Regiment aims to attract young leaders
Swapping pinstripe business suits for combat gear will better prepare young leaders to take on senior posts in civilian life, a top Royal Bermuda Regiment officer said last night.
Major Ben Beasley, the second-in-command of the RBR and the training officer, was speaking as the island’s armed service launched a new direct-entry programme for junior officers at Warwick Camp — and beat the drum for the advantages of the scheme to Bermuda’s business leaders.
He said: “To select the beat officers for the future command of the regiment, we are reaching out to the private sector for any young, educated Bermudians who show the potential for advancement in their company.”
Major Beasley added that direct-entry officer recruits would get the chance to attend the British Army’s Sandhurst military academy, a world-rated leadership training school, for between six to eight weeks.
He said: “Bermuda will benefit from having better citizens and employers will benefit from better employees.”
Major Beasley added: “This, in a small way, marks a change in the operations of the unit.
“It demonstrates a major change in the way we are doing business and a systematic development in the role of our people.
“This is about leadership.”
Recruits to the RBR previously joined as private soldiers and went through Recruit Camp before they could apply for a commission as an officer.
The new programme will bring Bermuda in line with the armed services in other countries, including the UK Regular and Reserve forces.
Major Beasley said: “I am confident in saying that those who have served are likely to have an enhanced sense of discipline, determination, goal orientation, achievement and reliability.”
He told business leaders at the launch event: “It is offering the opportunity for you to send someone you already have working for you to start the military process encompassed by leadership training and awarding them a correspondingly challenging position.”
Major Beasley said that military leaders were equipped to tackle “challenging situations while still remaining focused on delivering results”.
He added: “They are also confident, seek to inspire others and will make decisions.”
However, he emphasised that other routes to becoming an officer, including the traditional advancement through the ranks, would still be available in the future.
Graeme Henderson, a vice-president underwriter at reinsurance firm Chubb Tempest Re, said that his company had always supported hiring former and serving RBR personnel.
He explained: “Typically, people who have had experience in the military have tremendous organisational and leadership skills.
“I think that for young men and women in Bermuda being exposed to opportunities like this could really broaden their horizons.”
Mr Henderson added: “I would venture to say that there is a fairly high correlation with the achievement that one could attain in the military as well as in the corporate world.
“Organisational skills, and leadership skills, are very much transferable.”
John Rankin, the Governor, said the new policy was a “win-win” for business and the military.
He explained: “It’s a win for those involved as individuals, it’s a win for their employers, it’s a win for Bermuda as a whole because of the service they can provide to the country.”
Mr Rankin said that it was important the RBR continued to attract “bright young men and women”.
He added: “This is a part of that effort.”