Private Kimberley Keeps Boxing

Private Kimberley Keeps Boxing

Private Kimberley Keeps Boxing!

BDF Media Release| 18 September 20

Photography and Story credit: Featured Fridays BDF Media Team

Private Kimberley Gittens after graduating from the Coleridge and Parry School, enlisted in the Barbados Defence Force Sports Program (BDFSP) in February 2011, where she spent seven (7) years representing the BDFSP and Barbados in the discipline of Boxing. Patriotism and continued personal development led her to enlist in the Barbados Defence Force Full-time element in 2018, becoming a proud member of Recruit Intake 1/18.

Gittens is no stranger to the local and regional boxing-rings as she has now become jet-lagged with success having received numerous medals at such events. In the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games, Gittens successfully held on to receive a bronze during her light welterweight fight against Mirquin Sena of the Dominican Republic. In 2019 Gittens successfully represented Barbados and the International Military Council Games (CISM) in China, where she represented Barbados Defence Force with pride.

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Now a full-timer in the BDF, Kimberley admits that her duty to the Force and country sometimes conflicts with her boxing training, but she is proud to state that to date, there has been a manageable balance and the BDF, in its strategic mandate to sport and youth development has installed measures to assist with her sporting endeavours. In mentioning her heartfelt thanks to the BDF for its sporting vision, Gittens admitted in a candid interview that she does not regret first enlisting with the BDFSP, due it being parallel with the discipline and values of the BDF. While she was unable to transfer her years of service in the BDFSP to the BDF, she confidently stated that she is yet comforted knowing that she still has the opportunity to attend and train for boxing engagements, while being a servicewoman.  

In her own words Kimberley states that “boxing is very strenuous and time-consuming, you can’t take it lightly and if you don’t have a passion for it I would not advise you to join it”.

Private Gittens still has her sights her sights set on representing Barbados at the Olympics Games scheduled for July 2021. Her vision is to advance into general coaching or maybe technical coaching.

DID YOU KNOW?  

Kimberly is a lover of dogs and has four and she also collects water bottles whenever she travels.

Happy 35th  Anniversary Sir! Commitment to Duty

Happy 35th Anniversary Sir! Commitment to Duty

Commitment to Duty!

BDF Media Release| 18 September 20

Photography and Story credit: BDF Media

The Officers, Enlisted Ranks and civilian staff of the Barbados Defence Force (BDF) proudly extend warm congratulations to our Chief of Staff, Colonel Glyne Sinatra Grannum on the occasion of his 35th anniversary with the Force. In February 2017, Colonel Grannum assumed command of the BDF becoming the Force’s fifth Chief of Staff.

Colonel Grannum confidently enlisted in the BDF on Friday 18 October 1985 and embarked on a journey which saw him successfully undertake a variety of local, regional and international military training courses. Such training included career development training at the Canadian Forces Officer Candidate School, Chilliwack and the Combat Training Centre, Gagetown New Brunswick, Canada.

Colonel Grannum is a qualified Regimental Signals Officer and has held other notable appoints such as Commanding Officer Barbados Regiment, Finance Officer in Headquarters BDF and Director of Operations and Plans in the Regional Security System. He was instrumental in the developing the careers of junior commissioned officers as a member of the Directing Staff of the Caribbean Junior Command and Staff Course in Newcastle, Jamaica. One gem in his career’s portfolio is being the lead architect for the design of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 Security Plan.  This plan which he conceptualized became the template for other Caribbean states which we selected to host the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2007.

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Over his illustrious career he has been awarded several medals in recognition of his selfless service to Barbados and the region. These awards include the Chief of Staff’s Commendation (1994), two Defence Board Commendations (1996 and 2007), the Meritorious Service Medal (1998), the Services Medal of Honour, the General Service Medal (2011), the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal (2013) and the Governor-General of Barbados’ Medal of Honour (2017).

Some of his achievements to date are;

A successful deployment of troops to assist in the rehabilitation and security for the hurricane devastated Republic of the Dominica after the passage of Hurricane Maria in 2017.

2. Rebranding of the Training and Development Institute to incorporate study for Caribbean Vocational Qualifications levels 1 – 4.

3. The development of the BDF Field Medical Facility which achieved Level 1 certification in 2019

4. Enhanced operational capacity to counter contemporary multidimensional security threats

His 35 years of military service have been tremendously meaningful, worthwhile and he has exemplified the Core Values of the BDF in every assignment which he undertakes.  Despite the many sacrifices along this 35-year journey; Colonel Grannum considers it a privilege to be at the helm of the BDF.  He reflected on his vision of leading the Force to become the region’s premier military institution.  Trained, organized and ready to respond to any form of security threats. At the core of the Force’s modernization for Colonel Grannum is youth development. His desire is to ensure the youth acquire the necessary skills and mentorship needed through programmes within the Barbados Cadet Corps to become upstanding members of society.

Sir, as you celebrate this milestone of exemplary service, we wish you all the best as you continue to provide sound leadership to the men and women of the Barbados Defence Force.

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.