Royal Bahamas Defence Force Change Of Command Ceremony

Your Excellency; Ladies and Gentlemen:

I am pleased to participate in the Change of Command Ceremony for the Royal Bahamas Defence Force leadership with the installation of the eight commander of the Force.

Let me begin by thanking the fine men and women of the RBDF for their extraordinary service as we face the COVID-19 virus as a nation.

Just as these Bahamian sons and daughters played a vital role in securing the safety and well-being of our citizens and residents in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian, I thank them for their courage and dedication during this pandemic.

Your Excellency; Ladies and Gentlemen:

On behalf of the Government and people of The Bahamas, and on my own behalf, I thank outgoing Commodore Tellis Bethel for his dedicated leadership and devoted service in helping to maintain the peace and security of our nation during his long career in the Royal Bahamas Defence Force.

I salute in particular, your commitment and dedication to duty during your five-year tenure as Deputy Commander, as well as the  five years served as the Acting Commander and as Commander.

Commodore Bethel has been a consummate naval officer. He has demonstrated great patriotism and love of country.

A student of history, he is also an author, who has celebrated and guarded our national heritage as both a citizen and


His love of the Defence Force, to which he has given much of his life, is renowned.

Whether his travels have taken him in his professional and public life, he always demonstrated great pride in his Bahamas and what he has always felt is one of the best little navies in the world.

He leaves behind a legacy of integrity, dedicated  service,  and  commitment  to the success  of  the  Defence  Force  and  to  the

Commonwealth of The Bahamas for which we are grateful.

I also thanks Mrs. Bethel and his family for the devoted support they have given him during his outstanding career.

Your Excellency; Ladies and Gentlemen:

Today, we witness the swearing-in of a new Commander in the person of Captain Dr. Raymond E. King.

Captain King previously served as the Defence Force’s Deputy Commander and Acting Commander, and as Port Controller of The Bahamas.

He has held a number of command and executive appointments within the Royal Bahamas Defence Force.

This experience affords him a wealth of administrative, executive and operational experience.

Commander-Designate King attended Centerville and Mable Walker Primary Schools, H. O. Nash Junior High, and C. C. Sweeting Senior High School, where he graduated with Honours in 1984.

He has an Associate of Science Degree in Accounting Management, a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Administration and Accounting, a Master of Business Administration Degree and a Doctorate of Education  Degree in Leadership and Management.

Captain King has served on various boards and committees including: the National Disaster Committee, the National Anti-Drug Secretariat Committee, the National Boundary Delimitation Committee, the National Negotiation Committee, the Public-Private-Partnership of Nassau Cruise Port, as Chairman of the Defence

Commission  Board,  as  Chairman  of  the Docks Committee.

He has also served as the Admiralty Marshall for the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.

Commander-Designate King has also participated in many international courses where he has earned fellowships with several distinguished naval institutions including: the Britannia Royal Naval College, the Inter-American Defence College, the United States Defence Institute of International Legal Studies, the Center for Hemispheric Defence Studies, the Naval Supply Corps School, the United States Naval War College, and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore.


Your service as Commander comes at a critical time for our nation, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

You have assumed command as the nation is still in the reconstruction phase in Abaco, the Abaco Cays, and Grand Bahama, after one of the most powerful hurricanes ever in our region.

The country will rely on your experience, commitment, and leadership during these extraordinary times.

You must continue to set the standard of excellence in leadership, integrity and innovation  in  guarding  our  heritage  and protecting our borders.

Once again, I thank Commodore Bethel for his decade of service and I welcome Commodore Raymond King as the new Commander of Her Majesty’s Royal Bahamas Defence Force.

Your Excellency; Ladies and Gentlemen:

May God continue to bless our homeland and to grant us the courage, the fortitude and the wisdom to ever guard our heritage.

Thank you and good afternoon.