Fri | Apr 20, 2018

Mama's Boy! - New JDF head owes it all to his mother

Published:Sunday | December 4, 2016 | 12:00 AMCorey Robinson
Newly sworn-in Chief of Defence Staff of the Jamaica Defence Force Major General Rocky Meade, with his mother, Delores Tomlinson, at King's House on Thursday
New head of the JDF Major General Rocky Meade with his three-year-old son, Ryker.
Major General Rocky Meade and his mother find something amusing to look at during last week's swearing-in.

The new head of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) is a mama's boy and it's a label he wears with pride.

Major General Rocky Meade was last Thursday sworn in as the new Chief of Defence Staff and he made it clear that his mother, Delores Tomlinson, is to get all the praise for his achievements.

Meade forced the otherwise stoic audience into smiles as he heaped praises on his mother during his official swearing-in ceremony at Kings House.

Accepting his new role in the presence of government officials, fellow crime

fighters and his previous bosses, Meade shared that his mother was guiding his path long before he joined the JDF in 1984.

"My journey started when, at Wolmer's, my mother asked whether there was a uniformed group that I could join. She probably just wanted to ensure that I didn't get into bad company," said Meade.

That query landed him in the Cadet Corps at the Heroes Circle-based school.

The Cadet Corps ignited his love for the military and assisted him in securing his pilot's licence while still in high school.

The JDF, he said, was the next logical step in the pursuit of his love of both the army and the air force. He progressed swiftly through the ranks, to Deputy Chief of Defence Staff, serving alongside Major General Antony Anderson (JDF's immediate past Chief of Defence Staff).


Mother's vision


"So, your excellencies, the most honourable prime minister, if you could allow me to first thank my mother for the vision, the foresight to guide me in a direction which has allowed me to take yet another step in service to my country," said Meade, to smiles, nods and loud applause from the audience.

Meade also praised his family, thanking them for being so understanding, especially when he had to sacrifice quality time with them in fulfilment of his military duties.

He asked for their continued support, while offering an open door for advice from the public and from his staff.

His mother was a picture of pride at the event, satisfied that she had fulfilled her purpose as a parent.

"I feel good. I feel honoured. I feel respected and I feel that my labour has not been in vain. I can see the fruit of my labour," said the beaming Tomlinson.

She told The Sunday Gleaner that while she never intended for her son to become a soldier, she did not worry much when he decided to join the JDF nor when he was out fighting criminals bent on causing mayhem.

"I just keep praying. Sometimes I wonder if God gets tired of me. But I just keep going, going, going. I just keep praying, and sometimes I say 'Lord, other persons have children too, so remember all of them; not only my children'," she chuckled.