The Royal Bermuda Regiment has opened a storefront in Hamilton for the first time to promote service in the island’s defence force.
The pop-up shop – at the junction of Queen Street and Reid Street – was opened to boost recruitment in the run-up to next January’s recruit camp
Soldiers on duty at the store can offer advice on the wide range of specialities on offer in the RBR and how to go about joining.
In addition, troops have been out on the city streets, talking to members of the public about the RBR’s range of roles, from disaster relief at home and overseas to ceremonial duties.
Sergeant Curtis Grant, a full-time soldier on duty in the store, said: “There’s travel, good pay and lots of opportunities to meet people – and we have a GED programme starting this year so people can get an extra qualification transferable to civilian life.”
Sergeant Grant added: “It’s going very well – we’ve got all the stuff in the windows to attract people and we’ve had a steady stream of people interested in joining.
“Soldiers are going out and engaging with people and explaining to them all the benefits of Regiment service
“They’re doing really good work and we’re getting a good return on that work. It’s never been a better time to join the Royal Bermuda Regiment – the rewards from helping the public are second to none.”
Lance Corporal Lee Ann Medeiros, 26, a pastry chef from Warwick, said: “A lot of people have said they’ve thinking about joining so we give them all the information they need.
“Some people do have that stereotype about people shouting at you all the time, which is the wrong mindset. The Regiment is a modern, forward-thinking employer – our soldiers are there because they want to be there.”
Lance Corporal Medeiros, who served as part of the hurricane relief detachment to the Turks & Caicos Islands, added: “You really do get once in a lifetime experiences and very rewarding ones. People were very glad to see us in Turks & Caicos and very sad to see us leave.”
The store – scheduled to stay open until the New Year – operates from 10am to 6pm Mondays to Saturdays and will be open until 10pm in the week before Christmas
Corporal Neville Vanderpool, 28, a member of the RBR diving team, said he had just completed his divemaster training through the RBR and had also completed a police diving course.
He said: “We’ve talked to people who are keen to join, but maybe a bit indecisive. We explain what life’s like in the Regiment and the incredible opportunities that are available, as well as the possibilities for career advancement.
“The money is good and most people I’ve talked to have leaned towards saying ‘yes’. I’m enjoying it and we’ve been getting a warm reception. It’s always good to talk to people and share my experiences in the Regiment.”
Recruit camp starts on January 14th and the deadline for joining up is January 4th.
A Regiment career offers recruits opportunities to travel, acquire skills useful in civilian life, test themselves to their limits and competitive rates of pay, as well as a $500 bounty for new volunteers. For more information, call 238-1045 or visit www.bermudaregiment.bm.