Yet, it is more than just the martial reputations that enables such a migration desirable and possible. To understand this type of migration, we need to also take into account the Gurkha household. Military scholars focusing on the US, Canadian and UK militaries have shown how families are called upon to support and sustain broader military objectives.
Gurkha families also take on the same necessary household work that enable broader global security deployments to take place. These include the necessary life sustaining work of cooking, cleaning and caring for both children and elderly parents and grandparents, but also the emotional and intellectual labour that reproduces security work as desirable, if not necessary.
Gurkha households have for well over 200 years provided the necessary, yet largely unacknowledged, work of caring for the family and offering an emotional lifeline to Gurkhas when they are working abroad.
Taking care of the family back home is a fundamental part of what allows the security industry to function and sustain recruitment, even if the industry does not recognise this. The household enables security work to be desirable in the first place. Just as young boys are raised to believe that being a Gurkha is honourable and important, especially if you do not excel at formal education, young girls are raised to believe that being a wife of a Gurkha is a good life — and a good decision to make.