New RSM for The Regiment

New RSM for The Regiment


New RSM for The Regiment

On the parade ground at a very wet Wellington Barracks, WO1 ‘JP’ Payas handed over as the RSM of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment to WO1 Alex Stone.

In an address to all the troops, the Commanding Officer, Lt Col Colin Risso MC, said that it was appropriate that the outgoing RSM was handing over on Regimental Day because WO1 Payas had achieved so much for the Regimental family. The CO also pointed out that it was equally appropriate that the handover should be during Public Duties in London because, ‘because it is he who got us where we are today.’

In his reply, the outgoing RSM thanked the Public Duties troops, members of the band and the Quartermaster’s soldiers for all their support in the run-up to London.

‘But the highlight of my career was the day that I was promoted to RSM – it had been my aim throughout my career. These Public Duties in London will also stand out as a highlight for me but I’ve enjoyed my entire time in the Regiment – in fact, my whole career has been just one big highlight.’

Having been handed the RSM’s pace-stick, WO1 Stone said, ‘I feel this to be a huge honour. At the moment I am overwhelmed to be taking over on Regimental Day and at the Royal palace. I am also following in the family’s military tradition. My grandfather was in the Army and then my father was a Battery Sergeant Major in this Regiment so I’ve now done one better than him! But he is thrilled for me.’

Over the last three weeks of Public Duties, the two Warrant Officers have been accommodated at Woolwich Barracks and, ironically, it was at Woolwich over twenty years ago that they both began their military careers.

WO1 Payas arrived at Woolwich as a raw recruit in August 1990. It was then an Artillery training unit and he remembers that ‘there were big Artillery guns all over the place.’ He also remembers that, coming from Gibraltar, the barracks seemed huge: he lived in G Block which is still there but it has changed a lot since his day. ‘In those days there were twenty recruits to a room whereas today’s recruits have individual accommodation.’ It was also at Woolwich where he ‘had my first taste of a full, English breakfast every day and where I was marched around at “double-quick time.”’

WO1 Alex Stone arrived at Woolwich in the following intake, which formed up in January 1991. But he had lots of Gibraltarians for company: ‘Sgt Major Steve Kelly, Sgt Major Carl Moody, CSgt John Cartwright, Sgt Bonfante, Cpl Tyrone Davies and several others, we were all in the same intake. The instructors called us, “the Joses”.’

‘It was January,’ remembers WO1 Stone. ‘And we had to be out of the parade square at 6am to scrape the snow off the ground so that our drill could start promptly at 8am.’

As the Regiment’s new RSM, WO1 Stone certainly won’t be scraping any more snow off any parade grounds!

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New RSM for The Regiment


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