Documented sources, archived photos, historical facts and KHHI’s deep research into Gurkha Issue khukris point to the fact that GI5 is the longest surviving issue kukri whose reign ran across for almost 3 decades from early 1960’s to late 1980’s. After the World Wars and with the modernization and advancement of military gears the khukuri’s primary role as a main weapon was restricted to a mere back-up / utility knife (gear) or rather as an iconic symbol. Now the khukuri was seen more as an inseparable integrity of a Gurkha, his self-identity, a stature of courage, honor and pride, and thus to recognize the very fact GI5 issue was started to each new recruits for carriage, parade and duty. The kukri was objected as a Dress Knife to carry in parade (kukri drill), on duty and other official military services. Blade size was reduced to 10 inch, style and shape was changed and GI5s were much simpler and very convention comparatively, a few of them with very strange shape and finishing too, sometimes with inferior quality.
Although GI5 was issued as a “Dress Knife”, supposedly to have well finishing and shiny, the khukuris was not up to the standard required by the army officials for parade. Here it wouldn’t be an offence to write that GI5 was the weakest (poorest) of all Gurkha Issues. Recruits thus had to painstakingly clean the blade and scabbard during their entire nine months span of recruitment training. Blades were roughly grounded, unpolished and black topped sometimes, and scabbards were made from raw buffalo hide. Recruits thus had to literally finish the khukuri with whatever resources available. This trend continued until mid 1970’s after when soldier started to replace the raw hide by patent leather bought from local workshop at the suggestion of their superior. The blades however were mostly self-polished by the carrier.
GI5 is also the first issue of its kind that originated (made) in Dharan, Eastern Nepal. In 1961-62 GI5 production started in Dharan with the help of some army official at “Dharan Recruitment Camp”. “Origin” and “Date” were also stamped initially for a few batches but somehow was discarded or ignored in later years. Local contractors made inferior quality khukuris and supplied to Army in thousands which here is categorized or named as “GI5” by KHHI.
GI5, a conventional kukri knife, issued as a parade knife, other than the fact that its an iconic feat of the legendary Gurkhas has been largely overshadowed by modern times and technologies and more so ever by the very image of the Gurkhas. It remains mystery and confusion as to its exact version, details and facts as it has been hardly documented or archived. Nonetheless the amazing legacy and feat of the Gurkha Issue Kukris of the formidable soldier, the Gurkhas, is successfully and proudly carried by GI5 and handed over to his newer generation.
Besides his historic significance GI5 is also an excellent working kukri knife that would hold a special place in the heart and mind of the user. It is an all-out all-purpose utility knife that carries the history, and also has all characters of an assault knife.