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Most former Regiment COs repeat call for conscription rethink

The Bermuda Regiment needs to retain conscription in order to survive, according to a group of nine former Commanding Officers.

Dubbed the Nine Colonels, the group has submitted an opinion piece, appearing on page four of today’s edition, in response to the Report of the National Security and Defence Committee.

Bermuda “cannot afford to gamble that relying entirely on volunteers to fill the ranks of the Regiment will succeed”, according to the group comprising Lt Col Michael Darling, Lt Col CE Raynor, Lt Col Gavin Shorto, Lt Col Allan Rance, Lt Col Patrick Outerbridge, Lt Col David Gibbons, Lt Col William White, Lt Col Brian Gonsalves and Lt Col Brendan Hollis.

Issued during Friday’s session of Parliament, the National Security review recommends a phased approach to dropping conscription.

Noting Government’s commitment to ending conscription, the review adds: “It is critical that the transition from a volunteer force supplemented by conscription to an all-volunteer force be carried out over a period of time that preserves those national defence, internal security and disaster relief functions provided by the Regiment currently or in the future, subject to this review.”