The Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) is set to begin promotion exercises today, according to RBDF Commodore Raymond King.
King said the numbers may seem “a bit large” when revealed, but that it is because there has not been a promotion exercise for three years.
“Those promotions are forthcoming and it will start in earnest tomorrow morning,” King said shortly after he was sworn in as commodore of the RBDF during a ceremony at the force’s Coral Harbour base.
“I wish not to preempt and give the numbers at this time.”
King said RBDF service members are more than deserving and earned the right to be advanced and promoted.
“I don’t want to be too preemptive but they will get something that is worthy,” he said.
“What you’ll find is that you may look at the numbers at a snapshot and say, ‘Boy, that number looks a bit large.’
“But when you consider the delay, if you take three years between a promotion exercise and you have a promotion exercise of, say, 600 persons, it only works out to an average of about 200 persons per year.”
However, King said he has proposed that promotions be carried out twice per year instead of once every three years.
“When I first joined in 1987, we used to have promotions in April and November,” he said.
“They may have been smaller, but they provide considerable incentives to persons, and then persons were able to preserve their seniority as opposed to waiting several years and everyone getting the same seniority, and just collapsing it.
“Also the honorable minister spoke of moving away from these anticipated promotions before Independence Day and the ones before elections.
“As persons retire and billeted appointments become available, he’s receptive to recommendations being made year-round to fill critical billets as opposed to waiting on these anticipated large-scale promotions.
“So we’re seeking to move away from these, promote persons as they’re needed to fill critical billets and sending at a minimum of two promotions – smaller ones, more manageable, more economical I mean.”
King added, “And that is why I’ve proposed to the government, and the government is receptive, to us going back to a biannual promotion exercise.”