The Royal Gurkha Rifles
The Royal Gurkha Rifles was formed on 1 July 1994, the four Gurkha Rifle Regiments, 2 GR, 6 GR, 7 GR and 10 GR amalgamated to form one Regiment titled ‘The Royal Gurkha Rifles’ (RGR). Initially, the Regiment comprised of three battalions but the 2nd and 3rd Battalions were amalgamated in Brunei in late 1996. The Regiment has carried forward the traditions of its forbears; its uniform combines the historical embellishments and they carry the Battle Honours of the four previous Regiments and their property is found on display, and in use, in the RGR Battalions. Regimental affiliations with the King’s Royal Hussars, the Royal Regiment of Scotland (a legacy of the association with The Royal Scots) and the Rifles (similarly, a legacy of the association with the Royal Green Jackets) have also been retained. The latter affiliation goes back to the days of the Indian mutiny and a working relationship with the 60th Rifles, from whence the Regiment’s beginnings as a Rifle Regiment came. The distinctive rifle green uniform, red piping on the collars of tunics and Rifle Regiment’s marching pace of 140 paces to the minute all stem from this era.
The Royal Gurkha Rifles is a regiment that is considered, widely, to be amongst the best in military professionalism. Manned by particularly fit, enthusiastic and committed officers and soldiers, it takes pride in its world-renowned operational effectiveness.
The word ‘Gurkha’ is synonymous with unswerving loyalty, cheerful courage, uncomplaining acceptance of hardship and the highest standards of discipline and smartness. The Gurkhas’ fundamental strength is drawn from their clan heritage and warrior instincts. Mentally and physically tough and possessing inherently adroit field crafts and skills, they make ideal infantrymen. The British and Gurkha officers, in particular, emulate the ‘Rifles’ philosophy, which centres on ‘the thinking fighting man’: alert, dynamic, thorough, self-reliant, forward looking and resourceful. It is about using initiative without necessarily always waiting for precise instructions. There is flair, ingenuity, versatility and an eagerness always to improve.