Top Government Ministers yesterday paid a visit to Warwick Camp as the island’s newest soldiers settled in to their first full day of training. Deputy Premier Walter Roban and Minister of National Security Wayne Caines toured Warwick Camp and dropped in on recruits coming to grips with military life and equipment.
Mr Roban told senior soldiers: “I’m happy to be here and I’m impressed with the quality of work the Regiment does.”
He added that the RBR had “quite a task” with the end of conscription and the creation of an all-volunteer service.
But Mr Roban said: “With the quality of people here, we’re confident they are up to the task and we will support their work.”
He added that at least two members of the Cabinet were former soldiers, including Mr Caines, a former Captain.
He said: “That’s where the work they do here can take them – it helped build respect for themselves.
“The Regiment is part of the solution. There are many solutions we have to find, but the Regiment is part of the solutions we’re looking for.”
Mr Roban and Mr Caines visited trainee soldiers learning to take apart and rebuild the RBR’s SA-80 rifles before their first time on the shooting range, the armoury, the Warrant Officers’ and Sergeants’ Mess and the Officers’ Mess.
Mr Caines said that his Regiment service had taught him humility and the value of service to the country – and that many men and women now at the top of their professions had learned a lot about leadership skills in their time at Warwick Camp.
He added: “I believe part of my personal journey started at the Bermuda Regiment.
“It’s about esprit de corps, the opportunity to develop personal skills, leadership and the opportunity to develop yourself personally and professionally.”
Mr Caines said the Regiment also highlighted the importance of strong male role models and family for young men.
He said: “If we look at it from the gang perspective, if you break it down, having a military you have comrades-in-arms, you have fellow soldiers and a core curriculum.”
Mr Caines added that a move towards more full-time jobs in the RBR would “create legitimate opportunities for our young men.”
Mr Caines quoted US psychologist Abraham Maslow, who developed his “hierarchy of needs” in the 1940s, which moved from basics like food, shelter and health to the need for security, self-respect and respect for others as well as a sense of belonging and said a full-time RBR would hit many of these targets.
Mr Caines said: “It will provide an opportunity for young people to make themselves better and the country better through a full-time Regiment.”