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New RBR soldiers loving life - and the food - at recruit camp

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New soldiers during the Royal Bermuda Regiment’s 2023 recruitment camp (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

The Royal Bermuda Regiment’s newest members are being put to the test at this year’s recruit camp – and they are excited about serving Bermuda on land and water.

The regiment’s first recruit camp of the year began when four women and 15 men arrived at Warwick Camp on Sunday.

Some of the newest members of the Royal Bermuda Regiment put together their rifles during the first recruitment camp of 2023. Pictured, from left are Matthew Stephens, Marcel Boco and Orlando Roberts (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

One of the recruits is Private Jahkio Bolin, a 43-year-old roofer and plasterer. He was not conscripted when he was 18, like his friends were, but has enlisted now because he wants to serve his community.

Private Bolin said: “I hope to not only meet new people, I think I have a lot to offer and I’m hoping to learn from my comrades, from the people that I meet.”

Another new soldier is 21-year-old sailing instructor Private Matthew Stephens, who dreams of working in the regiment’s coastguard division.

Corporal Coshun Evans teaches new Royal Bermuda Regiment soldiers how to assemble and take apart their rifles (Photograph supplied)

“It has been a lot of fun, I have made great friends already and I love the food; today’s breakfast was very good,” he said.

Private Marcel Boco, 41, an engineer at Marine and Ports, also wants to serve in the coastguard.

New Royal Bermuda Regiment recruits during a foot drill (Photograph supplied)

He said: “My experience has been really good so far. I am learning many new things every day.”

Private Corwin James, a nurse, was in the military back in his home country of St Maarten.

The 39-year-old Sandys resident joined the RBR because he likes learning new things, but admitted the first few days of training had been more intense than he expected.

Five new Royal Bermuda Regiment recruits with their rifles (Photograph supplied)

He said: “I love drills; everybody doing the same thing in unity and order. The rifle lesson is right up there. It is not one that I have shot before.”

So far during the two-week recruitment session, soldiers have learnt about the regiment’s standards and values; how to march; and how to assemble and take apart their weapons.

Corporal Coshun Evans Wednesday encouraged one group of privates to think of when it “snowed” – Sequence, Normal safety precautions, Offences, Ware and Tear and Defects – when putting their weapons together.

Recruits were given SA-80 rifles, which is the standard weapon used in the British Armed Forces. They were looking forward to using them later.

Royal Bermuda Regiment Major Tom Woods tells recruits about the organisation's standards and practices (Photograph supplied)

Exercises planned for the rest of this week include training in first aid and an introduction to the organisation’s communications system.

Matthew Stephens, a Royal Bermuda Regiment recruit, carries his rifle alongside other recruits. (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
The Royal Bermuda Regiment 2023 Recruit Camp (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Lieutenant LeeAnn Tucker, who is overseeing one platoon, said she had been pleasantly surprised by the recruits’ performances so far.

Lieutenant LeeAnn Tucker, who is overseeing one of the platoons for this year’s Royal Bermuda Regiment recruitment camp. (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

She said: “They have picked up things pretty quickly and are eager to learn. I like that about this group; I cannot wait until the end of the two weeks to see their progression.”

New Royal Bermuda Regiment soldiers recieve instruction at Warwick Camp (Photograph supplied)

One of the main things that Lieutenant Tucker looks for in new soldiers is perseverance.

“Even though everyone’s fitness level is different, we are as strong as our weakest link; so effort, determination and teamwork is what I like to see and that is what I am seeing.”

Major Duncan Simons, said the regiment planned to host another recruitment camp in July.

Anyone legally working on the island who may be interested in joining the organisation can visit its website.

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Published February 16, 2023 at 7:44 am (Updated February 16, 2023 at 7:44 am)

New RBR soldiers loving life - and the food - at recruit camp

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