Press Releases

January

1 JR BIDS FAREWELL TO A STALWART
 

Story by Sergeant Beverley Knight-Millwood,

The first of January has always been a day associated with new beginnings, new opportunities and new hopes for better and greater things. Likewise, December 31st has its own associations as New Year's Eve represents the closure of yet another year, and a chance to reflect on the events and achievements of the past 365 days.

Lt Col Gary Rowe (r) receives his final salute as Commanding Officer of the First Battalion the
Jamaica Regiment from Warrant Officer Class One Anthony Lysight, Regimental Sergeant Major,
(l) on the eve of his departure from active service in the JDF. Photo by: Corporal Kevin Allen

It was quite fitting therefore that on New Year's Eve, 2013, Lieutenant Colonel Gary Rowe called time on an illustrious career spanning 28 years in the Jamaica Defence Force. In a bittersweet farewell ceremony at Up Park Camp, the men of the First Battalion the Jamaica Regiment (1JR) formed up in three sides of a hollowed square to bid farewell to Lt Col Gary Rowe, as he departed 1JR to begin pre-retirement leave from the JDF.

A retiring Lt Col Gary Rowe (l) symbolically hands over the leadership baton to incoming Acting
Commanding Officer Maj Kirk Johnson during a send off ceremony on December 31, 2013 at
Up Park Camp. Lt Col Rowe departed the JDF after 28 sterling years of service
Photo by: Corporal Kevin Allen

In his 28 years in the Force, Lt Col Rowe had a diverse career, serving in five of the eight major units of the Force as well as at Headquarters JDF. But regardless of where he served, Lt Col Rowe brought with him an attitude of commitment, dedication and hard work. He also brought energy and high standards of performance which earned him the fitting nickname, "Major works" among soldiers and officers alike.

Lt Col Gary Rowe (l) is presented with a photo of the Battalion by Warrant Officer Class One Anthony Lysight,
Regimental Sergeant Major (r) during a farewell ceremony held on Tuesday December 31, 2013 at Up Park Camp.
Lt Col Gary Rowe will up to the date of his retirement from the JDF complete 28 years of service.
Photo by: Corporal Kevin Allen

At the ceremony, incoming Acting Commanding Officer of 1JR, Major Kirk Johnson remarked that, "Lt Col Rowe is an individual who has epitomized the essence of the military ethos which encompasses professionalism, resourcefulness, operational readiness and 'real soldiering'. He coupled this with positivity in adversity, discipline, hard work and even more hard work and leaves 1JR having made an indelible impression on the lives of his men". He also said that "the First Battalion the Jamaica Regiment has the duty to carry on the legacy of hard work, high performance and endurance which has been established by their outgoing Commander and to continue to work, not only to maintain but to improve on what has been achieved."

Major Kirk Johnson (r) receives his first salute as Acting Commanding Officer of the First Battalion the
Jamaica Regiment, on December 31, 2013 at Up Park Camp. Photo by: Corporal Kevin Allen

With the curtains coming down on his career, Lt Col Rowe in his final words to the Battalion said, "I urge you to make the best contribution you can make and to be the best individual that you can be". He challenged the men to "add some value to the space that they occupy and continue to be a proud Battalion with a proud reputation, as once this is done they will be contributing to the Commanding Officer, the Chief of Defence Staff, the success of the Force and by extension the prosperity of the Nation on a whole".