A pair of Royal Bermuda Regiment soldiers have completed a tough UK course designed to turn them into a new generation of officers at Warwick Camp.
Officer Cadet Corrie Cross, a 22-year-old intern architect, said the eight-week programme at the prestigious Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, had laid the groundwork for her career as a leader.
OCdt Cross, only the third female RBR soldier to graduate from Sandhurst, said: “I learned so much about not only leadership but also my ability to push myself and others.
“This amazing opportunity has given me the foundation to develop my leadership skills and tactical awareness.”
OCdt Cross, who has played rugby at international level and signed up as an RBR recruit in February, added: “I’m excited to take this knowledge and use it to help develop and support the Royal Bermuda Regiment.”
She was speaking after she and OCdt Scott Brown, 36, had their passing out parade at Sandhurst on July 17 alongside British Army Reserve soldiers and other overseas troops.
The passing out parade was watched by Governor Rene Lalgie and the British armed forces minister James Heappey.
OCdt Brown, who works at HSBC and is a graduate in film and television studies, said: “The first phase of developing is to realise it’s important – then, through determined adherence to consistently good choices, we construct an unbreakable foundation centered around solid values and standards.”
Ms Lalgie, the Commander in Chief of the RBR, said she was on leave in Britain and was delighted to watch the two soldiers pass out from Sandhurst.
She added: “I am proud of the performance of both OCdt Brown and OCdt Cross, who have represented their Regiment and Bermuda with distinction at the top military training establishment in the world.”
The two cadets, who will be commissioned as 2nd Lieutenants if they pass the Defence Promotions Board, built on military skills learned in the RBR at Sandhurst.
Other lessons included tactical command of platoons, leadership and management skills, as well as analytical and planning techniques and the rules of engagement.
RBR Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Ben Beasley said Sandhurst was a world leader and recruited the British Army’s best instructors.
He added: “Sending our Officer Cadets to Sandhurst is important because it ensures that they receive world class training and are assessed to the same standard as their UK peers.”
Lt Col Beasley said: “Soldiers and officers receive continual professional development opportunities as they progress through the ranks.
“This is achieved through career courses, both on-island and overseas, exchanges with affiliated military units and training in soldiers’ own time, supported by the Regiment’s learning credit scheme.”
He added: “We are eminently proud of these two soon-to-be officers, not only for what they have achieved, but also because they represent the future of our unit – a future that has the very best of Bermuda in command positions.”
Major Duncan Simons, the RBR careers management officer, said the RBR was 20 per cent female and it was important the officer corps reflected the unit’s diversity.
Maj. Simons added: “We draw potential officers from the top ten per cent of our annual intake.
“To be selected for commissioning, candidates must successfully pass the Regiment’s potential officer selection course.
“They must be physically robust and demonstrate that they can think, operate and lead under pressure and with minimal rest.”
The first female RBR soldier to attend Sandhurst was Lt Deborah Trimm who attended in the late 1980's. The second female soldier was Second Lieutenant LeeAnn Tucker, who commissioned last November.
Photo Credit: Bombadier Murray Kerr