Governor applauds spirit of regiment recruits
Governor John Rankin paid his first official visit to the Royal Bermuda Regiment today to meet its latest recruits.
Mr Rankin toured Warwick Camp, stopped off at classes and chatted to the regiment’s new soldiers as they settled into to a tough two weeks of military life in Recruit Camp.
“I’m very pleased to be coming at the time of Recruit Camp and I’m delighted to see so many volunteers have come forward,” he said. “The regiment has an important role in supporting the safety and security of the island.
“I am aware of the good work the regiment has done following hurricanes; most recently following Hurricane Nicole.”
Mr Rankin added: “I look forward during my period as Governor and as Commander-in-Chief of the regiment, to working with the regiment as they carry out their tasks.”
Mr Rankin watched recruits perfect their drills on the parade ground and skill at arms classes, where new soldiers worked as teams to break down and reassemble the RBR’s SA80 rifles, donated two years ago by the British Army.
Mr Rankin said his diplomatic career had involved working with the British military in the UK and Iraq, where he visited British soldiers in war-torn Basra and had seen first-hand how troops cope with challenging environments.
“What I’ve been impressed with here is I got a sense of real camaraderie from the members of the regiment,” he said. “And I have been struck by the spirit of the recruits — they seem to be working very hard, but enjoying it.
“I’m also aware that, both through its Junior Leaders programme and bringing in young recruits, the regiment plays an important role in developing the young people who are the future of Bermuda.
“I also welcome the strong links between the regiment and the Royal Anglian Regiment, and the British Army’s London District and the Household Division.”
Mr Rankin will also attend the recruits’ passing-out parade — and lead a Government House team in the traditional marksmanship test, the falling plates competition.
Captain Preston Gill, officer in charge of Recruit Camp, said: “Both the Governor and the Premier, who was here on Monday, were very enthusiastic about the spirit of our soldiers.
“He told the skill-at-arms class how important teamwork was and how working as a team gives an increased chance of success.”
Lieutenant-Colonel David Curley, the regiment’s commanding officer, added: “The Governor was very happy to talk to our recruits and asked them how the meals were, why they joined, and got a lot of feedback.
“He was very surprised at some of the answers he got and how happy they were to be here. He was impressed by the calibre of people we have.”
Colonel Curley added that, during lunch in the Officers’ Mess, Mr Rankin met civilian guests from HSBC, invited as part of the regiment’s drive to involve the business community in its activities.
He said: “Right now, the recruits have started to perfect some of the dress regulations. We’ve had no issues with discipline and there is a very positive feeling about the whole camp.
“They’re very keen and enjoying the physical training and other fieldcraft aspects. Unfortunately, the weather has been great. I want them to experience some inclement weather so they can say in the future that they’ve been through this before and they can tackle any challenges.”
Colonel Curley added: “Our recruit training team is the backbone to the success of the camp. Their dedication, willpower and leadership is invaluable. They are putting 110 per cent effort into ensuring the recruits accomplish their tasks every day.”
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