Safety Drilled Into Recruits

The Royal Bermuda Regiment’s new soldiers started work on their foot drill and learned more about rifles as they hit the halfway mark of their first week of training today (WEDS).

The soldiers hit the parade ground for their foot drill and skill at arms instruction on their personal weapons; the SA-80 rifles before they visit the firing range for the first time next week.

Private Rickai Edwards, 23, said: “The drill was good – I enjoyed it. At first, I didn’t but as I got better, I started to enjoy it more.”

Pte Edwards, a taxi driver from Paget, added: “I used to do drill in the Scouts, so I have some experience. I joined the Regiment because I wanted to learn new things.

“I want to go into Motor Transport or the marine unit – one of the two.”

Recenty promoted Lance Corporal Linden Landy, a three-year veteran of the RBR and a section commander, added the soldiers in his care were settling into the rhythm of military life as he prepared to instruct a class on the SA-80.

The 21-year-old added: “I like my section. They’re keen, they ask questions and they want to learn. They want to get on the range and I hope, with my teaching, they will.”

L/Cpl Landy said the soldiers will undergo a total of 10 intensive classes on weapons handling, maintenance and safety before they were allowed to fire a rifle.

He added: “They will also have to pass a weapons test at the end. We take safety very seriously and if they don’t pass, they don’t shoot.”

The soldiers were taking a break from their foot drill lesson as the Leader of the Opposition Craig Cannonier and the US Consul General Constance Dierman toured the camp and talked to the recruits.

Mr Cannonier said: “It’s a bit of a humbling experience to know there are people who volunteer to serve their fellow man.

“It all has to do with the fact that they doing this not for themselves, but for the people of Bermuda.”

Mr Cannonier added he regretted he had never served in the Regiment because he was at university overseas.

He said the recruits would set a good example to others after they had finished basic training and went back to their families and jobs.

Mr Cannonier added: “Their experience is going to influence someone else in a positive way and we need all the positivity we can get.”

Ms Dierman told the troops during a break in their drill training: “What you are doing is public service. You’re putting others before yourselves and that comes with a personal sacrifice and sacrifices that your friends and families make.”

She added: “It’s good to see women in roles of strength and I encourage you to be active and take on leadership opportunities as they come to you.”