In 1986, His Excellency the late Sir Florizel Glasspole presented to this proud battalion its new Queen’s and Regimental Colours as a potent reminder of the values which the Officers and Men had internalized in their commitment to honourable and devoted service.
In that ceremony on Thursday July 31, twenty eight years ago, then Second Lieutenant Antony Bertram Anderson received on parade, 2JR’s first Regimental Colour. Today, Major General Antony Bertram Anderson as Chief of Defence Staff is again on parade as these Colours are retired.
By receiving the Colours then, the 2nd Battalion reaffirmed their selfless acceptance of the duty to serve their country courageously and faithfully. They understood that the values which the Colours symbolize must remain engraved in their hearts and minds as they carried out their mandates.
It is my privilege to present to you Officers, Men and Women of the 2nd Battalion the Jamaica Regiment, your new Colours. As you would have noted, the squares of silk are indeed different, but the values they depict are enduring; i.e.: discipline, integrity, courage, loyalty and commitment. Your country expects you to demonstrate by your conduct, in an out of uniform, the values to which your Battalion is recommitting today.
I am reminding you today of the historic significance of the trooping of Colours through the ranks, in the wars of old. Courageous soldiers flouted danger as they held their Standard aloft to inspire troops to believe that they can obtain victory. Valiant infantrymen fought with renewed determination to give their best, often, the ultimate sacrifice, for God and Country.
The battle which the Officers and Men of the Jamaica Defence Force are called to fight are of a different nature, but of no less significance for the protection of our nation. Although these Colours will be trooped only on ceremonial occasions, never underestimate the importance of your role in the battle for the peace of, and ultimately the prosperity of Jamaica.
Indeed, the history of your Battalion bears testimony to the contribution which you are expected to make. The formation of 2JR in 1979 responded to the need for the JDF to enhance its capacity to undertake its mandate, including support for the maintenance of law and order and assistance in times of natural disasters and emergencies. When the Battalion was barely a month old they were deployed to assist in the aftermath of massive floods in western Jamaica.
Your predecessors were a lifeline to hundreds of Jamaicans. Since then 2JR has continued to serve in other disaster and emergency relief operations both here in Jamaica and overseas.
I have seen evidence of the prowess of the “Maroon Machine” and so I commend your Commanders and all of you for the teamwork and camaraderie which 2JR has consistently demonstrated in sporting and other activities.
I must also refer to the significant fact that 2JR is the first infantry Battalion in which women were posted. No doubt the Officers and Men had to make some adjustments when the first female Officer was posted here. However, in an Infantry Battalion whose sub-motto is “Second to None”, it was fitting that the pioneering work for heightening the engagement of women in the JDF should have started here.
Officers, Men and Women of 2JR, you have now received your new Colours and with them, a reaffirmation of your mandate to serve. I encourage you as soldiers of true grit, to remain committed to your Motto: “Strive to Achieve, never to yield”.
Always aim high! And, be “Second to None”!