Two female soldiers from the Royal Bermuda Regiment [RBR] have flown to the UK on a specialist command course – the first to do so.
“And it is hoped to expand the pilot programme in the future to give the RBR’s women soldiers the same overseas training opportunities as male soldiers,” the RBR said.
“Corporal Zelipha Gitari and Lance Corporal Leeann Tucker left last week for a specialist training course for junior and senior Non-Commissioned Officers with the Royal Horse Artillery at Tidworth in Wiltshire.
“RBR Training Warrant Officer 2 Peter Ramm explained that male soldiers can undertake the similar British Army infantry course, run in Brecon in Wales, but, as women do not serve in the infantry in the British Army, the course is not open to females.”
Lance Corporal Leeann Tucker and Corporal Zelipha Gitari get set to fly out
Cpl Gitari, a six-year veteran of the RBR, said: “I’m very excited about it. It’s a great opportunity, not just for us, but for the Regiment as a whole. We are the guinea pigs. It’s something new for the Regiment and, if it works for us, it’s going to be great.”
The 31-year-old mother-of-two, originally from Kenya, added the course would expand on the junior NCO cadre run at Warwick Camp and offer promotion prospects to successful candidates.
She said: “The Regiment believes in us and that we can do it. It’s a matter of getting on with it and I’m up for challenge. It’s a win for the Regiment as a whole if we have a new course on board.”
And she thanked the Training Wing and Sgt Maj. Ramm for their efforts in finding a course in the UK they could attend.
The three-week course includes classroom lessons and time in the field on a major battle exercise.
L/Cpl Tucker, 24, said: “It’s great for me to learn something new and how the British Army operates. I’m looking forward to the experience.”
The nursing assistant from St George’s, who passed out of Recruit Camp as top recruit last year, added: “I wouldn’t get this kind of experience outside the Regiment. I’m very grateful for the opportunity.”
And she said: “Being in the Regiment has been great. I’ve had to be around more people and different personalities. It’s about being able to cope.
“That helps me outside the Regiment because if I can deal with all of that, I can deal with anything.”