By Petty Officer Monique Deveaux
Reservist Stephanie Darville is a croupier at the world-famous Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island, Nassau, Bahamas. As a dealer, this marine brings a feeling of warmth and relaxation to her work environment. In the game of life, she knows how to empathize with her customers when things don’t always go their way. A champion employee, Stephanie has learned over the years to master customer service.
After completing high school in 1984, Darville wanted to enlist in the Royal Bahamas Defence Force. She always had a love for boats and the sea, but when the Defence Force received the first group of women into new entry training in 1985, she took a different turn. She enrolled at ITT Technical Institute where she received an Associate of Arts Degree in Business Technology and Administration. Being a young professional, she worked in several firms such as Commonwealth Bank, Bahamas Telecommunication Corporation, and Harbourside Timeshare. She later transitioned to the Atlantis Resort, where she’s presently employed as a croupier for the past seventeen years.
Darville says that: “My love for physical activity attracted me to a career as a Marine, when a childhood friend invited me to participate in a group fitness workout session held at the Coral Harbour Base. It was at these sessions that I learned about the application for the newly formed unit called the RBDF Reserve. Nine years later, I am proud to be a part of the first historic group of reserves to be enlisted.”
Serving as a reservist in the Royal Bahamas Defence Force comes with benefits, one of them being able to travel to various islands. As part of the Base Maintenance Team (BMT) renamed Civil Engineering Construction Team, Darville had the opportunity to be a member of the hurricane avoidance exercise in 2017. Most importantly, she gained an insight of the inner workings of the organization, which encouraged her to be an advocate for the organization.
“When the critics say that the Defence Force doesn’t do anything but sit down all day, I am in the position to inform the public of the significant role the military plays in society. The Defence Force not only protects the territorial waters of the country, but also works in conjunction with other agencies to assist in other duties.”
Darville sees another benefit as working with a cadre of qualified professional engineers, who are always willing to share their expertise. As a result of this, she is well versed in the basic etiquettes of home construction and building maintenance, and she has also gained insight into the electrical and plumbing fields. According to her, the organization is very accommodating with her work schedule, because of her duties as a croupier. She cites the importance of being honest with her superiors, because she knows that just as in the game of life, not all things will be roses.
To win a game, one must participate, become familiar with its rules, and know one’s strengths and weaknesses. Such was the case when she attempted the Leading Seaman Qualifying Course which was conducted over a three-weeks period, with the final week consisting of a written, practical, and fitness test.
“The material was coming fast and hard! Each day I would get two (2) to three (3) hours of sleep having leave the casino at 3:00 am,” said Darville. “On Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays I had to attend remedial fitness to pass the physical aspect of the course. I would also continue to work on my fitness criteria by swimming on my lunch breaks. To win in this life one must be willing to stretch, and I was willing to put in the extra work.”
In her final words of encouragement: “I find working as a reservist a rewarding career, and is something I truly enjoy. I always like being a professional, and customer service is my gift. When serving my colleagues in the Defence Force I think of them as tourists. I always try to give my best service to them. I count it an honor to serve with my fellow marines in the Civil Engineering Section of the Defence Force.”