The Impact of COVID on Gurkha Selection

The latest intake of Gurkha recruits have completed the selection process despite coronavirus restrictions.

A total of 340 aspiring soldiers were due to arrive in Catterick as this issue went to press, having been whittled down from 1,600 hopefuls in their native Nepal.

With social distancing and regular hand washing becoming the norm, applicants quickly had to adapt to a new way of operating. Interviews were conducted outside and through Perspex screens, while speaking and listening exams were performed via video link with the English Language Wing at Catterick.

In addition, the infamous Doko stamina race was called off.

The travel ban prevented personnel travelling from the UK to help in the recruiting process, but 40 troops arrived from Brunei in time to ensure selection could continue. With the course complete, those fortunate enough to progress had to isolate ahead of their kit issue and travel to the UK.


Soldier. (2021) COVID Causes Selection Headaches. Soldier: Magazine of the British Army. March 2021, pp.9.


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