Supporting Youth Development

Supporting Youth Development

Supporting Youth Development

BDF Media Release| 21 September 20

Photography and Story credit: Private Kyle Straker

The Barbados Defence Force (BDF) in its continued support to the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) has joined their initiative with the Prince’s Trust International Charity. The Trust, originating in United Kingdom, launched their programme in Barbados on the Sunday 18 September 2016 and aims to assist “At Risk Youth” between the ages of 16 – 25 years.

Now in its 4th year of existence, they have reaped many successes in improving the lives of many Barbadian youth with programmes designed to last a life time. Currently, the programme is structured to improve personal skills, team-building skills and the basics to attain and maintain a sure presence in the workforce. This programme encompasses six components which include an introductory week, residential week, community projects, job placements and team challenges.

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The BDF in its support to the initiative, through its maritime unit The Barbados Coast Guard (BCG), assist the programme by providing Safety Of Life At Sea (SOLAS) training for the participants. This year such training was conducted at HMBS PELICAN and Brandon’s Beach. The aim of training is to ensure that all participants are qualified and confident when in the water which will transcend to their general life practices.

Coordinator, for the RBPF Sgt Hallam Jemmott, reiterated the police’s commitment, like the BDF to supporting youth development, especially for those at risk. He hopes, that the training, discipline and life skills attained during this 12-week period will continue to grow from strength as the students move on in various aspects of their lives. Interested persons are encouraged to call 230-1824 for more information or enrollment to the programme.

Another First! Ladies in Military Leadership

Another First! Ladies in Military Leadership

Military Ladies  – Another First!

BDF Media Release| 10 September 20

Photography and Story credit: Private Kyle Straker

The Barbados Defence Force (BDF) is privileged to witness yet another major milestone in its 41 years of establishment. After 33 years of magnanimous service, Warrant Officer Class one (WO1) Michelle Thompson became the first female to attain the highest rank of an enlisted soldier.

 Thompson’s esteemed 33-year career started in the Reserve element in 1987 before transitioning to the Full Time element in 1991. Becoming a soldier was always the first choice for a career path for Thompson. She has excelled through the Barbados Cadet Corps Junior Leaders program, the BDF Band and Barbados Regiment Reserves before serving in the full time element. She has made various achievements throughout her career such as clerk of the year, receiving the Glendairy medal and the 15-year Service Medal just to name a few.

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WO1 Thompson says her career as a female soldier “has always had its ups and downs but it’s something I always wanted to do, it’s just my way of life…it’s a part of me”. While WO1 Thompson may not have served in any disaster relief regional deployments, she has traveled abroad with the BDF Band, most notable the 1999 Edinburgh tattoo, India for study in Computer Automation, Belize for Company Quarter Master Stores training, regionally in Jamaica to attend a Senior Non-Commissioned Officer training course and as an instructor on the BDF Training Wing (BDF Trg) in 2000 and 2001.

WO1 Thompson shared a piece of advice for all female soldiers and members of the Force, she stated” they have to be observant and they have to give of their best at all times despite whatever stumbling block may come their way they have to keep moving forward otherwise they will crumble”. WO1 Thompson says it feels “IMPRESSIVE” to be the first female WO1 and she would like to especially thank, firstly, the Lord and her cadet superiors that helped to guide her to this point.

Currently serving as the G4 Quarter Master within the Force, the Staff Officer responsible for Logistics, Warrant Officer Class One Michelle Thompson has aspirations to one day, before retirement, serve as a commissioned officer in the Force.

Regimental Sergeant Major Handover

Regimental Sergeant Major Handover

Regimental Sergeant’s Major Baton Passed in Confidence

BDF Media Release| 10 September 20

Photography and Story credit: Private Kyle Straker

The Barbados Defence Force (BDF) is privileged to witness yet another change of command. After over four years of committed service to the Barbados Regiment (BR), Warrant Officer Class One (WO1) Adrian Lopez passes the Regimental Sergeant Major baton over to Warrant Officer Class Two (WO2) Collin Marshall.

WO1 Lopez’s illustrious 35-year career started in the Reserve element of the Force before transitioning to Full-time service. Since assuming the appointment of Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM) on Tuesday 1 November 2016, WO1 proudly stated that as the face of the Barbados Regiment, his “…interactions with the men and women of the Regiment were satisfying, positive and provided memories that I will always cherish”. He reminisced glowingly on highlights such as the Independence and Remembrance Day parades where he was able to serve the BR and by extension BDF as the Conducting Warrant Officer.

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Incoming Regimental Sergeant Major, WO2 Colin Marshall, who is well versed in the Force’s military principles and training, eagerly said he is more than ready for the task at hand. WO2 Marshall who enlisted in the BDF on Wednesday 17 August 1994, having completed 26-years, noted that although, “…it will not be an easy task or walk in the park”, he will endeavour to continue serving the BDF and continually uphold its Core Values and high standards. WO2 Marshall went on to mention that, “WO1 Lopez has always been a mentor for me throughout my career and to follow in his footsteps has and will be a privilege…”.

WO1 Lopez summed up the handover ceremony by simply stating, “I know the Regiment and by extension the BDF are in good hands, Colin and I share the same alma matter, the St Michael School and I have continuously shared instruction with him (since), which started during his recruit intake batch in 1994…”

The Late Major Lubin ARC Maxwell

The Late Major Lubin ARC Maxwell

The Late Major Lubin A.R.C Maxwell

BDF Media Release| 24 August 2020

Photography credit: BDF Media

Today, the Barbados Defence Force mourns the loss of one of its stalwarts and visionaries, the late Major (ret’d) Lubin “Charlie” Maxwell.

Major Maxwell served the Force in various capacities for over 20 years and at the time of passing, was employed as the Building Rehabilitation and Projects Manager (BRPM).

On his retirement from active military duty he continued in the role of BRPM and contributed selflessly to the development of the Force, its modernization and service to Barbados.

The Chief of Staff, all ranks and civillian members of the Barbados Defence Force extend their sincerest condolences to his wife and family

May he rest in peace and rise in glory.

Rotary Club West $36K Donation

Rotary Club West $36K Donation

BDF Field Medical Facility Receives $36K

BDF Media Release| 27  July 2020

Photography credit: Able-bodied Seaman Tramaine Bryan

The Barbados Defence Force (BDF) recently received a $36,000.00 donation of equipment and stores from the Rotary Club West (Barbados) to enhance the operational capabilities of its Field Medical Facility (BDF FMF). The handover ceremony held at the Officers’ Mess, St Ann’s Fort was attended by the President and immediate Past-President, Mr Trevor Williams and Mrs Jean St John respectively and Chief of Staff BDF Colonel Glyne Grannum.

Colonel Grannum expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the Rotary Club West and described the donation as a celebration of the partnership between the two organizations. He further mentioned that the strategic outreach and vision of the Club to make such a donation, will certainly assist in making the BDF FMF more efficient in its primary role of responding to Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response events locally and regionally. Overall, the donation will support the BDF Field Medical Facility’s objective to receive its Type 2 certification.

Mrs Jean St John, immediate Past-President acknowledged the sentiments expressed by Colonel Grannum and added that the BDF and the Rotary Club West are a family and they will always seek to assist with such initiatives where feasible. She further noted that such a project will not only benefit Barbadians, but given the current expectancy of this season’s severe Atlantic Weather Systems, it will also support any response efforts in the Region.

During the ceremony, and given the recent COVID-19 restrictions, the occasion was used as an opportunity by the members of the Rotary Club West present and its immediate Past-President Mrs Jean St John, to transfer the symbolic Rotarian medallion to new President Mr Trevor Williams.