CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C --
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. – For Marines, rappelling is a part of recruit training; for many soldiers of the visiting Royal Bermuda Regiment, rappelling was a first time experience May 7 and 8 at Stone Bay on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune.
Rappelling was one of the last training events the regiment conducted as part of the Junior Noncommissioned Officer Cadre, a two week promotions course which included scenario-based exercises, rappelling, section attacks and battle drills.
“We were tasked with training the Royal Bermuda Regiment to rappel,” said Capt. Mark Deal, ropes and recovery officer-in-charge for Expeditionary Operations Training Group, II Marine Expeditionary Force. “For most of them, it’s their first time ever doing it. (We’re) teaching them the basics of rappelling, how to set up on rappel, how to belay and run down the tower.”
For the soldiers who were rappelling for the first time, they had to overcome any anxiety of heights.
“It’s more or less a confidence booster for the troops,” said Cpl. Dante Durham, a soldier with the Royal Bermuda Regiment. “I’m a little afraid of heights, but being a corporal as well as a section commander, I need to be able to lead my troops in order to boost their moral or give them confidence. To let them know no matter how scared you are, it’s not that hard.”
In spite of the heights, the Royal Bermuda Regiment appeared motivated throughout the training.
“They all had a great attitude coming into it,” said Deal.
Although Marines were providing instruction to the Royal Bermuda Regiment soldiers, learning went both ways.
“It’s good for us to keep open minds because some of these guys have rappelled and maybe they do things differently,” said Deal. “It’s kind of (like) cross training. Just because we’re instructing them today, doesn’t mean we can’t learn from them. It’s always good to keep an open mind, stay humble and learn from other people when you can.”