Enlisted ranks and officers, plus retired members of the Barbados Regiment were yesterday joined by family members and other supporters, along with government officials led by acting Prime Minister Richard Sealy, in celebrating its birth anniversary.
At 70 years old, the Regiment stands as the oldest section of the Barbados Defence Force (BDF), and members observed this milestone with a Colours to Church service at St Matthias Anglican Church.
They followed up on the religious proceedings by performing a marchpast of the troops on St Matthias Road and saluting Sealy in a procedure characterized by brisk sharp movements
Considered the land forces of the BDF, the Regiment has a history reaching back to 1902 when it was known as the Barbados Volunteer Force.
From that time, it stood alone in the role as defender of the island from external threats and as preserver of peace and security inland.
It became more formalized with a name change to the Barbados Regiment in 1948, then receiving its first ‘stand of colours’ – or own flag – in 1953. Both events occurred in the month of February, making yesterday’s church service also the 65th anniversary of the Regiment having its own flag bearing a unique colour combination.
The Barbados Regiment comprises active and reserve members, and they became part of the Barbados Defence Force upon that national military organization’s formation in 1979.
“Seventy years is a relatively short time for any military organization; however, throughout its colourful history, although not being involved in any major conflict, the Barbados Regiment can boast of the countless proud men and women who have passed through its ranks and have made an outstanding contribution to the development of the Regiment and Barbados on a whole,” remarked Acting Commanding Officer Major Wendy Yearwood.
As she thanked those who served and are now retired, she spoke of how her troops will focus on the journey ahead.
“As members of the Barbados Regiment, we cannot rest on our laurels, but with zeal and vigour press towards the future and the many tasks that lie ahead,” Major Yearwood said, adding a message to the young enlisted ranks: “You are the future of this organization and nation. If we are to survive, it is to you that we must turn.”