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JM | Jan 20, 2022

Rear Admiral Antonette Wemyss Gorman installed as newest JDF chief

Gavin Riley

Gavin Riley / Our Today

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Rear Admiral Antonette Wemyss Gorman being congratulated by Governor-General Sir Patrick Allen after taking the oath of allegiance and the oath of office as the newest Chief of Defence Staff of the Jamaica Defence Force on Thursday, January 20. The swearing-in ceremony was held on the grounds of King’s House in St Andrew. (Photo: YouTube @JamaicaInformationService)

Rear Admiral Antonette Wemyss Gorman, in becoming the newest Chief of Defence Staff at the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) on Thursday (January 20), also created history as the first woman installed to lead the 60-year-old organisation.

Wemyss Gorman, in an audience that included Governor-General Sir Patrick Allen, Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Andrew Holness, and other high-ranking guests at King’s House in St Andrew, took the oath of allegiance and the oath of office.

“I, Antonette Wemyss Gorman, do swear to that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Jamaica. And that I will uphold and defend the Constitution and the laws of Jamaica. And that I will conscientiously and impartially discharge my responsibilities to the people of Jamaica. So help me God,” she said.

“I, Antonette Sandralee Wemyss Gorman, do swear that I will well and truly serve the people of Jamaica in the office of the Chief of Defence Staff of the Jamaica Defence Force. And I will do right to all manner of people after the laws and usages of Jamaica without fear or favour, affection or ill-will. So help me God,” Wemyss Gorman continued.

For his part, Sir Patrick said that Wemyss Gorman’s appointment as the highest-ranking officer within the JDF is a first for the English-speaking Caribbean and the wider Commonwealth.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness, in his remarks, extended congratulations to the newest JDF chief on behalf of the Jamaican Government, hailing her designation as historic and inspirational.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness. (Photo: YouTube @JamaicaInformationService)

“I am confident that all Jamaicans join me in wishing you every success in this new appointment. Rear Admiral Wemyss Gorman assumes this position having spent the past 30 years of her professional life, progressing through the ranks of the JDF,” Holness began.

“She is no stranger to being a pioneer, having achieved many firsts in her extensive military career. Our new CDS was selected through a very competitive process. Ultimately, myself and other members of the defence board concluded that Rear Admiral Wemyss Gorman possesses the combination of leadership skills, experience, commitment and the strategic vision to lead the men and women of the JDF,” he added.

Holness said he was confident Wemyss Gorman would drive the JDF into a new era of success. Also high on his agenda are ideas from the new JDF chief on maritime border surveillance and regional security affairs.

“I look forward to benefitting from her wise council on matters related to defence and security. Under Rear Admiral Wemyss Gorman’s leadership, we will build on our relationships with our military partners within the [Caribbean] region and beyond,” the prime minister noted further.

Earlier today, Wemyss Gorman was promoted from Commodore to Rear Admiral at the Caribbean Military Academy at Up Park Camp in St Andrew.

Antonette Wemyss Gorman’s promotion from Commodore to Rear Admiral on Thursday (January 20) was her penultimate the first female Chief of Defence Staff of the JDF. (Photo: Facebook @JDFSoldier)

A change of guard parade is to take place at the JDF’s headquarters on Friday afternoon.

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