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Regiment recruit camp numbers could be cut in 2012

Officers could switch departments as the Bermuda Regiment shrinks due to budget cuts, according to Commanding Officer Brian Gonsalves.

Lt Col Gonsalves dismissed rumours of widespread staffing reductions, but he said the number of recruits is likely to be reduced after the Regiment’s budgeted wages fell from $2.9 million to $1.7 million.

The Commander said the budget cut could mean the Regiment’s involvement in parades is limited, but he stressed its critical roles will not be affected.

He said the roles of middle ranking non-commissioned officers are being assessed, saying: “When the organisation shrinks, I’m not going to need all those individuals but we are not getting rid of them; I need them to move from one area to another.”

Just over 160 trainees attended this year’s Recruit Camp, but Lt Col Gonsalves told this newspaper the Regiment would be “reducing our intake of soldiers”.

He said the Regiment had begun its programme encouraging volunteers and he was hopeful that last year’s tally of more than 30 volunteers could be repeated.

The bulk of the Regiment’s cut is expected to affect local training, which was allocated $1.67 million in Premier Paula Cox’s cost-cutting budget for 2011/12, $1 million less than the previous year.

Lt Col Gonsalves said at that time: “As soldiers, we always crack on and find a way to get it done.”

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Published August 16, 2011 at 2:00 am (Updated August 16, 2011 at 9:21 am)

Regiment recruit camp numbers could be cut in 2012

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