A total of two women and 16 men signed up for Royal Bermuda Regiment (RBR) recruit camp this year.

The two-week training session got underway on Sunday.

Platoon Commander 2nd Lieutenant Daniel Wideman, says it’s all part of the process of becoming a soldier.

“We’re aiming to teach them how to perform drills well – drills in marching, drills with their weapon handling – and deliver introductions to shooting and marksmanship principles,” he said.

“We’ll cover fieldcraft, which includes how to set up a harbour and how to take care of yourself in the field.

“It’s a pretty intense two weeks where you don’t get a lot of sleep or free time and much is asked of the recruits. The learning curve is steep but the whole thing introduces them to what military life is all about.

“I’m hoping to grow a group of people who will want to invest in the military,” he added.

“It’s not just getting them to do two weeks, it’s getting them excited to be part of the Regiment, part of something that’s bigger than themselves.

“Of course, it’s a way to give back to the community.”

Inspired by his father, grandfather and great-grandfather, who all served in the military before him, Private Malachi Hayward said: “It was the way they carried themselves, outside and in, that influenced me to join and follow in their footsteps.

“I thought it would be a good place for me to learn and grow as a person,” the 18-year-old, from Devonshire, added.

As the new soldiers make Warwick Camp their temporary home, Pte Hayward was surprised by “how fun it is with the people in my barrack room, how fun it is to get along with all of them, they’re cool people”.

Private Daylen Francis, from Warwick, says he signed up to build confidence and increase his fitness.

“It’s better than I expected,” the 18-year-old said. “I expected ration packs and things like that but we’re getting full meals.

“It’s very enjoyable. I’ve been able to meet new people and I’m learning a lot,” he added.

Private Eli Furbert, 18, from Devonshire, already had a taste of military life thanks to his participation in the RBR’s Junior Leaders programme.

“I’ve done it all before. I’m not perfect at it but I’m used to doing drill, specifically, and I’m sure the weapons training will come back to me,” he said.

Pte Furbert, a sailing instructor with Endeavour, enjoyed his camp on Paget Island as a Junior Leader and looks forward to fieldcraft exercises in the days ahead.