Regiment Commanding Officer Lt Col Michael Foster-Brown. *Photo by Nicola Muirhead
Regiment Commanding Officer Lt Col Michael Foster-Brown. *Photo by Nicola Muirhead

The Bermuda Regiment yesterday beat the drum for more volunteer recruits – and announced a special recruitment drive to be held at Government House later this month.

The event – the first of its kind – is designed to hammer home to potential recruits, their families, employers and other influential people the benefits of military service to recruits, which can carry over into their civilian life.

Regiment Commanding Officer Lt Col Michael Foster-Brown said: “The Regiment has a proud history of service at home and overseas.

“It has an important and relevant operational role to support the civil authority as Bermuda’s insurance policy in the event of man-made or natural disasters or other emergencies.”

He added that, since the Regiment was formed in 1965, soldiers had been called up for hurricane relief, riot control and assistance to other uniformed services, including the police.

And he said: “I invite our young men and women to be a part of that proud history and help to serve, protect and promote Bermuda.”

Governor George Fergusson, who is Commander-in-Chief of the Regiment, was yesterday off the island and not available for comment.

But Acting Governor David Arkley said: “Government House is happy to pay a part in trying to provide a platform for the Regiment to show what they have got available and how volunteers can benefit from joining.”

Col Foster-Brown added that, from next year’s recruit camp, volunteers would qualify for a $300 signing-on bounty.

In addition pay, which starts at $140 a day for a private soldier, equates to around $2000 for successful completion of recruit camp and $4,700 a year for those who complete the minimum duties.

But he said that service in the Regiment was about more than money – which also offers travel overseas, training in specialist skills and teamwork, as well as the chance to serve the community.

Col Foster-Brown added: “Putting your country first and serving for the safety and welfare of others is a noble cause.

“The community respects the military and you can feel rightly proud every time you wear your uniform or you tell someone that you are a member of the military.”

And he said: “As the Regiment draws its manpower from all sections of society, you will meet people who you wouldn’t have met otherwise. Because the military relies on cohesion and trust, your fellow soldiers will become life-long friends.

“The military requires you to work hard – but it is rewarding. And you will be socializing and competing in sports with new friends.”

The recruitment presentation will be held at Government House on Wednesday, September 25 between 6-7pm, followed by a short reception.

Further enlistment nights are to be held on Tuesday, October 1 and Thursday, October 3 at the Regiment’s Warwick Camp HQ, between 6-8pm.

Anyone who wants to attend the Government House presentation should register by Wednesday, September 18 by calling 238-3885.

Any man or woman who is Bermudian, the spouse of a Bermudian, or Commonwealth citizens resident in Bermuda can volunteer.

The normal recruitment age range is 18 to 40, but those who are older with previous armed services experience or specialist skills will also be considered.

For more information, call 238 3885 or visit www.bermudaregiment.bm.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Raymond Hainey is a volunteer soldier in the Bermuda Regiment.