Sub Lieutenant Miska Clarke is the newest addition to the Officer Corps of The Royal Bahamas Defence Force after successfully completing the Officer Candidate School in New London, Connecticut. To continue its effectiveness in meeting its mandate, the Royal Bahamas Defence Force has committed not only to expanding its overall strength but its cadre of professionally skilled and trained managers to lead the military entity.
The rigorous seventeen-week Coast Guard course that Sub Lieutenant Clarke underwent was sponsored by the International Military Education Training Program (IMET), and was conducted at the United States Coast Guard Academy, New London, Connecticut, from July 23rd through Nov 21st, 2017. The course is designed to challenge the very fiber of the deportment of each Officer Candidate. From the physical to the academic to the military aptitude of each Officer Candidate, everyone was held to a strict standard that was mandatory to be kept.
The Academic aspect of the course helped Sub Lieutenant Clarke appreciate a broad-spectrum perspective of the United States Coast Guard. It also exposed him to Maritime Law Enforcement, Military Etiquette, Unified Code of Military Justice, Effective Writing and Communication Skills. Along with the academics, the three main areas the course focused on were Leadership ability, humility and being a leader that looks out for his/her subordinates.
The Nautical Science aspect included a two-week underway experiential training cruise aboard the 295 – foot sailing vessel United States Coast Guard Cutter Eagle that consisted of Bridge Watch-keeping and Navigational Law (Rules of the Road). The Officer Candidates were required to apply their knowledge of Piloting, Maneuvering Boards, Ship Handling, Shipboard Communication, Celestial Navigation, Tides and Currents, Nautical Nomenclature and the various Compass Systems aboard the vessel. This training cruise sailed the waterways of Virginia and Baltimore. Whilst alongside the port in Alexandria, Virginia after a few days on the seas, there were tours conducted of the Barque Square Rigged Sailing vessel USCGC Eagle. Many dignitaries transited the ship and admired her beauty. There was also a two day Fighting and Damage Control training at The US Naval Base in New Port, Rhode Island, that each Officer Candidate participated in.
The Leadership and Management section assesses the officer’s Leadership Abilities, Managerial and Conceptual abilities. Evaluations are based on Personal Conduct, Military Aptitude, Situational Awareness and Leadership Positions. Sub Lieutenant Clarke was responsible for various administrative duties during his tenure at Officer Candidate School. Additionally, he served in numerous roles, including Officer of the Day, Junior Officer of the Day, Academic Section Leader and Squad Leader.
Sub Lieutenant Clarke is a graduate of C. R. Walker Secondary School class of 2001. In 2005 he enlisted in the Royal Bahamas Defence Force. He has served as a junior marine in several billets inclusive of Radio Operator, Assistant Armorer, Administration Assistant and Bosun Storeman aboard HMBS Nassau. Clarke also attended and successfully completed the Gunners Mate ‘A’ School in York Town, Virginia in 2010. He also successfully completed the Naval Small Craft Instruction and Technical Training School (NAVSCIATTS) course in Mississippi. Sub Lieutenant Clarke holds a Boat Captain’s ‘A’ License 500 tons.
RBDF Photo shows: Commodore Tellis Bethel welcoming Sub Lieutenant Miska Clarke after the young officer completed his overseas Training at the United States Coast Guard Academy, New London, Connecticut.
From left are: Lieutenant Commander Michael Hanna, Human and Resource Officer, RBDF, Sub Lieutenant Miska Clarke and Commodore Tellis Bethel.
(RBDF Photo by Marine Seaman Kyle Smith)