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Feb 26 2024

Behind the Uniform - Meet Gurka Corporal Raju Gurung

Meet Corporal Raju Gurung with the Brigade of Gurkhas. We asked him questions about who he is, his military career and what he will be doing during exercise Brilliant Jump 2024.

1.  Where are you from?

I am originally from the eastern part of Nepal.

2. How long have you been in the military and why did you join?

I have been in the Brigade of Gurkas since 2010. Some of my cousins and friends joined the Brigade and it became a childhood dream to join.

3. Have you deployed before?

I have deployed to 2 or 3 NATO exercises, including Steadfast Jupiter in Romania in 2023.

4. What is your job in the military and what will be doing during this exercise?

I come from an infantry background. My Regiment is the Second Battalion Royal Gurka Rifles. I have posted to the Gurka ARRC Support Battalion since 2021. So, my job here is a Force Protection section Commander. I normally do the Force Protection Security side of NATO exercises on the ground. It is also my responsibility to build the class 1 and class 2 areas and implement those areas on the ground.

5. What exactly is Force Protection?

What it means in this NATO exercise is controlling and checking all passes and ensuring only authorized personnel can access the exercise areas. I need to be vigilant with all those entering the camp to safeguard the training area.

6. What do you do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies?

In my spare time I like to read biographies and history books, exercise and play football. I represent the Gurka Support Battalion football team. Recently, we did a tour back in Nepal, very successfully. This year, I also plan to do my best in bringing the Nepal Cup to our support Battalion.

7. What is the best thing about being in the military?

The best thing about being in the military, in my 13 years, is the core values and standards of being a member of the Gurkas. I am also impressed with the military side of life, discipline, physical fitness and deploying to so many countries. The different cultures. It’s a great opportunity to deploy to so many parts of the world when you are in the Army.

8. What is the best thing about being in a NATO exercise?

Working in NATO exercises allows me the opportunity to meet so many people of all ranks from different nations. Working with them is a fun learning experience.

9. What is the process of becoming a member of the Royal Gurka Rifles?

When I joined in 2010, I had to go through 3 phases of selections. I had to first go to the nearest British Army Recruitment Centre. There are 2 recruitment centres in Nepal. First, I had to fill in all the documentation. Second phase was regional selections which included English and math tests as well as a physical test. Whoever passes these tests are then called to the British Camp for the final phase of the selection process. The final phase lasts 3 weeks. It includes medical checks, physical standardisation tests and a final interview. Out of 10,000 total applicants at the time, 500 were selected. Only 176 met the final cut. It’s tough and you need luck on your side too.


The Brigade of Gurkhas is a unique organisation in the British Army with a reputation of being amongst the finest and most feared soldiers in the world.

“Brigade of Gurkhas” is the collective name which refers to all the units in the British Army that are composed of Nepalese Gurkha soldiers. The brigade draws its heritage from Gurkha units that orginally served in the British Indian Army prior to Indian independence and prior to that served for the East India Company.

All Gurkhas are recruited from Nepal, with many thousands of young people attempting selection every year for only a few hundred job opportunities. All Gurkhas are firstly trained at Infanteers at Catterick and then are allocated to their Regiments and Corps as part of the Brigade of Gurkhas, but often working within other organisations of the Army.

There are currently over 4000 Gurkhas employed in the Brigade of Gurkhas across many trades.

The Brigade celebrated 200 years of service in the British Army in 2015.

Story by NATO Media Information Centre


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