By Christopher Tobutt
On Sunday 14 august 2022 at Cayman International School, the 3RD Cohort of the Cayman Islands Regiment held their Passing Out Parade. It was a proud moment, not only for all the new recruits but for all the family, the mothers and fathers and brothers and sisters who had come to see Cayman’s finest on their best day. The cohort was led by Major Shorland Ball of the Royal Dragoon Guards, as they marched into the hall. The parade was attended by His Excellency the Governor, Martyn Roper, and Hon. Sabrina Turner MP, Minister of Home Affairs, and the Hon. Franz Manderson, Deputy Governor.
Mr. Roper Said, “After today’s passing out the regiment will consist of 107 men and women nine of whom have attended the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst. On both occasions when Cayman Islands officers attended Sandhurst, a Caymanian was awarded Best International Cadet. The regiment should be extremely proud of that achievement. In this Cohort there are 14 Caymanians and the regiment is over 65% Caymanian, It’s excellent that so many young Caymanians see the value in serving their country in this way.
“Similarly the regiment needs diversity to ensure it benefits from all the talents and skills that we have on our islands. So it is very welcome that we have permanent residents and British Citizens as part of this recruitment. The regiment is a great opportunity for people to learn new skills, receive high quality training and discipline. It also allows private sector companies and public institutions to benefit from the skills they bring back to the workplace.
“The new recruits before us have just been through a very rigorous training process, delivered by a short-term training team from the British Army. Our recruits will have benefitted greatly from the fifteen days they have had in training by this team. The training was an intense course that included an introduction to a wide range of skills needed for post-disaster response. Including first aid, casualty evacuation, navigation, communications, as well as important lessons on the values and standards of the regiment. Five marines from the Turks & Caicos Islands also joined them, to receive advanced training. This was a great opportunity for the regiment to work with our regional partners and to get to know them better.
Mr. Roper Continued: “Disaster preparedness and response is key to the work of the regiment, and is its primary purpose. The regiment has already been tested, and has proved its worth. They’ve rescued people from flooded homes after thunderstorms, distributed food aid to families in need while undergoing Covid quarantine, and cleared storm debris and done so much more. Our regiment can prepare drinking water from seawater, can prepare food for hundreds, and set themselves up in a self-sufficient camp with their own energy. Cayman is better-placed to respond to natural disasters thanks to the dedication of this troop, who in turn are learning many valuable, transferable skills. This regiment is a major asset to this jurisdiction and I am proud of the extraordinary progress they have made.”
After the parade was dismissed, the Governor joined Sabrina Turner in cutting the regimental cake, each with a regimental sword.