Tue | Aug 4, 2020

JDF praised for fighting seen and unseen enemies

Published:Saturday | August 1, 2020 | 12:16 AMPaul Clarke/Gleaner Writer
Lieutenant General Rocky Meade (left), chief of defence staff, looks on as Sir Patrick Allen, governor general, reviews the parade before pinning medals on soldiers during an Armed Forces Day 2020 ceremony at Up Park Camp on Friday.
Lieutenant General Rocky Meade (left), chief of defence staff, looks on as Sir Patrick Allen, governor general, reviews the parade before pinning medals on soldiers during an Armed Forces Day 2020 ceremony at Up Park Camp on Friday.

Citing the Jamaica Defence Force’s (JDF) role in combating COVID-19, Prime Minister Andrew Holness saluted army personnel on Armed Forces Day at Up Park Camp for their hard work and professionalism.

He said the JDF remains vital to Jamaica’s national security infrastructure and that he acknowledges the immense value in the army as it safeguards peace and harmony.

“The men and women of the JDF have responded to the call to service in an era where the common enemy is not only violent crimes but also an invisible virus,” said Holness, who presented medals of general service to soldiers.

Traditionally, the Armed Forces Day Parade was a tribute to the former and present members of the armed forces of Jamaica.

Governor General Sir Patrick Allen said Armed Forces Day 2020 provided an opportunity for the public recognition of excellence in service to the nation.

Sir Patrick noted that as the entire world continued to struggle with the COVID-19 pandemic, the contribution of front-line workers and first responders has come into sharp focus.

He said that the army’s work in the battlefields against an unseen enemy required them to be agile, adaptive, and undaunted.

“I cannot imagine a more fitting way, therefore, to say thank you for your service ... even as we battle against this raging pandemic,” Allen said.

“It is also an appropriate occasion to highlight the significant impact the JDF continues to have in nation building, regional support and positive influence in the wider international community,” he added.

Head of the army, Lieutenant General Rocky Meade, stated that the task before them remained critical.

Meade said that the evolving culture of violence in Jamaica demanded all hands on deck in promoting safety and security.

paul.clarke@gleanerjm.com