Under cloudy skies and a steady drizzle, dozens of friends and family turned out to witness their sons and daughters take part in the 46nd passing out parade on the drill square at Warwick Camp. With the Governor and Premier in attendance and the added pomp and ceremony of the Bermuda Regiment Band and Corps of Drums, 71 recruits divided between two platoons, competed in the inter-platoon drill competition. After the drill competition the prize presentations commenced.
With only two platoons this year, the platoon competition was closer than it had been in years. The recruits of 7 Platoon, commanded by Lt Kris Dakin and assisted by Sgt Dejion Stange won the Tug of War and Volley Competitions, had the best shot in the company, the best recruit, the fastest runner and fastest section in the 5-mile road race, and had the most immaculate barrack rooms.
8 platoon commanded by Lt Paolo Odoli and assisted by Sgt Marquisha Douglas won the Football and Truck Pull events, and the section skills, assault course, section skills and falling plate competitions. But on the last day it was 7 platoon that were victorious when they secured the platoon drill competition by only 10 points helping them to secure the overall platoon competition by merely tens of points.
After prizes were awarded the invited dignitaries, recruits and families took part in a sunset ceremony, marking the end of the day and the end of the camp. Friends and families departed, some only to wait anxiously outside, while recruits collected their kit and took last minute photos before the recruits formed up before their company commander to be given the word of command “Dismissed.”
36 recruits put their names forward to join the Potential Non-Commissioned Officer’s Cadre in the hope of gaining promotion to Lance Corporal in nine months time. The two-phase course requires soldiers to attend Warwick Camp twice a week and one weekend a month. Phase one culminates with a two-week battle camp in June. The second phase consists of a two-month “methods of instruction cadre”. Historically about 50% of soldiers starting the course will earn promotion.
In March, a handful of soldiers will join Band Company after they successfully complete an assessment period and once they have completed phase one of their internal security training with Training Company.
Between February and December the soldiers of Training Company will participate in 21 drill nights, six weekends, and three parades. During February and March the company will be introduced to the basics of urban patrolling, public order drills, cordon drills, vehicle check points and key point guards during company and regiment level training weekends.
In April, 7 Platoon participate in the Peppercorn Parade. Weekend training days in April and May will focus on section and platoon drills and team building. Training Company will provide the guard of honor for the Queen’s Birthday parade in June before taking 10-week summer break.
In September and October company and regiment weekends will allow the company to practice and refine skills introduced at the beginning of the year in preparation for the Joint Services Exercise in October. 8 Platoon will provide a guard for the Remembrance Day Parade in November. After a year together the company will be split up with soldiers being posted to the other companies - Alpha, Support and Quartermasters looking forward to another two-week camp, this time at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.