The Royal Bahama Defence Force received a major boost in manpower on Friday past after 111 recruits successfully graduated from New Entry Training at the Coral Harbour Base.
With scores of families and loved ones cheering them on, the squad of 93 males and 18 females is the latest group of entrants to join the Defence Force, which recently celebrated 38 years as an official entity. New Entry 55/Woman Entry 24, commenced recruit training on 8th January 2018 and have completed 18 weeks of rigorous basic military training. The program started out with 120 recruits, the largest combined Entry for the Force.
The Honourable Marvin Dames, Minister of National Security, carried out an inspection of the parade, accompanied by the Commander Defence Force, Commodore Tellis Bethel. The Hon. Minister also gave his charge to the Defence Force’s newest members.
“May I admonish you, that as members of the Defence Force, the career you have chosen as members of a military organization is not an easy one. Great demands will be placed upon you as guardians of our national heritage”, said Minister Dames
“I urge you to remain committed to answering the higher call to service. I also encourage you to take advantage of every opportunity to learn, grow and to serve your country to the very best of your abilities”.
The recruits dazzled the large audience with an array of precision military drills, a physical fitness segment, and also an infantry exercise display. This is the first time in the history of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force in which the basic recruit training program instituted a 3-phase approach. This new approach consisted of the Militarization, Maritime and Infantry phases.
The recruit training programme also covered a diverse selection of training modules, inclusive of some twenty-one professional disciplines such as Navigation, Seamanship, Weapons Handling, Defence Act and Regulations, Military Martial Arts, Firefighting and Communications.
Several of the recruits received awards for their outstanding performances in the various phases of New Entry training. These awards included the Training Officer’s Award, Instructor’s Award, Infantry Award, Physical Fitness Award and Swim Award.
Walking away with the coveted Best Female Recruit Award was 25-year old Marine Recruit Christin Reckley. The 2009 graduate of the Doris Johnson High School also holds an Associates of Arts Degree in Creative Photography from Humber College, Toronto, Canada. Twenty-one-year old William Murphy, a 2015 graduate of C.V. Bethel High School was awarded with the Best Male Recruit.
Both recipients expressed their surprise at winning the award, but are determined to remain focused in their new career as guardians of a free and sovereign country.
The Royal Bahamas Defence Force remains committed to safeguarding the territorial boundaries of The Bahamas.