Women are invited to hear how the Royal Bermuda Regiment offers opportunities for growth and empowerment at an open forum this week.
Soldiers and officers plan to dispel misconceptions and answer any questions about military life.
The Women In Service talk will be held in the chairman’s suite at Chubb Bermuda on Wednesday, February 1, from 5.30pm.
Organiser Lance Corporal Zjah-Quana Bean hopes the discussion – for women who are curious about the RBR and would like more information about the dynamics at Warwick Camp – will encourage others to sign up.
“I feel like there could be more female representation within the Regiment,” she said.
LCpl Bean, 30, added: “A lot of females think that because they’re female they can’t do what males up at Camp do, which is not true because everyone can do everything up there, there is equal opportunity.”
The one-hour event will include presentations from five women at various ranks to provide guests with a greater understanding of the Regiment.
LCpl Bean, a clerk at the RBR’s headquarters, said she had no expectations about who might attend.
“I’m more than happy to create a space for females to come and ask their questions without feeling intimidated,” she added.
Among the speakers is Colour Sergeant Patricia Woolridge, commander of the RBR’s medical unit, who has served for 12 years and has instructed recruits as she moved through the ranks herself.
She said: “My speaking points are going to be around the growth that comes from being put in those positions of commanding and leading, which is often challenging for females because, a lot of times, females don’t get the same respect that men get.”
CSgt Woolridge, a senior business analyst at the Bermuda Monetary Authority in civilian life, continued: “For people that are not as confident and would like that different experience of being able to see if they can lead or if they can influence, the Regiment is a good place for that.
“You don’t have to be a confident person to become a leader, they teach you to be a leader.”
She added: “I think that’s one of the strong things about the Regiment – if you take the right advantage of the opportunities, you can see a lot of personal growth.”
Lieutenant Corrie Cross, a 23-year-old junior claims analyst at RenaissanceRe, will speak at the event about her advancement to becoming a commissioned officer as well as other training and travel opportunities offered by the RBR.
She highlighted different roles in the Regiment such as clerical, medical and kitchen staff.
“It’s not just getting dirty, sleeping in the bushes and shooting rifles,” Lt Cross added. “There are a lot of other elements and a lot of other skill sets that the Regiment requires.”
For her, the soldiering aspects are a source of enjoyment.
Lt Cross said: “I would say it’s a very empowering activity – knowing that you can fend for yourself to a certain extent; you understand how to put up a bivvy; you understand how to cook your food in the field; you know how to understand tactics.
“That’s information that I think we have socially assumed is exclusive to men but I think women should be more empowered to understand those skill sets and feel like it’s accessible to them.”
For more information, e-mail LCpl Bean at email@example.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn about the Royal Bermuda Regiment, visit bermudaregiment.bm.
* To sign up to join the Regiment, visit www.bermudaregiment.bm or call 238-1045.
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