Two RBR soldiers graduate from prestigious UK military school
Corrie Cross has become only the third Royal Bermuda Regiment woman to complete a tough officer’s commissioning course at the prestigious Royal Military College at Sandhurst.
Officer Cadet Cross and Officer Cadet Scott Brown, 36, had their passing out parade at Sandhurst on July 17 alongside British Army Reserve soldiers and other overseas troops.
Officer Cadet Cross, a 22-year-old intern architect, said the eight-week programme at Sandhurst, had laid the groundwork for her career as a leader.
Officer Cadet Cross said: “I learned so much about not only leadership but also my ability to push myself and others.
“This amazing opportunity has given me the foundation to develop my leadership skills and tactical awareness.”
The Bermuda international rugby player signed up as a Royal Bermuda Regiment recruit in February and added: “I’m excited to take this knowledge and use it to help develop and support the Royal Bermuda Regiment.”
The passing out parade was watched by Rene Lalgie, the Governor, and the British armed forces minister James Heappey, himself a Sandhurst graduate.
Officer Cadet Brown, who works at HSBC and is a graduate in film and television studies, said: “The first phase of developing is to realise it’s important – then, through determined adherence to consistently good choices, we construct an unbreakable foundation centred around solid values and standards.”
Ms Lalgie, the Commander in Chief of the RBR, said she was on leave in Britain and was delighted to watch the two soldiers pass out from Sandhurst.
She added: “I am proud of the performance of both Officer Cadet Brown and Officer Cadet Cross, who have represented their Regiment and Bermuda with distinction at the top military training establishment in the world.”
The two cadets, who will be commissioned as 2nd Lieutenants if they pass the Defence Promotions Board, built on military skills learned in the RBR at Sandhurst.
Other lessons included tactical command of platoons, leadership and management skills, as well as analytical and planning techniques and the rules of engagement.
RBR Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Ben Beasley said Sandhurst was a world leader and recruited the British Army’s best instructors.
He added: “Sending our Officer Cadets to Sandhurst is important because it ensures that they receive world class training and are assessed to the same standard as their UK peers.”
Lieutenant Colonel Beasley said: “Soldiers and officers receive continual professional development opportunities as they progress through the ranks.
“This is achieved through career courses, both on-island and overseas, exchanges with affiliated military units and training in soldiers’ own time, supported by the Regiment’s learning credit scheme.”
He added: “We are eminently proud of these two soon-to-be officers, not only for what they have achieved, but also because they represent the future of our unit – a future that has the very best of Bermuda in command positions.”
Major Duncan Simons, the RBR careers management officer, said the RBR was 20 per cent female and it was important the officer corps reflected the unit’s diversity.
Major Simons added: “We draw potential officers from the top ten per cent of our annual intake.
“To be selected for commissioning, candidates must successfully pass the Regiment’s potential officer selection course.
“They must be physically robust and demonstrate that they can think, operate and lead under pressure and with minimal rest.”
The first female RBR soldier to attend Sandhurst was Lt Deborah Trimm who attended in the late 1980's. The second female soldier was Second Lieutenant LeeAnn Tucker, who commissioned last November.
* This article has been updated to show that Ms Cross was the third RBR soldier to graduate from Sandhurst.