The Royal Bermuda Regiment’s newest soldiers celebrated the halfway mark of two weeks of tough training at the weekend.
Now the troops are preparing for their first day on the firing range today (MON) and their first night under canvas at Hog Bay in Sandys on Tuesday.
Private Lirico Williams, 22, of Paget, said he welcomed a change to his day-to-day routine in civilian life.
He added: “I wanted a change. This is something new – and I don’t reget joining.
Pte Williams said: “I am enjoying the weapons training, but I’m not too keen on the marching, even though I’m pretty good at it.
“We are all doing well. It’s all about teamwork.
Pte Williams added he expected to have “more alertness, more sharpness” by the time the new troops pass out at the end of this week.
He said: “I want to join A Company and do public order training.”
Pte Dushaun Burchall-Wade, 20, added: “The Regiment is helping me to push myself physically and it’s also teaching me good self-discipline.”
The softly-spoken soldier added: “It’s also helped me to be loud, because I’m not typically a loud person. It’s good for my self-confidence.”
He added one of the surprise highlights of camp was the cuisine, prepared by a hard-working team of RBR chefs.
Pte Burchall-Wade said: “I like the food – I’m not to keen on drill, but I’m getting there and the physical training in the morning is quite hard. My arms and legs got sore at first, but I’m getting over that now.”
Pte Chavelle Dillon, who works in hospitality at the Fairmont Southampton, added: “It’s very exciting. I really do love it.”
The 26-year-old from Hamilton Parish said: “I enjoy the company, everyone working together and people helping each other out.
“I got pain in my legs at one point, but the encouragement people gave me helped kept me from giving up. The positivity and motivation from everybody is amazing.”
The new soldiers earlier got a lesson on drugs law in Bermuda from Bermuda Police Service expert Acting Inspector Derrick Golding.
Insp. Golding said it was his third time delivering a lecture at Recruit Camp and that he enjoyed sharing his knowledge with the island’s new soldiers.
He added: “It’s about explaining things clearly about drugs in general and the cannabis laws.”
Insp. Golding said: “It’s very important the police and the Royal Bermuda Regiment work together. We have just set up the Coast Guard in a joint operation and the Regiment helps us with training for public events.
“I do a lot of officer safety training for soldiers here as well.
“We pool resources to be more effective and that helps to reassure the public, which is very important.”
Major Ben Beasley, the RBR Commanding Officer designate, added: “So far, the recruits are progressing very well.
“They are learning more and more every day and what they have learnt they will build on. The effort is there and they are all becoming team players.
“They have also had visits from VIPs and they’ve been getting encouragement and backing from them, which helps a lot. Our training team has been very effective and are fully committed.
“We’re looking forward to a good Passing Out Parade and to the troops achieving 100 per cent on their training package.”