Commanding Officer's Farewell Address to Third Battalion
The Jamaica Regiment (National Reserve)
Curphey Barracks- 12 May 2012
At the end of today, I will close a combined period of 33 years 160 days of service to the Jamaica Defence Force. I have served in numerous appointments and responsibilities across the Force having started as a private in the First Battalion in 1978. I will close my chapter today having held the appointment of Commanding Officer of this prestigious Battalion over the last 4 years and seven months. I am very honoured and remain humbled to have my name written on the same scroll as all of the Commanding Officers who preceded me; they are the ones who provided the foundation that I could build on, and to lead this distinguished unit into its fiftieth year of service to this nation.
My work is now finished and I leave you, the men and women of this Battalion and the wider JDF family today with satisfaction; that whereas I am not perfect, I did offer myself as an example in service. Wherever my footprints are in the Jamaica Defence Force, I did not place them there in the interest of personal ambition, but selflessly in service to you the men and women of this unit, the JDF and the people of Jamaica.
As I say goodbye, you have my assurance that my successor, Major Winston Walcott, is competent and capable of providing the leadership that will allow the Battalion to continue to be of tremendous value to the Government and people of Jamaica. I ask that you provide him with the opportunity to succeed by giving him your total support.
To Major Walcott, when your values and principles are wholesome, and you lead by them, you will succeed!
I will not celebrate my success nor berate myself for whatever objectives I did not attain during my tenure, I will leave it all up to you for your own assessment of my term as Commanding Officer. Whatever the prognosis is, I remain very proud of the time spent in command of this noble Battalion, and the time spent in the Force as a whole.
As a Reserve unit, we were able to spend time carrying out meaningful training exercises, competing with the other units of the force, and fulfilling the mandate of the Unit in conducting internal security operations; we were also able to live up to our social obligations by touching the lives of those in need, with our outreach projects, focusing mainly on the young and the elderly. We also tried to make a difference in the lives of former members of this unit who have fallen on difficult times. Internally, the quality of work life, enhancements to the physical plant, and innovations within the Unit are achievements that I remain proud of.
At this point I must thank my own family, as well as the Lascelles deMercado family for the sacrifice that they have made, in allowing me to be away so that I could serve unstintingly. I thank the Jamaica Defence Force for providing me with the opportunity to serve in the first instance, and the high command for reposing confidence in me to lead from the front.
By way of summary, I look back with utmost pride over the last thirty three years of my military career; I enjoyed every moment of it in spite of lonely moments and challenging circumstances. Whereas I enjoyed the journey fully, the time has come and I must go, but I leave you in capable hands.
I know you well and can say with certitude that you will remain professional in the discharge of your duties, and true to the core values of the JDF; courage, commitment, honour, integrity, loyalty and discipline. I will also bet that each and every one of you will be the first to put yourself in danger, if it is required, to secure the safety and security of the citizenry. Thank you for your sacrifice and continue to train hard so that when the rubber meets the road, you will always be able to acquit yourselves well!
May God bless the Third Battalion The Jamaica Regiment (National Reserve), may God bless the Jamaica Defence Force and may God bless Jamaica.