A passing out parade has been held for the first squad of marines in the Turks and Caicos Regiment.
Addressing the complement of 40 recruits, the TCI Governor Nigel Dakin focused on several themes, among them the regiment as a symbol of national unity, and political unity and support.
On the topic of the regiment symbolising national unity, Mr. Dakin remarked: “This Regiment is I believe a strong signal of not just national identity but also national maturity. As we mature as a nation our conversation as to what we mean by that word ‘nation’ also matures. We talk a great deal about both unity and diversity in TCI and I suggest before us is an example of how both can, indeed both must, sit comfortably together.”
Regarding political unit and support for the regiment, he paid tribute to the cross-party commitment to setting up the regiment.
“A Defence Force that doesn’t have political support, or national support behind it, will surely fail as night follows day. This Regiment would not be before us had it not been for the complete commitment of two people, our previous Premier and our Present Premier. When Honourable Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson and Honourable Charles Washington Misick, as the then Leader of the Opposition, were asked if a UK Trained Regiment was something TCI wanted, as part of the delivery of our National Security Strategy, they were unequivocal in their support, both in initial word and subsequent deed.”
He also stated, “If nothing else the formation of this Regiment was an act of focussed, cross-party, national political leadership, and national political unity, to deliver national security.”
Also present in the territory for the passing out parade for the TCI regiment was the UK Armed Forces minister/Parliamentary Under-Secretary in the Minister of Defence, James Heappey.