Jamaica Defence Force
The Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) is the combined military of Jamaica, consisting of an infantry Regiment and Reserve Corps, an Air Wing, a Coast Guard fleet and a supporting Engineering Unit. The JDF is based upon the British military model, with similar organisation, training, weapons and traditions. Once chosen, officer candidates are sent to one of several British or Canadian basic officer courses depending upon the arm of service. Enlisted soldiers are given basic training at JDF Training Depot Newcastle. As on the British model, NCOs are given several levels of professional training as they rise up the ranks. Additional military schools are available for speciality training in Canada, China, the United States, and the United Kingdom.
|Jamaica Defence Force|
Jamaica Defence Force badge
Flag of the Jamaica Defence Force
|Founded||31 July 1962|
|Service branches||Jamaica Regiment|
Maritime, Air and Cyber Command
Jamaica National Reserve
|Headquarters||Up Park Camp, Kingston, Jamaica|
|Prime Minister||Andrew Holness|
|Minister of Defence||Andrew Holness|
|Chief of Defence Staff||Lieutenant General Rocky Ricardo Meade|
|Military age||16 years of age for selection process, 17 years of age is actual serving age (as of 2007)|
|747,043, age 16–49 (2005 est.)|
|523,550, age 16–49 (2005 est.)|
|27,729 (2005 est.)|
|Budget||$31,170,000 (ranked 141st)|
|Percent of GDP||0.6% (2007)|
|Ranks||Military ranks of Jamaica|
The JDF is directly descended from the British West India Regiment formed during the colonial era. The West India Regiment was used extensively by the British in policing the empire from 1795 to 1926. Other units in the JDF heritage include the early colonial Jamaica Militia, the Kingston Infantry Volunteers of WWI and reorganised into the Jamaican Infantry Volunteers in WWII. The West India Regiment was reformed in 1958 as part of the West Indies Federation. The dissolution of the Federation resulted in the establishment of the JDF.
The Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) comprises an infantry Regiment and Reserve Corps, an Air Wing, a Coast Guard fleet and a supporting Engineering Unit. The infantry regiment contains the 1st, 2nd and 3rd (National Reserve) battalions. The JDF Air Wing is divided into three flight units, a training unit, a support unit and the JDF Air Wing (National Reserve). The Coast Guard element is divided between seagoing crews and support crews. It conducts maritime safety and maritime law enforcement as well as defence-related operations. The support battalion contains a Military Police platoon as well as vehicle, armourers and supply units. The 1st Engineer Regiment provides military engineering support to the JDF. The Headquarters JDF contains the JDF commander, command staff as well as intelligence, judge advocate office, administrative and procurement sections.
In recent years the JDF has been called upon to assist the nation's police, the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), in fighting drug smuggling and a rising crime rate which includes one of the highest murder rates in the world. JDF units actively conduct armed patrols with the JCF in high-crime areas and known gang neighbourhoods. There has been vocal controversy as well as support of this JDF role. In early 2005, an opposition leader, Edward Seaga, called for the merger of the JDF and JCF. This move did not garner support in either organisation nor among the majority of citizens.
Major units of the Jamaica Defence Force
- Headquarters, Jamaica Defence Force (HQ JDF) - divided into the Operations Branch and Adjutant Quartermaster's Branch, this is the main command of the entire JDF.
- The Jamaica Regiment (Jca Regt) - The Jamaica Regiment is the operationalization of a terrestrial and combat focused Regular Force formation with an overarching operational headquarters in command of five (5) battalions; the First, Second, Fourth and Fifth Battalions the Jamaica Regiment (1, 2, 4, 5 JR) and the Combat Support Battalion (Cbt Sp Bn).
- The Support Brigade (Sp Bde) - The Support Brigade is a Regular Force formation that will provide both combat support and service support functions with an overarching operational headquarters for five (5) units; the Directorate of Training and Doctrine ( Dir of Trg and Doct), 1 Engineer Regiment JDF (1 Engr Regt (JDF), the Support and Services Battalion (Sp and Svcs Bn), the Military Police Battalion (MP Bn) and the Health Services Corps (HSC). In addition it will also see the creation of the Caribbean Military Academy (CMA). The CMA is the academic institutional arm of the JDF that will provide internationally recognized, accredited, doctrinally relevant professional military education and training to a common standard in support of the operational needs of Jamaica and also to partner military and paramilitary organizations across the Caribbean region and around the world.
- The Maritime, Air and Cyber Command (MACC) - The Maritime, Air and Cyber Command (MACC) is a multi-domain focused Regular Force formation with an operational headquarters in command of six (6) units; the First and Second Districts Jamaica Defence Force Coast Guard (1stand 2ndDist JDF CG), the Jamaica Defence Force Air Wing (JDF AW), the Military Intelligence Unit (MIU), the Special Activities Regiment (SPEAR) and the Military Cyber Corps (MCC).
- The Jamaica National Reserve (JNR) - The Jamaica National Reserve (JNR) is a multi-domain focused Reserve Force formation that has been expanded to include a headquarters element in command of four (4) units; the Third, Sixth and Ninth Battalions the Jamaica Regiment (3, 6 and 9 JR (NR)) in addition to the Support Battalion (National Reserve) (Sp Bn (NR).
- The Jamaica National Service Corps (JNSC) - The Jamaica National Service Corps (JNSC) is the newest category of service in the JDF. It was designed to instill positive values and attitudes, whilst providing young men and women with a range of life skills in order to make them better equipped for success in their chosen career path; which may on completion include service in the JDF.
JDF Chiefs of Staff
Chiefs of Staff of the Jamaica Defence Force (1962–2007)
In December 2007 the title of Chief of Staff was replaced by Chief of Defence Staff and filled by an incumbent.
Chiefs of Defence Staff of the Jamaica Defence Force (2008 onwards)
|No.||Picture||Chief of Defence Staff||Took office||Left office||Time in office||Ref|
Stewart Emerson St Leonard Saunders, CD, JP, ADC, MSc, psc
Antony Bertram Anderson, OD, JP, MDA, BEng (Hons), psc
|2010||1 December 2016||5–6 years||–|
Rocky Ricardo Meade, OD, JP, PhD, MMAS, MA, BA (Hons), psc
|1 December 2016||Incumbent||3 years|
The JDF also supports two military bands;
- Jamaica Military Band - this is the band that is descended from the band of the West India Regiment, and was formed in February 1927. It is one of only two units in the world (the other being the Band of the Barbados Regiment) that wears the uniform of the zouaves.
- Jamaica Regiment Band - this band was originally formed as the Band of the West India Regiment formed in 1959 as the military force of the Federation of the West Indies. With the Federation's break up and the independence of Jamaica, it became the Band of the 1st Battalion, Jamaica Regiment. It gained its current name with the formation of the 2nd Battalion in 1979.
JDF Air Wing
|Beechcraft King Air||United States||maritime patrol||350ER||1|
|Bell 407||United States||utility / patrol||3|
|Bell 412||United States||utility / SAR||2||1 on order|
|Bell 429||United States||utility / SAR||2||1 on order|
|Diamond DA40||Canada||basic trainer||DA40 FP||2|
|Diamond DA40||Canada||basic trainer||DA40 CS||4|
|Diamond DA42||Canada||multi-engine trainer||DA42 NG||2|
|Bell 206||United States||trainer||Bell 206||1||1 damaged in an accident / 2 on order|
JDF Coast Guard
A year after the JDF was formed in 1962, a naval arm, the Jamaica Sea Squadron was added. The squadron’s initial vessels were three 63ft wooden World War II torpedo recovery boats provided by the United States. They were commissioned “Her Majesty’s Jamaican Ship” HMJS Yoruba (P1), HMJS Coromante (P2) and HMJS Mandingo (P3). A training team from the Royal Navy assisted with the unit’s early development. In 1966 they changed names from the Jamaica Sea Squadron to the Jamaica Defence Force Coast Guard.
|HMJS Cornwall||Netherlands||patrol vessel||1||County-class|
|HMJS Middlesex||Netherlands||patrol vessel||1||County-class|
|HMJS Fort Charles||United States||patrol boat||1|
|HMJS Paul Bogle||United States||patrol boat||1|
|Boston Whaler||United States||interceptor||2||37 foot Justice model|
Ranks of the JDF
- Commissioned Officers
The rank insignia for commissioned officers for the army and Coast Guard respectively.
|OF-10||OF-9||OF-8||OF-7||OF-6||OF-5||OF-4||OF-3||OF-2||OF-1||OF(D) and student officer|
|Lieutenant General||Major General||Brigadier||Colonel||Lieutenant Colonel||Major||Captain||First Lieutenant||Second Lieutenant||Officer Cadet|
|Vice admiral||Rear admiral||Commodore||Captain||Commander||Lieutenant commander||Lieutenant||Lieutenant (junior grade)||Sub-Lieutenant||Midshipman|
|OF-10||OF-9||OF-8||OF-7||OF-6||OF-5||OF-4||OF-3||OF-2||OF-1||OF(D) and student officer|
The rank insignia for enlisted personnel for the army and Coast Guard respectively.
|No equivalent||No insignia|
|Warrant Officer Class 1||Warrant Officer Class 2||Staff sergeant||Sergeant||Corporal||Lance corporal||Private|
|No equivalent||No equivalent||No insignia|
|Master Chief Petty Officer I||Master Chief Petty Officer II||Chief Petty Officer||Petty Officer||Leading Seaman||Able Seaman||Ordinary Seaman|
Besides inhouse training, the JDF has been trained by members of the Canadian Forces to deal with special needs.
Sanjay Badri-Maharaj (2016-12-11). "Jamaica Defence Force: Balancing Priorities With Resources – Analysis". Eurasia Review. Archived from the original on 2016-12-12. Retrieved 2016-12-11.
The Jamaica Defence Force is a brigade-sized unit comprising land, sea and air formations and is possibly the largest military establishment within the English-speaking Caribbean.
- "Jamaica". Armies of the World. Archived from the original on 2016-12-26.
The military budget is 48 million dollars (2001).
- "Equipment". Jamaica Defence Force. Archived from the original on 2016-06-30.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2018-01-17. Retrieved 2018-01-10.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2018-01-11. Retrieved 2018-01-10.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "BRIGADIER PAUL EDWIN CROOK CBE". paradata.org.uk. Retrieved 16 November 2019.
- "HISTORY OF THE RBDF". Royal Bahamas Defence Force. Retrieved 16 November 2019.
"Chief of Defence Staff: Major General Rocky R. Meade, OD, JP, PhD, MMAS, MA, BA (Hons), psc". Jamaica Defence Force. Archived from the original on February 18, 2017. Retrieved 2017-02-20.
Major General Rocky Meade is Jamaica's 3rd Chief of Defence Staff and 11th Head of the JDF. He assumed the role on December 1, 2016.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2019-02-08. Retrieved 2019-02-08.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Jamaica Military Band". Jamaica Defence Force. Archived from the original on 2016-04-04.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2018-08-13. Retrieved 2018-08-12.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Jamaica Regiment Band (TU)". Jamaica Defence Force. Archived from the original on 2016-03-08.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2018-11-16. Retrieved 2018-11-15.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2018-11-15. Retrieved 2018-11-15.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "World Air Forces 2017". Flightglobal Insight. 2017. Archived from the original on 29 July 2017. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
- "Jamaica Observer Limited". Jamaica Observer. Archived from the original on 11 January 2018. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
- Pittaway, Nigel (October 2018). "Jamaican Defence Force Bell 429s". Air International. Vol. 95 no. 4. p. 25. ISSN 0306-5634.
- "Aircraft". Jamaica Defence Force. Archived from the original on 2016-07-11.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2018-11-26. Retrieved 2018-12-13.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "World Air Forces 1975 pg. 303". flightglobal.com. Archived from the original on 14 January 2018. Retrieved 14 January 2018.
- "World Air Forces 1987 pg. 66". flightglobal.com. Archived from the original on 6 March 2016. Retrieved 14 January 2018.
- "3 JDF soldiers injured in helicopter crash". The Jamaica Observer. 2 July 2009. Archived from the original on 5 July 2009.
"MOTTO:Service for the Lives of Others". Jamaica Defense Fund. Archived from the original on 2017-01-18. Retrieved 2017-02-20.
The Sea Squadron was renamed the Jamaica Defence Force Coast Guard (JDF CG) in 1966 and the naval White Ensign, naval rank insignia and Royal Navy - patterned uniforms were adopted.
- "Jamaica Defence Force returns to Damen for fleet renewal Share this page". Damen Group. 2016-11-17. Archived from the original on 2017-02-18. Retrieved 2017-02-20.
- "JDF Coast Guard gets two new vessels from United States". The Jamaica Observer. 27 August 2015. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016.
- "Canada lends search and rescue aid to Jamaica". CBC News. 10 August 2011. Archived from the original on 27 January 2016.
- "JDF Senior Officers Biography". Jamaica Defence Force.
- "JDF Ships". Jamaica Defence Force.
- "JDF Aircraft". Jamaica Defence Force.
- "History of the JDF". Jamaica Defence Force.
- "Change of Guard - Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) Chief of Staff, Commish walk". Jamaica Gleaner. 10 October 2007. Archived from the original on 11 August 2011.
- "Chronological List of Jamaica Army chiefs". Land Forces of Britain, The Empire and Commonwealth. Archived from the original on 15 September 2006.
- "Latin American Light Weapons National Inventories". Federation of American Scientists. Archived from the original on 15 March 2016.