By: Marine Seaman Michael E. Turner II
This past weekend, a sizeable contingent of 137 Royal Bahamas Defence Force Rangers and Ranger Recruits reluctantly gave up their taken-for-granted-daily comforts to spend a weekend enduring the wild outdoors. However, as ancient adage states, ‘Time camping is never spent, it’s invested’.
The unfamiliar setting and less than favorable conditions were ideal criteria for building character, developing leadership, teamwork skills and learning the art of survival for the young hopefuls.
During their weekend adventure, the RBDF Rangers and Ranger Recruits, representing some 11 schools in the New Providence District, were evaluated on their abilities to tie various knots, bends and hitches. Further they were drilled on the Defence Force Ranger’s pledge, motto and core values.
Their physical stamina was tested and they overcame doubts and frustrations associated with their 13-mile hike, which included a tedious swamp and water crossing and a man overboard exercise. Each participant began to truly understand the three principles of the Ranger motto – Discipline, Dedication and Determination, as they sought to successfully complete each phase of the hike.
The Defence Force’s Rangers Department leads the forefront in the Defence Force’s “Operation Regeneration” which has seen the Program restructured to ensure participants develop their leadership and character, in addition to becoming qualified to join the Defence Force, the commercial maritime sector, any other private or government agency or to further their academic or vocational studies.
Keeping in mind their holistic mission, the Defence Force Instructors took advantage of this opportune time to counsel, guide and mentor the youth in their care on basic life principles and everyday challenges as a young Bahamian citizen seeking to be more productive in their environments, schools and communities.
The Royal Bahamas Defence Force is committed to guarding our heritage by assisting in the positive development of the futures generation of leaders.