Junior Leaders, Regiment Team Up For Exercise

March 24, 2014

The school-age branch of the armed services joined up with the Regiment for an exercise based at Ferry Reach in St George’s.

The Junior Leaders spent the weekend honing their skills in the field and acting as ‘enemy forces’ as their older counterparts in the Regiment practised their battlefield command skills. They also used the Laser Tag system, which records hits from laser-equipped rifles.

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Junior Leaders’ Lance Corporal CaVon Raynor, 14, from Somerset, said: “I’ve enjoyed it very much. We’ve been helping the Regiment doing section training – I was hiding in bushes, waiting until they got close then surprising them.

“We also practised camouflage and concealment, assault training and patrolling.”

The Berkeley Institute pupil, who aims to be a pilot in the RAF, added: “It can be quite tough, but we learn self-discipline and how to be a good leader and to rely on yourself as well as rely on one another in a team.”

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A total of 27 Junior Leaders, as well as adult instructors and parents, took part in the exercises, held from Friday night to Sunday afternoon.

Junior Leaders Sergeant Major Dean Rubaine said: “It’s very encouraging to see these young people develop skills and confidence. It’s a youth programme, so we try to balance the serious with the fun stuff.”

Junior Leaders Commandant Major Henry Campbell added: “We have had a surge in applications, which is good. The more experienced ones now have to supervise and manage a group, so they’re learning a lot.

“We have grown a lot over the last few years and a lot of that is down to the parents’ support. They have seen the value of the programme, recommend it to other parents and also travel with us for summer camp overseas – they’ve been tremendous.”

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The Junior Leaders worked alongside the Regiment’s Potential Junior Non-Commissioned Officers (PJNCO) cadre, who were practising simulated section attacks and fieldcraft.

Private Steven Skinner, a conscript, said: “It’s been a lot of fun – it’s not easy, but it’s definitely a rewarding experience.”
The 27-year-old accountant from St George’s added: “It’s all been about patrols, hand signals and attacking enemy forces and setting up harbour bases.”

He admitted: “I wish I was a bit fitter – I’m huffing and puffing a lot more than some of the younger guys, but it’s getting me fitter, that’s for sure.”

Private Otis Nelson, at 47 one of the older volunteers, said: “I’m learning a lot and learning new things. I get a lot of encouragement from the youngsters and I try to encourage them as well – they call me ‘uncle’.

The senior electrician from Warwick added: “Sleeping out in the rain is tough, but it’s not happened often. I prayed for good weather for this weekend and it seemed to have worked.”

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Regiment Captain Preston Gill, a former officer in the Canadian Army, said: “They came off recruit camp and this is very challenging. They have to learn how to be an infantry soldier and a commander – it’s more than other armies would expect from their soldiers.

“We have a good mix in the PJNCO, including Bermudians, non-Bermudians and four women, who are doing very well. We’ve got people from the professions and others who don’t have a job at the moment.

“But they’re all here for the same thing – looking to give back to Bermuda and get some military training and adventure. They’re becoming a team and learning life skills, time management, leadership and self-discipline.”

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Comments (7)

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  1. Family Man says:

    Its good to practice just in case we get invaded by … by … by … Russia or Osama Bin Laden or something.

    You never know … it COULD happen. And we might be able to hold them off for two or three minutes.

  2. Mazumbo says:

    Kinda funny but seriously it’s an embarrassment
    We are better at marching and band playing than combat

  3. Brother Bean says:

    You know… It’s really sad to see how negative people can really be about something positive. I am an ex Army Cadet and I actually made it to the rank of Sergeant. The amount of discipline that I received just from being a part of the whole Cadet Program words can’t describe. Our young people NEED to be involved in programs like this that do more than just have you in Camoes and face paint in the bush. Teach you about responsibility, accountability, respect, healthy pride, trust and so much more… I won’t go on and on like I am writing an advert for the program but, I would say to the negative people who have time to think of dry and very close minded jokes that aren’t funny… If you actually opened your mind you would see what I did with The Bermuda Cadet Corps…

    Have a Blessed Day All

  4. Diver guy says:

    I think what the junior leaders is doing is great, but they are not the only organization on the island there is also the sea cadets who are a branch off the navy and offer the same kind of training but more revolved around the ocean and boating. Another amazing organization.

    • Corporal Wellman says:

      The sea cadets don’t actually do that much training. For a military embodiment (I.e, army,navy etc) for a junior program we do the most military training. Yes the sea cadets do need their props but I think it’s time for the Junior Leaders (former Cadets) to shine. Rather than just the sea cadets.

      • boatlife says:

        It is very true that the junior leader do deserve to shine, but if i am correct the only reason the sea cadets can not as much training as you is because they don’t have the support from the regiment or government like you do.

  5. Chrystal says:

    Keep up the good work guys. The Junior Leader program is an excellent program for young people, they are a great bunch of kids!