Two new tests have been introduced to the Gurkha selection process in Nepal to ensure all future troops are in top physical condition.
For the first time, the 2014/15 intake was required to undertake so-called functional mobility screening (FMS) – various stretching and balancing exercises – to examine muscle flexibility and
strength as well as an ECG to check for possible heart problems.
Major Mike Cameron-Smith (RAMC), the military doctor based at Brigade of Gurkhas Pokhara, commented: “FMS tests were initially used by the US Delta Force, and the potential recruits in Nepal are the first Infantry unit to use them in the British Army. They give us an understanding of whether men are ‘functionally fit’ when they start training.” He added that the ECG had been introduced because one of the most common causes of soldier deaths is sudden cardiac arrest.
Soldier (2015) New Test Help Find Best Future Recruits. Soldier: Magazine of the British Army. February, 2015, pp.10.