News Release: Warwick Camp, Bermuda – Former Royal Bermuda Regiment (RBR)Training Officer Ben Beasley took over command of the island’s military on Monday.

The new Lieutenant Colonel Beasley was sworn in at a small ceremony at Government House by Governor John Rankin, rather than the normal parade at the RBR’s Warwick Camp because of the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.
Lt Col Beasley, at 39, the youngest officer to hold the post, had a baptism of fire after he took over as Acting CO last October – only months before the COVID-19 crisis hit in March.
He told the handful of masked and socially distanced guests at the event: “As many of you know, this is not the traditional format when a new Commanding Officer is appointed in our Regiment, though these are not normal days.
“The Regiment’s role in these circumstances highlight why someone would want to be associated with our organisation – the camaraderie, selfless commitment and positive contribution to our home is what drives many of our men and women of our military to continue service.”
Col Beasley said that tradition was an important part of the RBR – but that its sights were fixed on the future and included a drive to reflect the community the Regiment served.
He added: “We must ensure that we prioritise the needs of our soldiers and understand the shifts in social dynamics.
“We are a meritocracy that is championed by all ranks and supported by a robust diversity and inclusion policy.”
But Col Beasley said: “With no serving female Warrant Officers or commissioned officers, I have made it explicit that this and other imbalances must change if we are to continue as a true reflection of Bermuda at its best.”
Col Beasley thanked wife Kirsten, his parents and the people who had trusted him with the responsibility of command.
Mr Rankin, the Commander-in-Chief of the RBR, added: “Maintaining the traditions of the Regiment while also adapting to change and ensuring excellence requires good leadership.
“And that is why as Commander-in-Chief I am very pleased to be promoting Major Beasley to his new role.”
He said that as Acting Commanding Officer over the Covid-19 outbreak, Major Beasley had “more than earned his spurs” and commended the role played by the RBR in keeping people safe and secure in what has been the longest embodiment of the Regiment since World War II.
Mr Rankin said: “The Regiment can rightly be proud of what is has achieved but, of course, it cannot rest on its laurels as we live in a time of change.
“The Regiment is now an all-volunteer organisation and continues to develop new roles, not least with the establishment of the Bermuda Coast Guard, who have been deployed very effectively on our waters in recent days.”
National Security Minister Wayne Caines said that Col Beasley “day in, day out, he has been unflappable” as the island mobilised to fight the Covid-19 threat and that he had “indeed earned his spurs”.
Mr Caines, a former RBR officer, added that the soldiers under Col Beasley’s command had praised him for his pleasant manner, hard work and fairness.
He said: “I thought these were the most excellent attributes for the leader of our battalion.
“I look forward to seeing the Regiment going from strong to stronger under the leadership of Lieutenant Colonel Beasley.”
Col Beasley, a former regular officer in the Royal Air Force, graduated from the service’s college at RAF Cranwell in 2006 and worked in training and education focused on the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and in British air policing operations.
He also helped establish the stand-up of RAF flying and ground based squadrons for operations during conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq before he returned home.
He earlier served as a reserve police officer and has worked to promote the welfare of young people with the Outward Bound Bermuda programme and Beyond Bermuda Rugby.
Well known for leading charitable endeavours, Col Beasley was awarded the British Empire Medal in 2018 for his services to the community.
He said: “With the support of senior commanders we will establish a strategy that ensures the Regiment’s utility through adaptability and flexibility.
“That will be underpinned by a firm grounding in our core values, ethos, and standards, enabling cohesion and an esprit de corps that is unique and cherished.”
Col Beasley added: “Continuing our ‘home first’ policy, we will ensure preparations for natural and manmade disasters, invest in the Coast Guard and ensure the full capacity of our soldiers is used to protect Bermuda’s interests.
“Regionally, we continue to support other island nations, especially the Overseas Territories, where inter-operability will enhance our joint capability and act as a force multiplier.”
He added: “At every stage we will seek opportunities to engender openness and accountability in our processes.”