Promotions of Royal Bermuda Regiment soldiers were announced at a recent Battalion Night, when troops gathered at Warwick Camp.
It was an opportunity for the whole battalion to come together to acknowledge the successes of their peers, play sports and socialise as the Commanding Officer thanked them for their service.
Runekco Edwards, a soldier of 22 years, advanced to Acting Warrant Officer Class Two and was cheered on by troops at the event last Wednesday [December 7].
The 40-year-old said the camaraderie, meeting new people, learning different skills and travelling have kept him in the Regiment for more than two decades.
WO2 Edwards, who is a mason from Paget, advised newer recruits: “Come in, enjoy it, love it, get as much experience as you want, take everything that the Regiment’s going to offer.”
Oray Gardner, of Pembroke, was among a group whose promotions to Lance Corporal or Acting Lance Corporal were announced after completion of the Junior Non-Commissioned Officers Cadre.
The 28-year-old, who is a cash management technician in civilian life, said of the training: “Mentally it was exhausting so sometimes you didn’t want to show up, sometimes you wanted to give up but thanks to your peers and all that, they keep you pushing.”
Acting LCpl Gardner added: “Then to see the same people that pushed me, here being promoted as well, it’s a joy.”
LCpl Kisha Pitcher, from Warwick, highlighted increased confidence and fitness levels as benefits to being a Regiment soldier.
Asked about her promotion, the 38-year-old fund administrator said: “I feel very proud of myself.
“I still have a lot of work to do and my goal is to be a Sergeant eventually, so I feel very excited and on my way.”
Sarena Zuill, 31, who was promoted to Acting Sergeant, said her superiors helped prepare her for the new role.
The store manager from Paget, who is in the cook’s section in her military life, added: “I will probably be in charge of my own team now.
“I’m ready for the challenge.”
Acting Lance Corporal Tekla Smith, of Pembroke, said that although he found parts of his recent training for promotion more challenging, “it was worth it, big time”.
The 23-year-old, a security officer when he’s not on Regiment duties, explained how failing the cadre previously drove him to work on his weaknesses.
He said: “The first time I was kind of upset about it, it got to me a little bit, but then I had to overcome and keep working on myself and make myself better before I did it again.”
Acting LCpl Abdou Tamba, who works at Champ’s Variety and lives in Somerset, said he quickly grew to love the Regiment and described it as a “family”.
The 41-year-old, who has dual nationality from Senegal – where he was an economist – and the Ivory Coast, added: “The Regiment made me cry, the Regiment made me laugh, the Regiment is the best place to be.”
He said the promotion from Private was “a very big moment”.
Also at the event, Corporal Coshaun Evans and his Section 7 – B Company were rewarded for their victory in a recent Commanding Officer’s Patrols Exercise.
The event required personnel to navigate through various military scenarios and focused on leadership, teamwork, physical fitness and accomplishing a range of responsibilities.
Cpl Evans said: “It felt good because my section had a good attitude, everybody communicated well and worked together. Everyone did their part.”
Lieutenant Colonel Ben Beasley, the Regiment’s Commanding Officer, thanked the troops and reminded them of the noble choice they made to put the needs of others ahead of their own.
He said later: “One of the greatest privileges I have as the Commanding Officer is promoting people and recognising the hard work that they have done, but often it’s the team effort, even though it’s just one person who’s getting promoted at that particular point.”
The Battalion Night was also attended by Major William Madeiros, Chairman of the Defence Board, Peter Aldrich, President of the Royal Bermuda Regiment Association, and Colonel William White, Chairman of the Bermuda Charitable Trust.
The full list of promotions announced on December 7 is as follows:
Acting Warrant Officer Class Two Runekco Edwards
Colour Sergeant Patricia Woolridge; Colour Sergeant Tyler Smith
Sergeant Richard Grant
Acting Sergeant Sarena Zuill
Corporal Dante Durham
Acting Corporal Kevin Darrell
Lance Corporal Quinton Burgess; Lance Corporal Sheldon Caesar; Lance Corporal Taylor Eve; Lance Corporal Ashley Grant; Lance Corporal Diallo Hendrickson-Donville; Lance Corporal Kisha Pitcher; Lance Corporal Jade Simons; Lance Corporal JD Symonds
Acting Lance Corporal Oray Gardner; Acting Lance Corporal Chavon Outerbridge; Acting Lance Corporal Micah Simons; Acting Lance Corporal Tekla Smith; Acting Lance Corporal Chanara Smith-Rookes; Acting Lance Corporal Mame Abdou Tamba.
Earlier this year, the following promotions were made:
Major Kenji Bean, Captain Travis Stevens, Captain Ryan Eve, Captain Alexander Gibbs, Lieutenant Leeann Tucker, Lieutenant Scott Brown, Lieutenant Corrie Cross, Warrant Officer Class Two Shaun Williams.
And Captain Gavin Rayner received a Governor’s Commission having completed a full career in the ranks.
*For more information or to join the Royal Bermuda Regiment, visit www.bermudaregiment.bm