Infantry

The Royal Gurkha Rifles

The Gurkhas are a unique unit in the Army with a reputation of being amongst the finest and most feared soldiers in the world.

Our Skills

All Gurkha soldiers are recruited in Nepal. British Officers are recruited from across the UK and Commonwealth.

The Royal Gurkha Rifles currently have a jungle role Battalion permanently based in Brunei and a Light Role Battalion in the UK as part of 16 Air Assault Brigade.

All Officers are expected to speak Nepali and will attend a language course in Nepal. The Gurkhas have only been eligible for the Victoria Cross since 1911. During this time 26 have been awarded, 13 to British Officers and 13 to Gurkha Soldiers.

Our History

The Royal Gurkha Rifles was formed on 1 July 1994, after amalgamation of four Gurkha Regiments, 2 GR, 6 GR, 7 GR and 10 GR. 

During this time, battalions of the Royal Gurkha Rifles have taken part in operations in Kosovo, Bosnia, East Timor, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Australia, Iraq, Afghanistan and Malawi.

The Royal Gurkha Rifles now consists of three battalions, two of which are based in Shorncliffe in Kent, and the other in Brunei.

A more detailed history on the Gurkha service to the crown, and of our forebear Regiments can be found on our association website

Our Locations

There are now 3 battalions of the Royal Gurkha Rifles:

  • The First Battalion, The Royal Gurkha Rifles located in Shorncliffe, Kent.
  • The Second Battalion, The Royal Gurkha Rifles located in Brunei.
  • The Third Battalion, The Royal Gurkha Rifles located in Shorncliffe, Kent.

Jungle Battalion

Our equipment

SA80 Individual Weapon

Tests On its introduction, it proved so accurate that the Army marksmanship tests had to be redesigned.

Small arms and support weapons

L115A3 Long Range 'Sniper' Rifle

600 metres They are designed to achieve a first-round hit at 600 metres and harassing fire out to 1,100 metres.

Small arms and support weapons

L129A1 Sharpshooter Rifle

7.62mm The rifle fires a 7.62mm round and has enhanced accuracy of engagement during longer-range firefights.

Small arms and support weapons

81mm Mortar

5650 metres High explosive, smoke and illuminating rounds to a maximum range of 5650m.

Small arms and support weapons

General Purpose Machine Gun

GPMG The general purpose machine gun (GPMG) can be used as a light weapon and in a sustained fire role.

Small arms and support weapons

Combat Shotgun

12 gauge The Combat Shotgun is a semi-automatic, tubular magazine-fed weapon cambered for the 12 gauge cartridge.

Small arms and support weapons

Heavy Machine Gun

12.7mm The powerful L1A1 12.7mm (.50) Heavy Machine Gun (HMG) is an updated version of the Browning M2 Fifty-cal.

Small arms and support weapons

Light Machine Gun

300 metres It provides the section commander with the capability to impose sustained suppressive fire on to an objective out to 300m.

Small arms and support weapons

Find out more about the Gurkhas

You can find out lots more about the Brigade of Gurkhas on our Brigade website. Including a detailed history, all our news and how to reach out to our veteran community. 

Brigade of Gurkhas

Officer Recruitment

Most of our British Officers have degrees but some enter the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst direct from school or having previously joined the Army as a soldier. If you wish to become a Gurkha Officer please contact the Army Careers Adviser (ACA) who covers your school or university.

Alternatively, apply online via the Army Jobs website. Recruiting Group will then confirm your qualifications and put you in touch with the relevant ACA. Further more, anyone who wishes to know more about joining the Royal Gurkha Rifles as an officer should contact the Regimental Secretary.