Regiment Holding Leadership Course

June 13, 2023

A promotions course continued to test the mettle of Royal Bermuda Regiment soldiers over the weekend as each of the group aims to earn their first stripe.

A spokesperson said, “The Potential Junior Non-Commissioned Officers cadre runs for about six months and allows a Private to move up in rank to Lance Corporal.

“It is a two-phase leadership course for soldiers who typically have been with the Regiment for at least a year and have shown the traits needed for leadership.

“Instructors gave an insight to the programme as it is hoped people who join the RBR this month – ahead of the next Recruit Camp for foundational training, to run from July 9 to 21 – will consider the PJNCO cadre in the future.”

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Lieutenant Samuel Hewitt, the current cadre’s platoon commander, explained: “The first phase is to assess their leadership qualities.

“We put the soldiers through very gruelling tests, building up their man-management skills under pressure.

“We look at orders extraction – taking information they’ve been given and passing it down to others – and their ability to think and make decisions under pressure, all the while sticking to the idea that they’re being put in positions to lead other people.

“There are times when it’s the hardest thing they will probably do in their lives because it’s not only mentally draining, it’s physically draining as well.

“There is a portion where we look at how they’re able to manage assets within their section, which is usually six to eight people, so that’s also something that’s real-world experience – you’re managing not only persons but potentially also equipment.

“As well as the physical elements in the field, there is a fair amount of classroom work.

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“Not everybody’s going to be really great at it because some of this is very new to them and the learning curve can be very steep but it’s about perseverance and at least putting their best foot forward.”

The spokesperson said, “In the second phase of the course – methods of instruction – soldiers learn how to become subject matter experts so they can deliver rifle lessons, although the techniques can be applied to any lessons and at all levels.

“Training over the weekend included fieldcraft exercises such as section attacks.”

Lt Hewitt, a 30-year-old of Sandys who is a Clarien Bank service centre assistant manager, said: “If you can imagine things going off, loud bangs all over the place, people shouting, trying to get directions to go to a specific area and at the same time thinking about safety and equipment – dealing with all of that within a couple of minutes and making split-second decisions, it’s not the easiest of tasks.”

Private Kenya Trott, of St George’s, is one of the Regiment’s medics and signed up for this year’s cadre to challenge herself.

The 45-year-old said: “I decided to go for it because in my section we don’t have too many Corporals so it was definitely needed. That was one of the reasons, the other was to encourage myself as far as building my self-esteem and general development.

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“I wanted to see if I could actually do it and make it through. For me, if I do pass, that’s awesome; if I don’t pass, that’s still good because at least I tried.”

Corporal McLaren Smith, a senior instructor on the course, highlighted how successfully completing the programme boosts opportunities for soldiers.

The 33-year-old, who owns Westover Dairy Farm in Sandys, said: “Taking that next leap is vitally important, especially if you want to make a career out of it – part-time or full-time.

“It’s not just all tactics, it’s leadership and experiences you can carry on after you leave the military.

“Passing a leadership course and being in a leadership role definitely sets you up for other life skills.”

The spokesperson said, “Residents are invited to join the Royal Bermuda Regiment by the end of June to take part in the next Recruit Camp which runs from July 9-21. For more information or to sign up, visit or call 238-1045.”

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