A journey that began on 12 January 1987 for Commodore Raymond King when he enlisted in the Royal Bahamas Defence Force as a Marine Recruit, continued on Thursday when he was officially designated the highest office within the organization, which took effect 15 April, 2020.
At the Change of Command Ceremony at the Defence Force Base, Commodore King received his Instrument of Apparatus from the Governor General, His Excellency The Most Honorable Cornelieus Smith. He succeeds Commodore Tellis Bethel, and now becomes the eighth person to attain the rank of Commodore and being appointed the Commander Defence Force.
Delivering the keynote address was Prime Minister, the Most Honourable Hubert A. Minnis, who thanked outgoing Commodore Bethel “for his dedicated leadership and devoted service in helping to maintain the peace and security of our nation during his long career in the Royal Bahamas Defence Force”.
The Prime Minister also congratulated the incoming Commodore, and reminded Commodore King that “The country will rely on your experience commitment, and leadership during these extraordinary times”. He also said that “You must continue to set the standard of excellence in leadership, integrity and innovation in guarding our heritage and protecting our borders”.
As Commodore King reflected on his remarkable journey from his early childhood to his naval career, he thanked the government for allowing him the opportunity to lead the Officers and Marines. He also thanked the many individuals for the positive influences in his life, and encouraged the men and women of the force for their continued outstanding performances in the execution of their duties.
During this ceremony, Commodore Tellis Bethel used the opportunity to bid farewell to the men and women who served under his command for the past three years, and to the government leaders for allowing him to serve.