Lt. Col William White Commanding Officer of The Bermuda Regiment presented us with his opinions thoughts and reflections spanning 22 years of service in the Regiment
 

The Regiment can be thought of in terms of Insurance, when the claim comes in the regiment is the surge capacity to get the Island back on it's feet swiftly following a disaster, be that natural or man made.  When the Regiment puts those 550 soldiers on the streets that's a lot of much needed manpower in our time of need.  Not just manpower, but an organised, self supporting, disciplined body of men, mission driven to get the job done and get back home, and capable of working around the clock to see things through.

 

The soldiers spend most of their time training to perfect skills required for internal security duties.  This develops confidence in the troops that with the correct drill and equipment provided, the Regiment can take whatever is thrown at it, and deal with it decisively.  The last time the Regiment was embodied for civil disorder was in 1981, but still trains long and hard to ensure we are capable of fulfilling this role.  The time spent training also develops discipline, unit cohesion, and team work, skills that role  over easily into our other role, that of disaster recovery. Whether it is putting things straight after a hurricane, an oil spill on our shores, or any other disaster, the Regiment brings a step change in capability to what a small Island nation would usually be able to muster.  This surge capacity is also extremely beneficial to other small Island states and we actively train and rehearse deploying from Bermuda to other countries.  One such case was our assistance to the Cayman Islands in 2004 after Hurricane Ivan.

 

The Regiments recurring operational role the one you see us at most often, is our ceremonial responsibility of parades and retreats, funerals and public performances.  This effort is led by the Band and Corps of Drums, supported primarily by soldiers in their first year of service and a wide selection of senior ranks.

 

Not all of the soldiers take full advantage of the opportunities before them; the competing claims of family, employer, church, sports and leisure time weigh heavily on some with a hectic schedule.  Others struggle with self discipline, and acceptance of authority and responsibility, but all take away with them some positive benefits.  One such benefit is a much better understanding of Bermudian society, through exposure on an equal footing to people from all classes and walks of life in this our home. The Regiment was the first social re-engineering program of desegregation and I would put it up against all comers as the most successful since 1965 in Bermuda.  There are lifelong friendships formed during service that just would not have happened in everyday life even in this small Island.