A single biggest intake in the history of the Brigade of Gurkhas, Recruit Intake 20 (RI20) with 431 successful candidates joining the British Army on 18th February 2020 in Nepal at British Gurkhas Pokhara, Nepal.
This was followed by 9 months basic training at the Infantry Training Centre (ITC), Catterick.
More history was created for the personnel of RI20 who were selected for the Queen’s Gurkha Signals (QGS) trainees as well this year, 96 Gurkhas joined QGS on 7th and 15th December 2020 a record number.
Traditionally, the new trainees would arrive in Gamecock Barracks and undergo regimental induction training and trade selection before travelling down to Royal School of Signals, Blandford. However, this year RI20 trainees have been taken straight to Altcar Training Camp (ATC), Liverpool, due to constraints on resources at Bramcote Station and COVID-19 precautions. All 96 trainees are delighted to have joined QGS with 95% of them selecting QGS as their first preference when asked to choose which part of the Brigade of Gurkhas they wished to be assigned to.
It is the regimental customary that new members of the regiment undergo induction training and further Royal Corps of Signals trade selection and this year was no different. The QGS RI20 trainees are undertaking several lessons covering education, roles within QGS and regimental values. The trainees have also received briefs both by in-service and civil service speakers covering areas like, service welfare, civilian police, and personal finances, so that these young soldiers are informed and have a sound understanding of wider life issues. There is no doubt that these new generation of soldiers are better educated and smarter, but still lack a few expected personal skills expected in the UK. The induction training is therefore the platform to educate them. Finally, on completion of the three months regimental induction and trade selection process at ATC, Liverpool, the result of the trade selection will be announced by the Commander QGS on in mid-February.