Regiment honours top soldiers
The Bermuda Regiment's “top soldiers” have been honoured by the service for their hard work over the past year.
In an annual end-of-the-year list of outstanding performers, Lt Paolo Odoli was awarded Officer of the Year for leading the top platoon in this year's Recruit Camp, stepping up a rank to acting Captain, second-in-command of a company during the annual overseas training exercise in Canada and for “outstanding performance” during his three-month attachment to a British Army battle group in Kenya.
Lt Odoli, a 30-year-old restaurant manager, said: “Since I got commissioned, I have consistently looked for extra duties — I volunteered to do overseas camp as well as the two-week recruit camp in Bermuda.
“I really enjoy the Regiment and I hope that shows. My report from Kenya was pretty good and I got the opportunity to be the company second-in-command for the final attack. That might have been a factor in my getting this award.”
The Platoon Commander of the Year award went to Lt Travis Stevens, who was singled out for “professional excellence” during the ten-day embodiment for a double hit by Hurricanes Fay and Gonzalo, when he commanded the Immediate Response Team stationed in the east end of the Island.
The Senior NCO's award went to Colour Sergeant Wayne Furbert, who runs a team of chefs at the mess at Warwick Camp and who organised an average of 300 meals a day for hungry soldiers during the hurricane emergency.
He was described as a “stalwart” who has been “at the beck and call of the Regiment for decades.”
Corporal Shelton Williams, 32, was recognised for his versatility, having worked during Recruit Camp a variety of roles, including in stores and the C Company office, as well as later taking over as Orderly Room Clerk at Regiment HQ at short notice.
Cpl Shelton, a six-year veteran of the Regiment who works for the Department of Civil Aviation, said: “The Regiment is something I enjoy. It's something I take pride in doing — I just get out there and do whatever is required.
“I've made a lot of friends and I like to work. It's that simple.”
The Champion Drill Instructor award was won by Sergeant-Major Rupert Lambert, a full-time Regiment staff member whose current role is instructor for the Junior Leaders, while Sergeant Peter-Paul Taylor was honoured as Champion Platoon Sergeant for his performance during Recruit Camp.
The truck driver said: “You have got to train troops properly — if you don't produce a trained soldier, you've lost. I have always tried to encourage the troops and get them working for me. And you have to be fair but firm from day one.”
Members of the Regiment Band and Corps of Drums were also honoured, with Private Tanya Zuill-Smith picking up the Major Kenneth S Dill Trophy for the most outstanding musician, while Drummer Carlos Durrant got the Major Laurence N Dunn Trophy for most improved musician.
The Major Leslie F Lowe Trophy for the best Senior NCO went to Sergeant Aidan Stones, who is also a stalwart of the Bermuda Islands Pipe Band. He was recognised after a solo performance of the traditional Highland lament for the fallen, The Flowers of the Forest, at this year's Remembrance Day parade.
The Regiment also had other triumphs to celebrate — a team of Major Gerhard Boonstra, Captain Duncan Simons and Lt Kris Dakin won the Ministers Cup in the Bank of Bermuda Triathlon and the Regiment came out on top as overall champions in the Bermuda Police Service Sports Day.
The Regiment was given a Community Award by the Island's Seventh Day Adventist churches for “countless hours of devoted service” during Fay and Gonzalo.