CO's Message

The Acting Commanding Officer's Christmas Message

Peace on earth, goodwill to men!”  Christmas Bells, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The Christmas Season continues to be of much significance to the people of Jamaica and the rest of the Christian world.   It is the time of year when individuals reflect on the birth of Jesus Christ and draw inspiration from the significance of that event and his life thereafter.  This season also provides us with the opportunity to reflect on our lives over the past year and ask of ourselves what went according to our plans, what plans were not realised and how did we grow individually and/or collectively over the period.   Reflection and introspection are key components of growth and development and to the extent that they inform learning, then they must be seen as being a positive thing.

The Unit underwent several changes in 2008; the most notable having been the change of command and the appointment of a new RSM.   Changes brought about by promotions were also significant and as such the relatively new team of leaders are now faced with the responsibility of continuing with the focus and drive that will be required to guide the Unit through the implementation phase of the SDR.

Unfortunately, we have also lost some of our colleagues during the year.   The death of Captain Julius Gordon had a profound impact on us all.   It is hoped that those who were also injured on operational and other duties will continue to make a speedy recovery. Those of us who continue to serve should also have learnt valuable lessons from the circumstances that forced us as an organization to have parted company with several of our own.   The military ethos dictates that we not only understand our core values of ‘Discipline, Integrity, Honour, Commitment, Courage and Loyalty but more importantly, that we be constantly guided and our behaviour informed by the principles surrounding them.

On the operational front, this was a good year for the Unit.   Our working relationship and operational proficiency with the JCF on joint operations improved significantly.   By having given of ourselves, we were able to have assisted them in their law enforcement efforts.   The nation however at this time requires much more of such collaborative efforts and hence the New Year will require the effecting of new ways of thinking and operating so that tangible results can be realized.

In the sporting and other competitive arenas, the Unit did well.   The Choir, Shooting Team and especially its Queen’s Medallist, Pte DENNIS must be lauded for having brought much pride to the “Maroon Machine”.   Victory in the field of sports and in other competitions must not be considered as being the sole purpose of competing.   The concerted team effort and the giving of one’s best, must remain integral to the development and maintenance of the Unit’s ‘esprit de corps’.

 Exercise Red Stripe and Calypso Hop after thirty-four (34) years came to an end in 2008, with 2JR’s historic visit to Ireland and the UK.   We must not be disheartened by this but rather we must embrace the idea that our training efforts at home, within the region and with other international partners can yield similar if not more valuable opportunities for our continuing development.  This belief is vital if we are to continue to be masters of our trade.

2009 will provide us all with another opportunity to make a valuable contribution to our nation via our own lives.    The contributions of our families to the organization and ourselves must also be acknowledged.  Their continued support will be vital in providing the requisite support mechanism required for us all.   The global economic crisis will not leave us unscathed and hence we must also start to make plans and adjustments for its imminent impact. Being effective via the efficient use of our resources, must become our mantra.

On behalf of my family, I wish for you and your families a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year and may your dreams and aspirations be realized in 2009.