The Faculty of Social Sciences congratulates Commodore Antonett Wemyss-Gorman who has been appointed Jamaica’s first female Chief of Defence Staff of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF). Her appointment will become effective January 2022 when she will be promoted to the rank of Brigadier.
Commodore Wemyss-Gorman is a distinction graduate of the MSc in National Security and Strategic Studies in the Faculty of Social Sciences. Throughout her career, Wemyss-Gorman has broken barriers and set trends, becoming the standard bearer for women in armed services. She joined the JDF in Augusts 1992 as an officer and completed professional development training overseas at the prestigious Britannia Royal Navy College, HMS Dryadin and the US Naval War College, respectively.
As a member of the JDF Coast Guard (JDF CG), she was assigned various assignments at sea with the last one being Commanding Officer for the Offshore Patrol Vessel HMJS Surrey. She also took on various other critical appointments, including Unit Operations Officer, Officer Commanding Shore Base and Second in Command of the JDF Air Wing. She established and was appointed Commandant of the Caribbean Military Maritime Training Centre (CMMTC) in 2012. She developed the core courses of the Centre, including a flagship Bridge Watchkeeping Course for officers and the Naval Boarding Party course for enlisted, which, under her tenure trained over 300 persons from the JDF along with local and regional partners.
Cmdre Wemyss-Gorman was subsequently appointed Commanding Officer of the JDF CG, and attained the rank of Commander, making her the first woman to rise to that rank in JDF history. Wemyss-Gorman has also found ways of contributing significantly, even outside of the JDF, earning other notable appointments, including a secondment to the Ministry of Transport and Works as Deputy Director for Marine Transport, appointments to the Fisheries Advisory Board, and the National COVID-19 Response Advisory Committee.
Promoted to her current rank in December 2019, Cmdre Wemyss-Gorman assumed the post of Force Executive Officer, providing Force development guidance in support of the transformation vision of the Chief of Defence Staff. She has been awarded the Order of Distinction (Officer Class) for her distinguished military service, the Medal of Honour for Meritorious Service, the Military Commendation Medal and the Medal of Honour for General Service for operations in the local theatre among others.
She has also received an award for distinguished leadership by the United Nations Women Leadership Initiative (WLI) in 2015.In May 2019, Cmdre Wemyss-Gorman was honoured by the Women in the Caribbean Maritime Association for her contribution to maritime security in the region.
(Extracted from the Daily Gleaner, Monday April 12, 2021)