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Grange welcomes first woman Chief of Defence Staff

Commodore Antonette S Wemyss Gorman Commodore Antonette S Wemyss Gorman Jamaica Defence Force

Kingston, 23 September 2021 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has welcomed the decision to appoint Commodore Antonette Wemyss Gorman as the next Chief of Defence Staff.

Commodore Wemyss Gorman — who will be promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral — will become the first woman appointed to the position of Chief of Defence Staff.

Her appointment takes effect in January, 2022.

Minister Grange said she “was very happy to receive the news of Commodore Wemyss Gorman’s appointment” and described it as “another great leap for women in Jamaica”.

Minister Grange said the incoming Chief of Defence Staff was a “very competent, high achiever who has given exceptional service to the Jamaica Defence Force and to the country; and was a great choice for the top post”.

“I note too that she has realised her dream at the relatively young age of 48. This is not surprising since during her time as a career officer she excelled in establishing the Caribbean Military Maritime Training Centre and the Maritime Air and Cyber Command, which includes the JDF Coast Guard, the JDF Air wing and Special Forces.”
The Minister said the appointment represented not only “a huge step for women and girls, but also for gender equality in the country.”

According to Minister Grange, "Commodore Wemyss Gorman’s appointment will inspire women and girls across the country. Men and boys should also celebrate this tremendous achievement as we continue to fashion a country where there are no barriers to what our people can achieve.”

The Minister also had commendations for the outgoing Chief of Defence Staff, Lieutenant General Rocky Meade, who will retire after 38 years of service to the Jamaica Defence Force.

Minister Grange said General Meade is a “fine officer and leader.”