Roundel of the Nepalese Army
|Active||1768 – present (249 years)|
|Allegiance||Government of Nepal|
|Size||95,000 (62,000 reserve)|
|Motto(s)||It's better to die than to be a coward|
Battle against Mir Qasim 1763 |
Battle of Pauwa Gadhi against Captain Kinloch, 1767
Battle of Kirtipur
Battle of Kathmandu
Battle of Bhaktapur
First and Second Sino-Nepalese War
Last Nepalese-Tibetan War
World War I (Casualties)
World War II (Casualties)
Nepalese Civil War
|General Rajendra Chhetri|
Abhiman Singh Basnet
Amar Singh Thapa
The Nepalese Army (Nepali: नेपाली सेना) or Gorkhali Army (Nepali: गोर्खाली सेना) is the armed military land warfare force of Nepal available internationally and a major component of the Military of Nepal. Service is voluntary and the minimum age for enrollment is 18 years. The army was known as The Royal Nepalese Army (RNA) during the monarchy system in Nepal. It was renamed the Nepalese Army in 28 May 2008 with the abolition of the 238-year-old monarchy.
- 1 History
- 2 Organization
- 3 Operations
- 4 Bases
- 5 Units
- 6 Equipment
- 7 Uniform
- 8 Rank Structure
- 9 Chiefs of the Army Staff
- 10 Battles
- 11 Medals and awards
- 12 See also
- 13 References
- 14 External links
Nepal unification campaign was a turning point in the history of the Nepalese army. Since unification was not possible without a strong army, the management of the armed forces had to be exceptional. Apart from the standard Malla era temples in Kathmandu, army being organized in Gorkhas, technicians and experts had to be brought in from abroad to manufacture war materials. After the Gorkhali troops captured Nuwakot, the hilly northern part of Kathmandu (Kantipur) in the year 1744, the Gorkhali armed forces came to be known as the Royal Nepalese Army.
Their gallantry, sincerity and simplicity impressed even their enemy so much that the British East-India Company started recruiting Nepalese into their forces. Since the British had fought against then RNA, which was till that time, still colloquially known as "Army of Gorkha" or "Gorkhali" army, the British called their new soldiers "Gurkhas". Sikh and Gurkha army 's war took place in 1809 which is known as Gurkha-Sikh War. The Indian army, after gaining their independence from the British, started calling them "Gorkha". In 1946, the Royal Nepalese Army troops were led by Commanding General Sir Baber Shamsher Jang Bahadur Rana at the Victory Parade in London.
The Gurkha Rifles existing in India and Britain are part of foreign military organizations where Nepalis are recruited. The NA are rightfully the true heir of the title of "The original Army of the Gorkha".
Prior to 2006 the Nepalese Army was known as the Royal Nepalese Army and was under the control of the King of Nepal. Yet following the Loktantra Andolan (People's Movement for Democracy) on May 18, 2006 a Bill was passed by the Nepalese parliament curtailing royal power, this included renaming the army.
In 2004 Nepal spent $99.2 million on its military (1.5% of its GDP). Since 2002 the RNA had been involved in the Nepali Civil War they were also used to quell the pro-democracy protesters in April 2006 Loktantra Andolan. Most of its arms are supplied by India.
The Nepalese Army has about 95,000 infantry army and air service members protecting the sovereignty of Nepal.
The position of the Supreme Commander of the Nepalese Army is the President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal. Until 2006, the King of Nepal (monarchy abolished) was in control of all military forces in the country. The National Army was renamed from Royal Nepalese Army to Nepalese Army after the recent national conversion from a monarchy to a republic on 4th Jestha 2063 B.S.
The National Defence Council
This Council has seven members, the Prime Minister, the Defence Minister, the Chief of the Army Staff, Foreign Minister, Finance Minister, Home Minister and the Chief Secretary.
Now, Nepal is officially known as Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal. The declaration of republic meant that the king is consigned to the history books making the President the supreme commander of NA.
The Nepalese Army is divided into eight divisions, one each in the seven states and one in the Kathmandu Valley.
In addition there are at least 7 independent units:
- Army Aviation Directorate
- Special Forces Brigade
- VVIP Security
- Artillery Brigade
- Signals Brigade
- Engineers Brigade
- Air Defense Brigade
The Primary role of the NA is to defend the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Nepal. Their secondary role is to provide assistance to the Civilian Government of Nepal in the maintenance of internal security. Other duties include humanitarian assistance/disaster relief operations, assisting in national development, nature conservation efforts and participation in international peacekeeping mission.
- Royal Nepalese Army in Indian Sepoy Mutiny
- Royal Nepalese Army in The First World War 1914–1918
- Royal Nepalese Army in Waziristhan War
- Royal Nepalese Army in Afghan War −1919
- Royal Nepalese Army in The Second World War
- Royal Nepalese Army in Hyderbad Action – 1948
Disarmament of the Khampas – 1974
In 1974, the then Royal Nepalese Army (RNA) was mobilized to disarm the Tibetan Khampas, who had been using Nepalese soil to engage in guerilla warfare against the invading Chinese forces. The Khampas operated mainly from a base secretly established at Mustang in northwest Nepal. The RNA, under diplomatic pressure from China and the international community, moved nine infantry units toward Mustang, and gave the Khampas an ultimatum to either disarm themselves and surrender, or face attack. The terms and conditions of their surrender were that they would be given Nepalese citizenship, land, and money, and free schooling for their children. The Khampa commander, General Wangdi, agreed to surrender but eventually fled the camp. He was later killed by RNA forces in Doti, in far western Nepal, while trying to loot a Nepal Police post. This was the first time the RNA had mobilized domestically in such large numbers.
- United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL),
- UNOSOMII the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR), UN Operational Mission Somalia II,
- MINUSTAH the United Nations Mission in Haiti.
- UNAMSIL – Currently, Nepal is sending an 800-man battalion to serve in the peacekeeping mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL).
- UNMIS – The Nepalese Army has sent a protection company of 200 personnel in United Nations Mission In Sudan. The Redeployment Coordination HQ at Kassala is also manned by the Nepalese contingent. The RCHQ was intended to monitor withdrawals from the eastern sectors of the UNMIS area in accordance with the Sudan Comprehensive Peace Accord.
- MINUSMA – For the first time, the Nepalese Army has a company of EOD of 140 personnel specially dedicated for improvised explosive device (IED) and ordnance disposal mission in Mali.
U.S./Nepal military relations
The U.S.-Nepali military relationship focuses on support for democratic institutions, civilian control of the military, and the professional military ethic to include respect for human rights. The US would support Nepal with arms, ammunition and additional commandos and soldiers if war began with its neighbouring China and India. Both countries have had extensive contact over the years. Nepali Army units have served with distinction alongside American forces in places such as Haiti, Iraq, and Somalia.
U.S.-Nepali military engagement continues today through IMET, Enhanced International Peacekeeping Capabilities (EIPC), Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI), and various conferences and seminars. The U.S. military sends many Nepalese Army officers to America to attend military schooling such as the Command and General Staff College and the U.S. Army War College. The IMET budget for FY2001 was $220,000.
The EIPC program is an inter-agency program between the Department of Defense and the Department of State to increase the pool of international peacekeepers and to promote interoperability. Nepal received about $1.9 million in EPIC funding.
- Kathmandu Army HQ
- Panchkhal Military Base (UN Peacekeeping Training Center)
Major Base Camps are located in all 77 districts of Nepal with at least 20 major base camps and 9500 Army in each districts.
- Nepalese Army Command and Staff College, Shivapuri
- Nepalese Army War College, Nagarkot
- Nepalese Military Academy, Kharipati
- Nepalese Army Recruit Training Center, Trishuli
- Nepalese Army Jungle Warfare School, Amlekhgunj
- Nepalese Army High Altitude and Mountain Warfare School, Mustang
- Nepalese Army Intelligence School, Kharipati
- Nepalese Army Logistics School, Chhauni
- Birendra Peace Keeping Operation Training Center, Panchkhal
- Nepalese Army Para Training School, Maharajgunj
- Nepalese Army EME school, Kharipati
- Shree Rajdal Regiment (Artillery) (Currently has expanded to three additional independent Artillery regiments)
- Shree Nath Battalion – established 1762
- Shree Kali Buksh Battalion (Engineers) – established 1762
- Shree Barda Bahadur Battalion – established 1762
- Shree Gorkah Bahadur Battalion – established 1952 (best infantry unit of NA, then was established for special duty of Royal Guards).
- Shree 'The Famous' Mahindra Dal Battalion -established 1844 A.D -1901 B.S.
- Shree Kali Prasad Battalion (Engineers) – established 1863
- Shree Sabuj Battalion – established 1762
- Shree Purano Gorakh Battalion – established 1763
- Shree Devidutta Battalion – established 1783
- Shree Naya Gorakh Battalion – established 1783
- Shree Bhairavi Dal Battalion – established 1785
- Shree Singhanath Battalion – established 1786 (Commando)
- Shree Shreejung Battalion – established 1783
- Shree Ranabhim Battalion – established 1783
- Shree Naya Shree Nath Battalion – established 1783
- Shree Bhairavnath Battalion – established 1910 – (Parachute Battalion)
- Shree Ganeshdal Battalion – established 1846 – signals and communications
- Shree Nepal Cavalry – established 1849 – Household Cavalry ceremonial unit since 1952
- Shree Vajradal Company – established 1806
- Shree Bhagvati Prasad Company – established 1927
- Shree Khadga Dal Battalion - established 1937
- Shree Parshwavarti Company – established 1936 – served as PM's Body Guard unit and disbanded 1952
- Shree Jagadal Battalion (Air Defence)
- Shree Yuddha Bhairav Battalion (Special Forces)
- Shree Yuddha Kawaj Battalion (Mechanized Infantry)
- Shree Mahabir Battalion (Rangers Battalion. Equivalent to U.S Army Rangers (Part of Nepalese Army Special Operation Force))
- Shree Chandan Nath Battalion – established 2004 (Infantry Unit)
- Shree Tara Dal Battalion – established 2002 (Infantry Unit)
- Shree No 1 Disaster Management Battalion – established 2012
- Shree No 2 Disaster Management Battalion – established 2012
The majority of equipment used by the Nepalese Army is imported from other countries. India is the army's largest supplier of arms and ammunition as well as other logistical equipment, which are often furnished under generous military grants. Germany, the United States, Belgium, Israel, and South Korea have also either supplied or offered arms to the Nepalese Army.
The army is currently in possession of 160,000 firearms. Its first standard rifle was the Belgian FN FAL, which it adopted in 1960. Nepalese FALs were later complemented by unlicensed, Indian-manufactured variants of the same weapon, as well its British counterpart, the L1A1 Self-Loading Rifle. Beginning in 2002 these were officially supplemented in army service by the American M-16 rifle, which took the FAL's place as the army's standard service rifle. Nevertheless, the FAL and its respective variants remain the single most prolific weapon in Nepalese army service, with thousands of second-hand examples being supplied by India as late as 2005.
Until 2003, the Nepalese Army's reserve armories housed a large number of rare and antique firearms, some dating back to the early nineteenth century. These were mostly donated to Nepal by the British East India Company and later by the British Raj, although there were also a few previously undocumented, esoteric weapons designed by Nepalese gunsmiths. Most of these were sold to an American firm, International Military Antiques, to raise funds for the army's purchase of modern weapons during the civil war.
|Hi-Power||Belgium||Semi-automatic pistol||9×19mm||FN P-35 variant.|
|M3||United States||Submachine gun||9×19mm||In reserve.|
|Sten||United Kingdom||Submachine gun||9×19mm|
|Sterling||United Kingdom||Submachine gun||9×19mm|
|M-16||United States||Assault rifle||5.56×45mm||Standard service rifle of the Nepalese Army.|
|M4||United States||Assault rifle||5.56×45mm|
|IMI Galil||Israel||Assault rifle||5.56×45mm|
|IWI ACE||Israel||Battle rifle||7.62×51mm||Limited use by Military Police.|
|IWI Tavor||Israel||Assault rifle||5.56×45mm||Used by Army Special Forces, Ranger Battalion.|
|Tavor X95||Israel||Assault rifle||5.56×45mm||Used by Army Special Forces, Ranger Battalion. Often seen with GL40 UBGL, shown to be OTB compatible.|
|AKM||Soviet Union||Assault rifle||7.62×39mm||Confiscated from guerrilla armories.|
|Type 56||China||Assault rifle||7.62×39mm||300 purchased from China in 2010.|
|L1A2 SLR||United Kingdom||Battle rifle||7.62×51mm||Unlicensed Indian variant designated 1A1.|
|FN FAL||Belgium||Battle rifle||7.62×51mm|
|INSAS rifle||India||Assault rifle||5.56×45mm||The Nepalese Army had about 25,000 rifles in 2006, supplied at a 70% subsidy by India.|
|Ishapore 2A1||United Kingdom||Bolt-action rifle||7.62×51mm||Indian copy of the No. III Enfield, modified for use with 7.62 NATO. New production action and barrel, recycled buttstock from No. III Enfields.|
|Bren L4A4||United Kingdom||Light machine gun||7.62×51mm||Used in outposts and basic automatic fire training|
|FN Minimi||Belgium||Light machine gun||5.56×45mm||5,500 purchased from Belgium in 2002. Principal LMG/ SAW|
|M249||United States||Light machine gun||5.56×45mm||300 supplied as military aid from the US. Functionally identical to FN Minimi|
|FN MAG||Belgium||GPMG||7.62×51mm||Principal GPMG, used on vehicle mounts.|
|Bofors L/70||Sweden||Anti-aircraft gun||40mm|
|QF 3.7-inch AA gun||United Kingdom||Anti-aircraft gun||94mm|
|OTO Melara Mod 56||Italy||Howitzer||105mm||14 in service.|
|M30||United States||Heavy mortar||106mm|
|120-PM-43||Soviet Union||Heavy mortar||120mm||70 in service; mostly supplied by India.|
|Daimler Ferret||United Kingdom||Scout car||40||Ferret Mk4 variant.|
|Armoured personnel carriers|
|Casspir||South Africa||MRAP||37||Some donated by India.|
|Aditya||India||MRAP||124||Partly financed with military grants from India.|
|OT-64||Czechoslovakia||APC||8||Donated by the Czech Republic in 2008.|
|WZ551||China||APC||5||Acquired from China in 2005.|
The Nepalese Army currently have three types of uniform.
This dress is used primarily for parading and official duties. In August 2010 the Nepalese Army introduced a new ceremonial uniform replacing that worn by the former Royal Army, in order to make it more relevant to the changing context and time. The new uniform comprises an olive green tunic and trousers of modern style, green coloured shirt and tie, leather belt and peaked cap.
This dress is used by the Nepalese Army for regular operational duties.
Nepalese army uses two type of camouflage patterns:
- Nepalese 4-Color Camouflage – similar to the Japan Air Self Defense Force camouflage
|Paramadhipati- परमाधिपति||Supreme Commander-in-Chief||President of Nepal|
|Atirathi- अतिरथी||Field Marshal||–||Five-star rank|
|Pradhan Senapati – प्रधान सेनापति||General||Usually translated as "Chief of the Army Staff (COAS)". Army commander;four-star rank.|
|Rathi – रथी||Lieutenant General||Held by the Chief of the General Staff (CGS) and the Chief of Staff (COS); Three-star rank.
|Uparathi – उपरथी||Major General||Two-star rank:
|Sahayakrathi – सहायक रथी||Brigadier General||Support Directorate, Combat Brigade or Combat Service Support Brigade commander; One-star rank|
|Mahasenani – महासेनानी||Colonel|
|Pramukhsenani – प्रमुख सेनानी||Lieutenant Colonel||Battalion commander|
|Senani – सेनानी||Major||Company commander|
|Sahasenani – सह सेनानी||Captain||Company 2IC|
|Upasenani – उप सेनानी||Lieutenant||Platoon leader|
|Sahayaksenani – सहायक सेनानी||Second Lieutenant|
Junior Commissioned Officers(JCOs)/Warrant Officers
|Subedar Major – सुवेदार मेजर||Chief Warrant Officer|
|Subedar – सुवेदार||Warrant Officer 1|
|Jamadar– जमदार||Warrant Officer 2|
Non Commissioned Officers(NCOs) and Other Ranks
|Hudda- हुद्दा||Sergeant||Section leader|
|Amaldar- अमल्दार||Corporal||Section 2IC|
|Piuyth -प्युठ||Lance Corporal|
|Sipahi – सिपाही / Gunner गनर||Private|
Chiefs of the Army Staff
Historically, the Chief of Nepalese Army have been mostly from noble families such as "Shah", "Basnyat/Basnet", "Pande", "Thapa" and "Rana". The first army chief during the unification campaign of Nepal by the Great King Prithvi Narayan Shah was Kaji Biraj Thapa Magar. He was followed by Kaji Kalu Pande.
Nepali Generals (between 1740s to 1887 AD)
- Commander-in-Chief of Army (between 1887 AD to 1960 AD)
- Rana Shamsher Rana
- Dev Shumsher Jang Bahadur Rana
- Chandra Shumsher Jang Bahadur Rana
- Bhim Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana
- Juddha Shumsher Jang Bahadur Rana
- Rudra Shumsher Rana
- Padma Shumsher Jang Bahadur Rana
- Mohan Shumsher
- Baber Shamsher Jang Bahadur Rana
- Kaiser Shumsher
- Kiran Shumsher
- Toran Shumsher
Chiefs of the Army Staff (1960 AD–present)
|1.||General||Bir Shumsher JB Rana||15 Baisakh, 2017 B.S (1960) – 15 Baisakh 2022 B.S (1965).|
|2.||General||Surendra Bahadur Shah||–|
|3.||General||Singha Bahadur Basnyat||−10 May 1975|
|4.||General||Guna Shumsher JB Rana||10 May 1975 – 10 May 1979|
|5.||General||Singha Pratap Shah||15 May 1979 – 15 May 1983|
|6.||General||Arjun Narsingh Rana||15 May 1983 – 15 May 1987|
|7.||General||Satchit Shumsher JB Rana||15 May 1987 – 15 May 1991|
|8.||General||Gadul Shumsher JB Rana||15 May 1991 – 4 May 1995|
|9.||General||Dharmapaal Barsingh Thapa||15 May 1995 – 15 May 1999|
|10.||General||Prajwalla Shumsher JB Rana||19 May 1999 – 9 Sep 2003|
|11.||General||Pyar Jung Thapa||10 Sep 2003 – 9 Sep 2006|
|12.||General||Rookmangad Katawal||9 Sep 2006 – 9 Sep 2009|
|13.||General||Chhatra Man Singh Gurung||9 Sep 2009 – 5 Sep 2012|
|14.||General||Gaurav Shumsher JB Rana||6 Sep 2012 – 10 Sep 2015|
|15.||General||Rajendra Chhetri||10 Sep 2015 – present|
Nepalese army fights various battles on the unification campaign these battles of Nepal unification help royal Nepalese army to gain more experiences with a gift of Unified Nepal.
Battles on Defending Kingdom of Nepal
- Battle against Mir Qasim – 1763 CE
- Battle of Pauwa Gadhi against Captain Kinloch- 1767 CE
- Anglo-Nepalese War – 1814 CE
- First Nepal – Tibet War
- Nepal-Tibet/China War
- Last Nepal-Tibet War
- Nepalese Civil War
Battles of Unification of Kingdom of Nepal
Battles as allies
Medals and awards
- Mahendra Mala
- Parama Nepal Pratap Baskara
- Ati Nepal Pratapa Bhaskara
- Nepal Pratapa Bhaskara
- Ojasvi Rajanya (Sovereign – A)
- Ojasvi Rajanya (Sovereign – B)
- Ojasvi Rajanya (Grand Master – A)
- Ojasvi Rajanya (Grand Master – B)
- Parama Ujjvala Keertimaya Nepal – Shreepada
- Ati Ujjvala Keertimaya Nepal – Shreepada
- Maha Ujjvala Keertimaya Nepal Shreepada
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