Regiment works longest embodiment since war
The Royal Bermuda Regiment has pushed back its July Recruit Camp because of the coronavirus crisis.
A RBR spokesman said the camp would be held in September with limited numbers and “appropriate precautions”, including Covid-19 testing.
Another recruit camp is expected to be held in October.
The news came as Bermuda’s soldiers worked through their longest embodiment since the Second World War.
Soldiers have now been on the job for 73 days as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Some of the latest recruits, who signed up only three months ago, said they had no regrets.
Private Daniel Pinto, 27, a Belco systems application analyst, said: “I joined to help people and I wanted to develop my leadership skills, discipline and character as well.
“I can get the experience I need here — and the crisis meant there was no waiting time, but I’m not overwhelmed. I knew that when you’re needed, you’re there. It’s my duty.”
Private Pinto underwent additional training before he joined police at vehicle checkpoints around the island to enforce shelter-in-place regulations.
Private Hassan Sumner, 25, said: “I’m enjoying the work. It’s helping to keep people safe and it’s something new.
“I thought it was going to be hard when I joined — it’s been hard, but it’s been good.”
Major Duncan Simons, the RBR Adjutant, said many soldiers had been laid off or lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic and the ability to earn some money was crucial to many of them.
Major Simons said that a new soldier typically earned about $5,000 in their first year.
He added: “It’s the best part-time job in Bermuda and they have the opportunity to travel on overseas camps, as well as get further training, much of it useful in their civilian lives.”
But Major Simons said service in the RBR was about far more than cash.
He said: “Any soldier is more than happy to put their training to work and feel that they are serving their country.
“People join to serve the country and this crisis has been a particularly good way for soldiers to do that.”
Major Simons said the number of soldiers embodied had fluctuated over the course of the crisis and was regularly evaluated.
He added: “This is a marathon, not a sprint and it’s possible we will be fully embodied again, dependent on the circumstances.”
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