The Royal Bermuda Regiment welcomed its new Commanding Officer after the “sword of command” was officially exchanged.

At a formal ceremony under blue skies at Warwick Camp, Lieutenant Colonel Duncan Simons took over the role from Lt Col Ben Beasley. Her Excellency the Governor, Rena Lalgie, acknowledged Lt Col Beasley, whose command, she said “commenced under unprecedented circumstances and at a challenging time” for the regiment.

She said: “During your tenure, you oversaw operations relating to the Covid-19 pandemic – the longest period of embodiment for the RBR since World War 2.

“You also led the organisation through the implementation of a full time Royal Bermuda Regiment Coast Guard, with the transition of responsibility for maritime security from the BPS to the RBR. And the Officers’ Mess now
has two commissioned females for the first time in three decades. “In addition you have worked to enhance the RBR’s relationship with other
British Overseas Territories units.”

The Governor, who is the regiment’s Commander-in-Chief, highlighted the
that the RBR required firm and just leadership and said the motto used by the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, “Serve to Lead”, summarised that ethos. She also listed the regiment’s core values: courage, discipline, respect for others, integrity, loyalty and selfless commitment.

Her Excellency told the incoming CO: “I am confident that you will uphold this ethos and ensure these values are employed and fostered throughout all ranks.” Lt Col Beasley said he was proud of what was achieved by the regiment
over his four years in post.

He told troops, visitors and guests: “It is essential to emphasise that the successes we celebrate today are far from mine. I often say that aside from perhaps some tedious operational planning, I am not the best at anything within the regiment.
“I am not the best public order instructor or chef, mechanic, musician. I highlight these because the true excellence is within the men and women before you. Their skills, dedication and commitment bring our policies and
doctrines to life.

“One of the lessons I have learned is that leadership is not about just strategic positions, it’s profoundly about inspiring and motivating people to excel in their roles, often at times when they cannot see their own impressive potential.”
Guards from all of the battalion’s companies were on parade for the ceremony, which included music from the regiment’s Band and Corps of Drums.

Lt Col Simons, who becomes the 18th Commanding Officer, said that the
biggest challenge faced by the RBR was attracting “the people with the skills and aptitude we need to sustain our capability”. Lt Col Simons said he planned to focus on two areas of effort: “The first thing is to engage deeply across our community, particularly with young people, in order to foster a culture of public service and a feeling of collective responsibility for our community.”

He added that the second aspect was to offer soldiers and the community the best possible product “with the resources allocated”.
Lt Col Simons said: “We must accelerate the shift to becoming a learning organisation, where we teach, exercise and apply lessons learned. This is what a modern military culture looks like.
“It is critical that the training hours budgeted for, particularly in the case of our part-time staff, increase in order to allow us to modernise and progress year on year.

“Only by moving forward will we attract new soldiers and sustain the interest of those serving.” Describing the opportunity to command the regiment as a privilege, Lt Col
Simons said: “Since I walked through these gates on January 9, 1999, the Royal Bermuda Regiment has been part of who I am.

“It has been a place to reset after a day at school or at work, a place to find success and build friendships in parallel to life outside this camp.
“For me and for everyone here, it is a place of belonging.”

Any content which is considered unsuitable, unlawful, or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites, or repeats previous comments will be removed.

User comments posted on this website are solely the views and opinions of the comment writer and are not a representation of or reflection of the opinions of TNN or its staff.

TNN reserves the right to remove, edit or censor any comments.

TNN accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for the comments made by users.