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Regiment preparing to expand role

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Regiment training

Bermuda’s soldiers are set to get more engineering training as the Royal Bermuda Regiment expands from its traditional role as a light infantry force.

The change means recruits could learn to operate heavy equipment such as bulldozers, excavators and generators as part of their military education.

The Regiment’s Boat Troop is also scheduled to expand, with more full-time roles as the unit prepares to take over the police service’s marine responsibilities.

Regiment Commanding Officer Lieutenant-Colonel David Curley told The Royal Gazette: “Whether it be working in logistics, operations or overseas on training attachments or exercises, we have part-time and potential full-time posts to be filled.

“Right now we have a part-time marine boat troop unit and we are working closely with our ministry to get a full-time unit of an additional 14 troops to do inshore maritime police duties.

“It will be a type of coastguarding and general policing on the waters up to 12 miles offshore.”

“The Ministry of National Security is working diligently to get extra funds that we require to fund this new marine role.”

Colonel Curley added: “We are also looking to transition very slowly from light infantry to an engineering regiment.

“We are planning, and are implementing strategic plans, at this time.

“This could be engineering for driving heavy equipment like pay loaders, bulldozers, excavators, maintenance and repair of large generators and reverse osmosis plants.”

Colonel Curley added that the modern Regiment also offered opportunities for recruits to boost their academic and trades qualifications, which is useful in civilian, as well as military, life.

Specialisms available include motor transport, communications, marine operations, cooking, medic training and logistics.

Colonel Curley said: “We have to verify if we send people on high-level UK military courses that they are accredited and accepted with City and Guilds equivalent, or something on the civilian side, and recognised here in Bermuda.”

Colonel Curley was speaking as the Regiment prepares for its January Recruit Camp, with some spots still available for new entrants to the service.

He encouraged anyone interested in the variety of roles on offer to visit the RBR pop-up recruitment office at the corner of Reid and Queen Streets in Hamilton or the RBR headquarters at Warwick Camp.

Colonel Curley said the RBR had moved away from repetitive drills on the parade square and was now a modern and enlightened employer.

He added: “The senior command element is changing and adapting the Regiment’s business model and phasing in new topics and tasks in order to maintain its current missions.

“We are introducing and reaching out for troops to be educated as well.

“We had 12 individuals sign up about a month ago and we have paid for them to get their General Equivalency Diploma — this is a good start point for them.

“We are looking at the next phase in reaching out and working with Bermuda College where, if you join the Regiment, you can attend the courses at the college at discounted rates or for free.”

Colonel Curley said the RBR hoped to see between 60 and 100 recruits sign up for Recruit Camp

He added recruitment efforts had focused on 18 to 32 year olds, but older people will be considered.

About 100 people have signed committal cards and 45 of those have completed the application process.

Colonel Curley added: “We are a little under strength for the recruit camp. If individuals, male or female, are unsure, come into Warwick Camp or the pop-up shop in Hamilton, sit down with one of our recruiters and they will tell you everything you need to know and what made them sign on for many years after their initial three years of service.

“It is always good to have a chance to earn more money but there are also a lot of challenges and skill set areas they can go into.”

Colonel Curley said: “They do have to do a boot camp but that is just the foundation of military training.

“Once they’ve done that they can then start gaining new knowledge, begin building up skills and implement them for military and civilian use.

“We also look forward to continued support from all employers in Bermuda that might have potential volunteers in their businesses that wish to join the Regiment.

“They will indeed get a better employee in the workplace and they will benefit greatly from that military experience with strong values and standards.”

For more information visit www.rbr.bm

The Royal Bermuda Regiment is seeking new recruits. The deadline for signing up is January 4.