RBR’s new recruits get their first taste of life in uniform
The Royal Bermuda Regiment’s latest soldiers today started to settle into two weeks of tough training.
The group of 16 – 14 men and two women – arrived at Warwick Camp and were issued their uniforms and kit.
They were also briefed on Covid-19 precautions and the standards of personal appearance they will be expected to maintain.
Private Nico Barclay, 25, from Sandys, who works at food distributors BGA, said he joined up because he wanted “a new experience and to try something different”.
Private Barclay added: “It’s a good way to learn new things and incorporate these different skills into my day to day life.”
Private India Cheeseman, 22, said she hoped to become a police officer and that the RBR would help equip her with key skills and discipline.
Private Cheeseman, who works at the Rosewood Tucker’s Point resort, added: “I wanted this kind of hands on experience.”
She admitted: “It’s a bit confusing at first getting all this equipment – but I’ll get the hang of it. I was a bit nervous at first, but not any more.”
Corporal Nigel Lee, one of the two section commanders for Recruit Camp and a veteran instructor who has won a string of awards, said: “I haven’t really got to know them yet, but they seem gung ho and ready to go.
He added: “The most difficult thing for section commanders is to get all these people with different personalities and from different backgrounds to gel.
“Also, everybody learns differently – that’s one of the problems we encounter, but we deal with it.
“I’ve done this all before and we’ll turn out proper soldiers, different people from when they walked in, at the end of the two weeks.”
Private Kwensi Cann, who works in the distribution department of The Royal Gazette, said: “There’s practically nothing in Bermuda where you could experience something like this – I’m looking forward to it.
“I hope to learn a lot of different things and broaden my horizons.”
The 20-year-old from Warwick added he was keeping an open mind on what part of the RBR he wanted to be posted to when he completed basic training.
Private Cann said: “I’m open to all the areas of the Regiment and I want to try everything out and see what sticks to me.”
He admitted that 6am starts to the day “might be something that takes a bit of time to get used to”.
Pte Cann said: “I don’t see any alarm clocks around here – but I know we get up really early.”
Lieutenant LeeAnn Tucker, a former corporal who passed the gruelling officers’ training course at the British Army’s prestigious Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, just over a year ago, is the platoon commander for Recruit Camp.
She said that she looked forward to leading another group of recruits towards successful completion of the course – and helping them adjust to military life.
Lieutenant Tucker added: “It’s more the adjusting, the waking up early, the physical training, the set amount of time to get ready and get breakfast. Some of them find it harder than others.”
But the 30-year-old nursing assistant from St George’s said: “It’s our goal to turn out soldiers who will be an asset to Bermuda and we work very hard to achieve what we set out to do.”