to our people and his unwavering support is highly praised across the Brigade.

Major Shahi notably maintains close very links with all Brigade of Gurkhas service leavers. Routinely contacting them to ensure that the transition to civilian life is as seamless as possible he will identify and continuously update individuals on job opportunities often mitigating their many concerns given this is their first-time entering UK civilian society. He will often assist individuals requiring financial or welfare advice going above and beyond what would normally be expected. Outside of his direct remit he has also been involved in several repatriations to Nepal of Gurkha veterans and their wider family, advising on the often-challenging administration and helping mitigate any financial burden involved.

Completely committed to serving all Gurkhas and a very dedicated member of the Nepalese society, Major Shahi is fully deserving of clear recognition for his outstanding service towards the Gurkha Brigade.