Rookie Soldiers Get First Week Under Their Belts

The Royal Bermuda Regiment’s newest soldiers today (SUN) hit the halfway mark in two weeks of tough training.

The recruits said they had already noticed an increase in their fitness, because of early morning physical training on the parade ground and that they had learned new skills.

Private Justus Anderson, 24, from Warwick, said: “I didn’t have any expectations – I just came in and absorbed information and knowledge to help my personal development.”

But he said the RBR had impressed him so far and that he was “looking forward to more to come”.

Pte Anderson, a recent graduate in environmental science from Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada and who is job-hunting, added: “The rifle training has been great, but the PT has also been very enjoyable. Just doing the exercises and trying to get fit is good.”

But he admitted: “The drill has been tough to get down. That’s definitely not my favourite, but the learning to work as a team is good experience as well.”

Pte Kwensi Cann, 20, from Warwick, said: “It seems like it’s gone past really fast. I’m just enjoying myself, learning all this new stuff. It’s just flown by.”

Pte Cann, who works in distribution at The Royal Gazette newspaper, added: “I’ve enjoyed the people – the camaraderie – the most. Everyone is nice and quite entertaining and that helps everything go smoothly.”

He added: “The food is really good – I like it. That was a bit of a surprise. When you think of the army, you think the food isn’t going to be great, but it’s been good, so kudos to the chefs for that.”

Pte Cann admitted, however, that he still struggled a bit with the early morning starts demanded at Warwick Camp.

He said: “Waking up at the crack of dawn every day is kind of tough for me. You get used to it, but just getting out of bed is the hardest part.”

Corporal Mackie Smith, 31, one of two section commanders for the 16-recruit camp, the first of the year, said: “They’re doing really well.

“They’re really grasping concepts and skills and drills – they’re not afraid to get stuck in. I’m really pleased with them.”

Cpl Mackie added that rifle lessons and drill appeared to be the favourites with the new rookie soldiers.

He said: “Some of them are loving the drill, others are loving the rifle work and the middle of this week, they’ll get the chance to fire their rifles for the first time.”

Cpl Smith added there would be no let-up for the trainees as they entered their second week at Warwick Camp.

He said: “We’re going to push them harder as we get into the battle lesson phase.”