The Gurkhas are renowned the world over for their fearsome nature in battle and their outstanding professionalism.
Therefore earning their respect and getting them to serve you requires someone who shares their standards.
The Officer in Command (OC) of The Second Battalion of the Royal Gurkha Rifles’s Reconnaissance Group or Find Group understands both their background and how to motivate them.
KM Group reporter Chris Price is out in Afghanistan with our Kent troops. Here is his latest report from the frontlines.
Captain Kit Kyte spent four months in Nepal as part of his language training to become a Gurkha officer.
He said it was the best decision he ever made.
“When I was training at Sandhurst I had two choices. I could join the Parachute Regiment or the Gurkhas.
“You always get a glorified version of how the Gurkhas are, but it was only when I chose them that I found out what great guys they are as soldiers.”
The Reconnaissance Group or Recce Group as it’s called, operates right on the frontline. They search out enemy insurgents' positions - getting so close the risk of an ambush is much higher than for troops operating on normal patrol.
Recently the Taliban agreed a ceasefire with local civilians in order to allow the civilians to return to their homes safely. It is speculated the real reason for this is soldiers from 2RGR’s Recce Group killed a number of their senior officers in recent operations and they are desperately regrouping.
“The Recce Group is looked upon as the best platoon” said Capt Kyte.
“We have our own selection process and it is pretty arduous. Only 30 are picked from the entire battalion so they are the highest standard of Gurkha soldier.
“We have a lot more freedom in the way we operate. We are given an area by the OC of PB Minden and left for a week or two weeks at a time to find the enemy.”
The presence of Gurkha soldiers is also particularly beneficial in Afghanistan. The Gurkhas share much culture with the Afghan civilians, which can help with making them feel more comfortable with the British army’s presence.
“They have brown skin for starters” said Capt Kyte.
“The Gurkhas speak Urdu, so they can converse with many of the Afghan people.
“They understand the cultural sensitivities and that also helps them spot enemy forces.
“They can spot when a “farmer” is in fact an insurgent because they will be pretending to farm but actually will be looking at us.”
Capt Kyte says there is a simple formula for getting the best out of his men.
“You have to understand where they come from. Many of them had to walk 15km to go to school when they lived in Nepal, and yet they are still a very cheerful bunch.
“You don’t shout at them to get things done. You lead by example.
“If they have faith and trust in you then they will work hard for you. There are no motivational issues. All you have to do is explain what you want to happen and they go and do it.”