Rewards and The Regiment

The evening sessions have worked out to be a fair bit more relaxed then camp itself was with evenings not going nearly as late as I had feared prior to starting camp.  The first few have been kind of boring though tonight’s did involve a few jokes cracked which lightened things up and helped it move a bit quicker. 

Tonight’s lesson was on vehicle check points which are essentially little more then guarded road blocks for controlling and inspecting traffic.  As we get further into the evening sessions and away from camp we are learning more about our civil duties with the purpose being that the regiment’s primary purpose is to assist the police in times of emergency.  

There is some point to what we’re learning in terms of the evenings, as past evenings have taught us basic lessons such as the recognizing, characterizing and describing of people based upon the A to H means, being.

  • Age, with an estimate bracket of 5 years
  • Build in terms of the person’s body type and characteristics
  • Complexion and Clothing in terms of recognizing what they were wearing and their appearance
  • Distinguishing marks
  • Elevation or the height of the person in a bracket of 2 inches
  • Facial characteristics
  • Gait or how they carry themselves
  • Hair

Though boring at the speed at which the material is taught, being able to describe people relatively accurately is an interesting lesson to learn overall.  It has it’s applications for the work of checkpoints and guard duty and may also be a good trick to improving memory.  For anyone who has trouble remembering names and describing people, these lessons may help one notice more and possibly remember and be able to describe them better as a result, in both the short term and the long.

Other lessons have included scenarios of how to cordon off an area for a variety of scenarios such as guarding an area, the purposes of the regiment, and vehicle recognition.

One thing that I’ve been wondering is whether the Regiment is intentionally not supposed to be fun.  This is a question that comes up relatively often just because there are few incentives to want to make the most out of your time there.  There arn’t any reasons for doing what your told and having your kit all straight aside from the negative reinforcement of extras or time in the guard room.  There really doesn’t seem to be any positive reinforcement or rewards for not only doing what you’re supposed to but striving for the higher level the commanding officers are always looking for.  You could join the cadre, which meant more time and an unknown schedule, for at the time of joining the cadre you really knew little of what you were getting yourself into.  The arguement in support for some who joined was to get away from the people who don’t want to be there, though it was amusing to watch some of the biggest trouble makers join the cadre because you could tell they got a rise out of cracking jokes and making others get in trouble for them.

True rewards, enough to not only make the average conscript enjoy it enough to want to be there but also enough to encourage people to want to sign up, don’t seem to be there, aside from the reward you get if you challenge yourself.  I’ve heard that years ago they used to sponsor a sport referred to as paintball, where you have special guns that shoot water based paint pellets which can be used to simulate battle conditions.  I havn’t heard anything of it and thus far am wondering and doubting that you get the chance to do it.  It would be a great thing to have on the island as I had the opportunity to play it a couple times while I was abroad at school.  I’m disappointed that it seems to no longer happen.

It makes me wonder of the scenario of a field trip for a bunch of graduating high schoolers.  One put on by the regiment where you would get to go out to the old Annex and spend a day learning a bit about what the regiment does and get to play a few rounds of paintball with the explanation that you have to be or have been a member of the regiment to be able to play it.  Bermuda isn’t always the most exciting place to be so offering the ability to do something different could work to the Regiment’s benefit.  It would be one positive thing to offer to those who are turn up when they’re supposed to and could serve as a positive enticement to get more youth encouraged and interested in the regiment rather then simply dreading it and ultimately it doesn’t have to be just one positive thing. 

Could the regiment be expanded to include more positive incentives to encourage youth to want to be there?  Certainly.  We were told of an initative by a few guys last year to raise money for a gym that could be used for regiment members to work out because gyms can be so expensive here.  There could be others that offered positive incentives to want to participate in the regiment.  If our people are so supportive of the regiment and it’s usefulness, is there a reason why we aren’t doing more to provide proper incentives for our youth to want to be there rather then forcing us to be there?

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