By Royal Bermuda Regiment Public Relations Office
The Caymanian contingent working with the Royal Bermuda Regiment is on the home stretch of two weeks of tough training.
Now the five Officer Cadets were scheduled to take part in a Passing Out Parade on Friday alongside private soldiers from the RBR.
The Cayman Islands Regiment troops earlier last week got lessons in first aid and field communications, as well as firing their first shots on the range at the RBR’s Warwick Camp.
And they spent their first night under canvas at Hog Bay in Sandys Parish, a 32 acre national park, as well as tackling the formidable RBR assault course.
Officer Cadet Theodore Kelly, 29, said he enjoyed the first aid training, which involved him lifting burly RBR recruit Hussani Samuels, who weighs 310lbs, in an over-the-shoulder fireman’s carry.
The troops also learned about the use of tourniquets, casualty evacuation and the basics of CPR.
They were later taught how to erect a radio mast, used to boost signals in the field or as relay stations when other communications are knocked out by natural disasters like hurricanes.
O/C Kelly, a property manager and boxing coach from Bodden Town said: “The first aid lessons are very useful and it’s something you can apply in the military and civilian life.”
O/C Gabe Rabess added: “It’s going very well. It’s very enjoyable and we’re settled into a routine and we’re making new friends.”
But he added the fast pace of military life took some adjustment.
O/C Rabess said: “Eating quickly is a problem. They are full days, so we don’t have a lot of time, so we have to manage our time.”
He and four other potential officers in the new Caymanian force are in Bermuda to undergo Recruit Camp with Bermudian soldiers in preparation for the British Army’s prestigious officer training academy, Sandhurst.
O/C Rabess, 48, a police officer from George Town, said: “This has definitely been worthwhile. It’s a must.”
And he had some advice for the 50 soldiers and one more Officer Cadet who will undertake a similar Recruit Camp in Bermuda in the summer.
O/C Rabess said: “I would say expect the unexpected and they should work on their fitness and time management.”
O/C Halston Farley, 35, from Bodden Town, a primary school teacher who has previous military experience in Barbados, added: “It’s excellent. The training is geared towards being educational and purposeful. In my day, it wasn’t like that.”
He said the Cayman troops to follow should “do their research” on the military and the RBR “so they know what to expect and what they will be doing”.
O/C Farley added: “They should grasp as much as they can in Cayman and work on their personal fitness and discipline.”
O/C Jonassi Swaby, 26, an assistant aircraft technician from George Town and a former Cayman Cadet Force junior soldier, said: “It’s really more a refresher course for us, but it’s extremely worthwhile. The Royal Bermuda Regiment is very professional.
“Adapting to the differences between Cadets and the Regiment – and the colder climate – is a bit harder. But you adapt and overcome.”
The three, together with brother and sister O/C Kelly and O/C Shandice Kelly, 27, are scheduled to join the private soldiers from the RBR in a Passing Out Parade on Friday (FEB 28) before they return home.
Major Ben Beasley, the Commanding Officer designate of the RBR, said it was a pleasure to help prepare the Cayman five for their military careers.
Maj. Beasley added: “They have represented their country very well.
“The RBR has decades of experience in disaster relief and public order work and we are more than happy to share that with our sister Overseas Territories in the Caribbean.”