During Armed Forces Week, we are celebrating the contribution and achievements of our commonwealth soldiers including an inspirational Gurkha officer who brought his local regiment and community together, and is being recognised with an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List.
Captain Vivek Jung Shah, aged 41, is being awarded the honour for ‘his profound contribution to the wider Nepalese culture’ in his town during his time with Abingdon-based 60 Close Support Squadron Queen’s Own Gurkha Logistic Regiment (QOGLR), where he expertly delivered critical infrastructure projects and cultural changes within Abingdon Station.
I feel honour and privilege. This is the best achievement I would have ever dreamed. Captain Shah
“This allowed inclusion and diversity to be a force multiplier across the whole multicultural population,” according to his citation. “Captain Shah has made an unparalleled and profound contribution to the wider Oxfordshire Nepalese culture.”
Captain Shah said, “It’s imperative that I continue to maintain and deliver what our forefathers have given to this country and the Queen. Bringing everyone together through cultural awareness and spreading a message of peace and love is what I want to give to the community.”
Captain Shah was born in Nepalguni, Mid-Western Nepal, where he spent most of his childhood. He joined the Brigade of Gurkhas in 1999 and has completed seven operational tours including to Kosovo, twice to Iraq and four to Afghanistan.
“I feel honour and privilege,” said Captain Shah, on finding out he was to be awarded the MBE. “My hard work and dedication were truly recognised by my chain of command. This is the best achievement I would have ever dreamed.
“It’s fantastic news, not only for me or my family members, but for the members and family of the QOGLR and for the Brigade of Gurkhas."
Now with the 10 QOGLR at Aldershot as a Second In Command of 28 Fuel and General Transport Squadron, Captain Shah says it’s a new experience in this post, ‘challenging but fruitful’.
“The most important thing for me is to share my experience and educate the young generation of the Gurkhas,” he says. “Inspire them to become a good leader and maintain the tradition, culture, and keep up the Gurkha ‘KAIDA’.”
Captain Shah is married to Saru, a pharmacy assistant and they have one son Savion, who is 13 and a keen footballer - playing for Aldershot Town FC U15s.
His citation concludes: “His efforts introducing Gurkha soldiers to 4 Regiment RLC have developed a stout and enduring relationship with the once disparate local Hindu and Buddhist community. All this whilst reinforcing the vital cultural moral component, enhancing the operational effectiveness of the Unit.”
“Finally, I feel proud to represent the President and the People of Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal,” said Captain Shah.