Conscripts and volunteers prepare for recruit camp
Around 125 new recruits to the Bermuda Regiment will begin their basic training on Sunday.
Commanding Officer Brian Gonsalves said: I would urge everyone to come with an open mind and a positive attitude. We are pleased with the record number of volunteers, ranging from 18 to 51 years of age, all coming with various skills and life experiences.
We recognise that perhaps not all recruits want to serve in the military — but they should focus on the many opportunities the Regiment will present to them.
He added: The Regiment offers opportunities for overseas travel, competitive rates of pay and the chance to acquire useful skills and experience which can make all the difference in civilian life and helps our soldiers stand out from the crowd when it comes to job applications.
It is not in our interests to have unhappy recruits — we want soldiers to enjoy the training and get as much as they can out of it. We are a modern military unit following best practices in line with UK Forces. This is not only for training matters, but equality and diversity, anti-harassment, and many other personnel matters.
He also warned that recruits should not bring weapons, drugs or any other prohibited items covered in the joining instructions provided to every recruit, and said offenders would be disciplined under military law.
The Regiment has been in the headlines recently due to new Minister of Public Safety Michael Dunkley pledging his support for the abolition of the controversial conscription policy.
While the participants in the latest recruit camp will be a mixture of conscripts and volunteers, the campaign group Bermudians Against the Draft said this week that they hoped the policy would be abolished before the next camp.
Lt Col Gonsalves said: The Regiment has changed a lot in the past few years and will continue to evolve and improve to meet Bermudas current needs — Id tell recruits to forget what they think they know, or have heard about the Regiment, instead focus on working hard, following orders and I guarantee they will have an awesome time.
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