September 30, 2021 | Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie |
The Defense Board headed by PM Andrew Michael Holness has announced the appointment of Executive Officer Mrs. Antonette Wemyss-Gorman as new CDS designate come January I, 2022. She will be promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral and replaces Lieutenant Major Rocky Meade who has been CDS since 2016. Meade will proceed on retirement. He has served the JDF for 38 years.
The Chief Of Defence Staff (CDS) the position to which Wemyss-Gorman will be elevated has never before appointed a woman to that position in Jamaica. She will be promoted to Rear Admiral before she assumes this high office of CDS.
For the past 28 years she has served the army and was stationed in the navy. She was the first captain of a ship in their navy. This highly decorated officer has an impressive track record as a career officer. She is 48 years of age. Army officers normally retire at age 55 years of age.
Gorman is a career officer who holds a masters degree with distinction from the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica W.I. She specializes in strategic planning and as the current Force Executive Officer is responsible for the day to day running of the army and carries out the policies and orders of the CDS Meade. She has charted a strategic plan for the army up to 2037. It is reported that she has considerable expertise in national security. That skill should serves us all well in light of our high crime rate.
It has been reported that she along with three other senior prospective applicants for the position were interviewed and she got the nod over them all. It is not known if the other applicants were males. We would not be surprised as the army is traditionally a male dominated patriarchal domain.
Mrs Wemyss-Gorman is married with a son and is said to measure 6 ft. tall. She is certainly a towering figure when compared to the person she is replacing Lieutenant Major General Rocky Meade who is believed to be about 4 ft:11 inches or 5ft 2 inches. Quite a dormitive figure when compared to the Rear Admiral designate. As stated above Mrs. Wemyss-Gorman is 48 and at 55 years of age officers normally retire. The Defence Board can extend her tenure if they wish.
We welcome and wish the incoming CDS all the success when she takes up her awesome assignment come January 2022.
Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie, poet elegist & international journalist who writes for Vision Newspaper.