All Gurkhas train for 39 weeks after coming over from Nepal, so those who go into specialist trades have an extra 29 weeks under their belts than regular British specialists, who only do 10 weeks infantry training before specialising.
And this can come in very helpful. In 2003, I was in command of a Gurkha Logistics Regiment in Iraq. We finished the task we were deployed to do in six months but, because these men had done the full 39-week infantry training, we could stay on for an extra four months to quell the fuel riots in Basra. A British regiment couldn't have done that.
9. Gurkhas can eat a huge amount of rice
Most meals are still based on the Nepalese 'Dal Bhat' - a national rice and lentil soup - which is accompanied by intensely hot chillis which are eaten raw - the effects of which can be very amusing, if a little painful!
The first time I was out in Brunei, we had just finished playing basketball with some locals and the Gurkhas started up a barbecue. I ate a huge amount of chicken legs and pork, and was stuffed, but then realised that the barbecue had only been the first course, and that there was a massive curry to come! But it would've been considered rude not to have seconds!
Almost all Gurkhas are good butchers. Do not befriend the goat that has been brought into the lines by one of the Gurkhas. He is not - like the Royal Welch - the new mascot. He is the accompaniment to the rice and chillis!
10. Gurkha Selection is tougher than selection for British Soldiers
It is well known that selection for the Parachute Regiment or the Royal Marines is very tough but, if a Nepalese man wants to join the Gurkhas, they have to go through a process before they even get to come to Britain - and only 200 are selected at the end of each cycle.