Four JDF senior officers promoted

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For the first time in its history the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) has three officers at the rank of Brigadier, while Chief of Defence Staff Rocky Meade and Captain (Naval) Antonette Wemyss-Gorman created history in their own right on being promoted to Lieutenant General and Commodore, respectively.

The promotions, made by the Defence Board, were announced last evening by the JDF and take effect February 15, 2019.

Meade is the first member of the JDF to be appointed to the rank of Lieutenant General, while Wemyss-Gorman is the first woman in the organisation to hold the rank of Commodore which, the Jamaica Observer was advised last night, is the Naval equivalent of Brigadier.

The other two brigadier promotions announced yesterday are those of colonels Radgh Mason and Roderick Williams.

Mason joined the JDF in 1989. A past student of Meadowbrook High School, he completed his basic infantry officers training at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, UK, before taking up a post as Platoon Commander, Charlie Company, the First Battalion, the Jamaica Regiment (1JR) in 1991.

Mason holds the post of Brigade Commander of the Jamaica Regiment, with oversight responsibility for the JDF’s Regular Infantry Battalions. He has also served in the role of Acting Colonel General Staff, with responsibility for force policy on operations, training, intelligence, communications, information systems and civil military relations.

Earlier in his career, Mason served as Training Officer at the Military Training Depot in Newcastle, Staff Officer for Finance, Force Paymaster, Company Commander and later Second-in-Command of the First Battalion the Jamaica Regiment (1JR), among other appointments.

He holds a BSc in management studies and accounting and an MSc in computer based management information systems from The University of the West Indies (UWI), as well as an MMAS degree from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He is an international fellow at the United States War College, graduating in 2017.

Williams is a 28-year veteran of the JDF currently serving as the Force Executive Officer. In this capacity, Williams is responsible for coordinating the staff branches with particular focus on strategic and long-term planning and force-related policies.

In his prior appointment, Williams served as Colonel Adjutant Quartermaster at Headquarters, JDF, with overall responsibility for the force’s financial, personnel, logistics and administrative matters. He has also served as Commanding Officer of the JDF Air Wing, as well an Infantry Platoon Commander, Adjutant of the Second Battalion the Jamaica Regiment (2JR) and directing staff at the Caribbean Junior Command and Staff Course.

Williams has also held the position of Second-in-Command of both Regular Infantry Battalions (1JR and 2JR) as well as the Combat Support Battalion and 1 Engineer Regiment (JDF). He holds a BSc in management studies (major) and accounting (major) from The UWI, an MA in defence studies from King’s College London and an MSc in computer-based management information systems.

A past student of Excelsior High School, Williams also holds a post-graduate diploma in strategic management and leadership from the UK’s Chartered Management Institute.

Wemyss-Gorman joined the JDF in 1992, immediately after leaving Knox College. She is the Commander of the Maritime, Air and Cyber Command, with oversight responsibility for the Jamaica Defence Force Coast Guard, the JDF Air Wing and the Military Cyber Corps.

In her previous appointments, Wemyss-Gorman served as Commanding Officer of the JDF Coast Guard, where she has spent the majority of her career, becoming the first sea-going female officer to serve in the JDF, and served as Navigating Officer onboard HMJS Paul Bogle from 1994 to 1997.

In 1998, she was seconded to the Ministry of Transport and Works, where she was appointed deputy director of marine transport. Upon her return to the Coast Guard, Wemyss-Gorman was appointed to command an 82ft point class vessel in July 2002 and later, a 42m county class vessel ( HMJS Surrey).

Later in her career, she was appointed Second in Command of the JDF Air Wing, and has also served as Commandant of the Caribbean Military Maritime Training Centre. In 2014, she became the first female in the JDF to attain the rank of Commander and later Captain (N) in May 2018.

She holds a Master of Science degree with distinction in national security and strategic studies from The UWI.

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