70 young men and women enter the life of a soldier in Recruit Camp

  • New recruits make their way to the Square to be placed into platoons on the opening day of the Bermuda Regiment's recruit training camp at Warwick Camp (Photo by Glenn Tucker).

    New recruits make their way to the Square to be placed into platoons on the opening day of the Bermuda Regiment's recruit training camp at Warwick Camp (Photo by Glenn Tucker).

  • New recruits make their way through the entrance of Warwick Camp on the opening day of the Bermuda Regiment's Recruit Camp yesterday.

    New recruits make their way through the entrance of Warwick Camp on the opening day of the Bermuda Regiment's Recruit Camp yesterday.
    (Glenn Tucker)

  • New recruits wait near the entrance for 8am so they can enter the Square to be placed in platoons on the opening day of the Regiment's Recruit Camp (Photo by Glenn Tucker).

    New recruits wait near the entrance for 8am so they can enter the Square to be placed in platoons on the opening day of the Regiment's Recruit Camp (Photo by Glenn Tucker).

  • A crowd of family and friends gather across the road to watch the new recruits filter into their platoons on the first day of boot camp (photo by Glenn Tucker).

    A crowd of family and friends gather across the road to watch the new recruits filter into their platoons on the first day of boot camp (photo by Glenn Tucker).

  • Officers march onto the Square to assign the new recruits platoons on the opening day of Bermuda Regiment's Recruit Camp at Warwick Camp

    Officers march onto the Square to assign the new recruits platoons on the opening day of Bermuda Regiment's Recruit Camp at Warwick Camp
    ((Photo by Glenn Tucker))

  • Recruits are placed into platoons on the opening day of the Bermuda Regiment's Training Camp at Warwick Camp (Photo by Glenn Tucker).

    Recruits are placed into platoons on the opening day of the Bermuda Regiment's Training Camp at Warwick Camp (Photo by Glenn Tucker).

  • New female volunteers wait to enter the Square to be placed in platoons on the opening day of the Bermuda Regiments Recruit Training Camp at Warwick Camp Sunday morning. (Photo by Glenn Tucker)

    New female volunteers wait to enter the Square to be placed in platoons on the opening day of the Bermuda Regiments Recruit Training Camp at Warwick Camp Sunday morning. (Photo by Glenn Tucker)

  • New recruits rush off the Square after being placed into their platoon on the opening day of the Bermuda Regiment's Recruit Camp at Warwick Camp yesterday (photo by Glenn Tucker).

    New recruits rush off the Square after being placed into their platoon on the opening day of the Bermuda Regiment's Recruit Camp at Warwick Camp yesterday (photo by Glenn Tucker).

  • A late recruit makes his way into Warwick Camp on the opening day of the Bermuda Regiment's recruit Camp yesterday

    A late recruit makes his way into Warwick Camp on the opening day of the Bermuda Regiment's recruit Camp yesterday

  • New recruits wait on the Square to be placed in platoons on the opening day of the Bermuda Regiment's recruit camp at Warwick Camp

    New recruits wait on the Square to be placed in platoons on the opening day of the Bermuda Regiment's recruit camp at Warwick Camp
    (Photo by Glenn Tucker)

  • A new recruit makes his way across South Road on the opening day of the Bermuda Regiment's recruit camp at Warwick Camp

    A new recruit makes his way across South Road on the opening day of the Bermuda Regiment's recruit camp at Warwick Camp
    (Photo by Glenn Tucker)


Around 70 recruits were at Warwick Camp yesterday for the first day of boot camp, down from 160 last year after the Regiment had its budget slashed from $2.9 million to $1.7 million.

Some of the faces were as gloomy as the grey sky above as the recruits, including the unusually high figure of about ten women, gathered at the Camp entrance ahead of yesterday’s 8am start.

Captain Kenji Bean explained many were likely apprehensive ahead of a gruelling two-week schedule of drills and military lessons.

“It’s going to be a culture shock for a lot of them,” Capt Bean told The Royal Gazette. “Some of them have never been in a military environment before and they’ve never been distanced from their parents and family for any extended period of time. A lot of them are not physically fit, and they’ll have to deal with early morning fitness training.”

Drills will be as early as 5.30am, said Capt Bean, with particularly tough routines in store for those who turn up late. There were three such unpunctual trainees yesterday.

But the humiliating jeers from bystanders as the stragglers belatedly trudged through the gates seemed more painful than the relatively gentle urges from officers to hurry along. There was certainly none of the shoving and bawling at latecomers associated with recruit camps of years gone by.

And apart from one moment when a new trainee was ordered to stop smiling, there was little evidence of the kind of fearsome disciplining made famous by movies like Full Metal Jacket.

“They will have heard different rumours from family members or friends who were in the Regiment and may have been expecting someone to shout at them and get in their face,” said Capt Bean.

“But that generally doesn’t happen unless there’s a need. Most of the time, they’re only shouting to make themselves heard. A lot of movies put out the wrong perception about military life.”

Nevertheless, training will be tough, said Capt Bean, as the reduction in numbers has led to a greater degree of focus in everything the Regiment does.

“When we are training, it will be concentrating on getting the job done in less time,” he said. “There will be less manpower to do the same job.”

Yesterday’s session involved an introduction to training and military equipment; over the next two weeks their work will also involve firing and marching drills, and lessons on military history and the Defence Act.

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Published Jan 16, 2012 at 8:23 am (Updated Jan 16, 2012 at 8:20 am)

70 young men and women enter the life of a soldier in Recruit Camp

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