Foster-Brown proud of regiment’s progress
Regiment commanding officer Lieutenant-Colonel Michael Foster-Brown said he is “hugely” proud of the regiment’s progress during his three years in command.
Colonel Foster-Brown, who is set to hand over command to Lieutenant-Colonel David Curley tomorrow, said: “It has certainly been a busy time which has included three operational embodiments for disaster relief and our 50th anniversary.
“While we have achieved a lot, there are still plenty of exciting things on the horizon, including the potential full-time lead maritime role for boat troop and the support to the America’s Cup in 2017.”
Noting this year’s recruit camp — the first in history to be entirely made up of volunteers — he said: “It was only possible because retention rates had gone up, meaning we could reduce the intake and what was particularly satisfying is that those who know the regiment the best, as they are in it, are voting with their feet and staying.
“The regiment is special. It’s always been special and part of my job has been trying to reflect that back to the island. We are now in the 11,000 range of regimental numbers which is indicative of our reach on an island with a relatively small population.”
He also noted the hard work of the soldiers in the wake of Hurricanes Fay and Gonzalo, which both battered the island within the span of a week in 2014.
“They performed their duties professionally and were doing so while there was still a tropical storm blowing outside,” Colonel Foster-Brown said.
“I wish David the best of luck — and my advice would be to enjoy it, the time will pass quickly and before he knows it he will be passing on the sword of command to the 17th commanding officer.
“I’d also say, if I was to narrow it down, that the future success of the RBR boils down to ensuring soldiers continue to find their service rewarding and that the regiment remains relevant. The former will keep soldiers joining and staying, while the latter will maintain public support and our funding.”
“We have demonstrated that relevance and it’s due to expand even further with the marine role, which we hope will see an extra 14 full-time staff providing an expanded visible daily operational presence on the water.”
The change of command will take place at Warwick Camp tomorrow, starting at 4.30pm.
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