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Soldier Who Returned To Base With Taliban Commander’s Head, Cleared For Duty

Published Feb. 2, 2021

Here's a throwback to the time a Nepalese soldier with 1st Battalion, Royal Gurkha Rifles beheaded a Taliban commander, and was later cleared for duty after a four year investigation.


In July of 2010 Gurkha soldiers conducted a raid in Helmand province to kill or capture a high value individual. The troops killed their man, but the mission had very specific instructions to bring back proof that they had gotten the right guy.


Initially, the Gurkhas attempted to retrieve the entire body for identification, but soon found themselves engaged in an intense Taliban counter attack. The Gurkhas needed to break contact, but they also needed to complete their mission. The soldier made the heat-of-the-moment decision to pull out his traditional Kukri knife and take only the Taliban commander’s head, allowing his men to remain mobile and complete their objective.


Rather than acknowledging the soldier for placing the mission first and his quick initiative under hostile fire, POG commanders who place public relations in a higher priority bracket than mission, went on a CYA campaign of shaming the individual to the media as they rushed him out of country. Eventually, common sense won out, and now the soldier is finally being commended for his dedication to duty.


Although not related to the incident, the attached video shows Royal Ghurkas reacting to a Taliban sniper in Afghanistan.

Published Feb. 2, 2021

Here's a throwback to the time a Nepalese soldier with 1st Battalion, Royal Gurkha Rifles beheaded a Taliban commander, and was later cleared for duty after a four year investigation.


In July of 2010 Gurkha soldiers conducted a raid in Helmand province to kill or capture a high value individual. The troops killed their man, but the mission had very specific instructions to bring back proof that they had gotten the right guy.


Initially, the Gurkhas attempted to retrieve the entire body for identification, but soon found themselves engaged in an intense Taliban counter attack. The Gurkhas needed to break contact, but they also needed to complete their mission. The soldier made the heat-of-the-moment decision to pull out his traditional Kukri knife and take only the Taliban commander’s head, allowing his men to remain mobile and complete their objective.


Rather than acknowledging the soldier for placing the mission first and his quick initiative under hostile fire, POG commanders who place public relations in a higher priority bracket than mission, went on a CYA campaign of shaming the individual to the media as they rushed him out of country. Eventually, common sense won out, and now the soldier is finally being commended for his dedication to duty.


Although not related to the incident, the attached video shows Royal Ghurkas reacting to a Taliban sniper in Afghanistan.

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