It was an historic day on the island of Long Island, as 54 students were inducted into the Royal Bahamas Defence Force’s (RBDF) Rangers Program, following a Passing out Parade ceremony.
The students represented the 2 high schools on the island, namely; the N. G. M. Major High in Deadmans’s Cay and the North Long Island High School in Simms. This latest addition in Long Island brings the total to 23 schools in New Providence and 22 schools in the Family Islands. The Rangers programme, which has been in existence since 1995 in the capital, has since expanded to include 6 Family Islands.
Numerous relatives and friends assembled at the Community Center in Clarence Town to witness the historic induction of the young students. In attendance were Mrs. Deidre Fox, Executive Officer for the Island Administrator; Commander Defence Force, Commodore Tellis Bethel; and Rangers Director, Lieutenant Delvonne Duncombe and other local government officials.
Following an inspection of the young Rangers, Commodore Bethel brought the keynote remarks. He highlighted the numerous activities and achievements of the Rangers program, and commended them for their perseverance and efforts to succeed.
“Since July 2017, the Defence Force through the Rangers Program was granted authority by the Governor General’s Youth Award program, to award bronze and gold medals to our Ranger participants”, said Commodore Bethel. “I am pleased to note that this program is customized to prepare and qualify successful graduates for entry into the Defence Force, with training set to commence in September of this year”.
“Additionally, this program provides fundamental training in business by partnering with the Junior Achievement Program, as well as environmental awareness training with the support of the Bahamas National Trust”.
Several students were the recipients of special certificates and awards. The overall Minister of National Security Award, went to A’aliyah Knowles of North Long Island High School; the Commander Defence Force Awards for students attaining a grade point average of 3.5 and above were awarded to Matthew Darville and Mason Baker of N.G.M Major High School. Other awards included the Rangers Director Award, which went to Orion Knowles, N.G.M Major High School and the Academic Improvement Award, went to Candice Pratt, North Long Island High School and Denishka Hunt, N.G.M Major High School.