On the 31st of August 2022, the 218 trainees of Recruit Intake 22 were presented with their cap badges as they have been assigned to the various cap badge organisations of the Brigade of Gurkhas. All the trainees achieved assignment to one of their top three choices, having been asked a few weeks back which part of the Brigade they would prefer to join. This year 69.72% of the trainees got their first-choice assignment.
The allocation of how many new Gurkhas will join each unit across the Brigade of Gurkhas is coordinated by the Chief of Staff Headquarters Brigade of Gurkhas, collaborating closely with Army Headquarters as the British Army adjusts to cover its tasks and Operations across the UK and around the world. This distribution of new Gurkhas varies each year. The Royal Gurkha Rifles (2x Battalions), the Queen’s Gurkha Engineers, the Queen’s Gurkha Signals, the Queen’s Own Gurkha Logistic Regiment, The Band of the Brigade of Gurkhas and Gurkha Staff and Personnel Support will all receive an allocation of new Gurkhas to replace those that have retired or transferred to other organisations within the British Army or where units are increasing in size due to operational capability changes requiring an uplift in personnel numbers.
Gurkha Company Catterick then follows a series of criteria to make sure that the right individuals are assigned to the various parts of the Brigade based on the requirements of the Brigade, education tests, military skills, feedback from the instructors and the preference of the individual. Additionally, the aim is to distribute the trainees across the Brigade based on 50/50 East and West Nepal split to help with diversity across the Brigade.
This event is a big moment in the training programme, with senior leaders from across the Brigade and Colonel Brigade of Gurkhas in attendance to congratulate them on reaching this part of the training programme. Colonel Brigade of Gurkhas addressed the trainees and reminded them they are not there yet, with several more months training to come, and each day is a learning day, and that the trainees should continue to concentrate and work hard to complete the training with Gurkha Company Catterick. For the individuals it is one step nearer to their goal of becoming a trained Gurkhas in the Brigade of Gurkhas, British Army.
There are several major exercises and tests for the trainees to complete over the coming months, culminating with the Pass out Parade on the 1st of December which takes place on the parade square in Helles Barracks Catterick. Once this is complete our trainees become fully trained Gurkhas ready to join their units or move on to Phase two trade training with the various Corps.
Photographer: Mr Mick Latter