Governor impressed with Royal Bermuda Regiment’s recruits
The Royal Bermuda Regiment’s newest recruits have been praised for their dedication to duty after they passed the halfway mark of two weeks of basic training.
Governor Rena Lalgie, who is Commander-in-Chief of the RBR, visited the 22 new soldiers and training staff as the recruits got to grips with life on manoeuvres at South Shore Park, Warwick on Monday.
Ms Lalgie toured the exercise area, watched the troops practise patrol techniques and fieldcraft.
She said: “The Royal Bermuda Regiment plays an important role in supporting the safety and security of the island and its people and, as we all know, has played an essential role in the island’s fight against the global Covid-19 pandemic.
“I am proud to be the Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Bermuda Regiment and I look forward during my tenure to working with the Regiment as they carry out their duties.
“I was delighted to meet the young people, both male and female, who have volunteered to serve their country.
“I have been impressed by what I have seen today and I wish every one of the new recruits all the best as they complete their initial training to become soldiers in the RBR.”
Ms Lalgie was speaking as the troops prepared for Exercise First Encounter – two days living in the field at Hog Bay Park in Sandys.
A number of the new recruits spoke of the challenge and rewards that donning a uniform provided.
Private Antoine Augustus, 37, said: “We are serving our country so it’s good the heads of the country come and see us and see how the RBR keeps Bermuda safe.”
Pte Augustus, who works as a delivery driver for Sargasso Sea, said he signed up for the RBR because he needed a challenge.
He said: “I always expected to be called for conscription, but I never was.”
A keen runner and footballer, he said he had coped well with the physical side of military training.
He said: “I’m enjoying the drill and my fitness has improved.”
Private Sabria Augustus-Brangman, 18, from Hamilton Parish, said she hoped to take advantage of educational opportunities offered by the RBR.
Pte Augustus-Brangman, who works for Four Star Pizza, added: “I didn’t finish high school and I like challenges.
“This is an improvement to my life instead of just working and working. I feel it’s a win-win – I get to do something for my country and do something for myself as well.”
She said: “I’ve learnt to enjoy the exercise – that’s been an improvement for me and I’ve really enjoyed the learning experience.
“I’ve learnt about challenging myself and how I work as an individual and as part of a team.”
Private Quinton Burgess, from Warwick, said he had made a successful application for a full-time job with the RBR coastguard and started last year.
The 43-year-old father of two added he had been involved with the Bermuda Sea Cadets as a member and later as an instructor and officer commanding of the Hamilton unit.
He said: “I’m really enjoying the coastguard – I worked in retail and in real estate in a marketing role before that.
“I’ve moved from the corporate world to hands-on. Stepping into the coastguard is something new and something different.”
Pte Burgess added: “Recruit Camp has been fun – as an older person, I knew I’d be coming up against a lot of younger people and it would be a challenge, but I’ve coped.
“I knew there would be harder components, but there haven’t been any big issues and nothing too difficult.”
Pte Burgess said: “For sure I think VIPs should have a close eye on what’s going on at Warwick Camp, how the facilities look and how things are managed.
“It’s good that the outside world is actually looking in and is interested in what we’re doing.”
Veteran Sergeant Kenton Trott, who has just rejoined the RBR after a break to establish his successful Luxury Cuts barber shop, said: “The recruits are all very keen and very switched on. I haven’t had any problems with any of them.
“There are times when they’re tired, but they’re working hard and I’m looking forward to passing them all out at the weekend.”