A Cry From a Former Soldier

The following was received by email and the name of the emailer withheld for obvious reasons.

Anonymous soldier cries out

I was in the Defence Force for 12 years and was discharged with exemplary conduct.  However on my final interview I was not given a reason for my discharge or why my contract was not renewed . Up to this day I don’t know why I was discharge by Col Alvin Quintyne.

I went to the labour office and they told me they don’t deal with Government cases, next I went to the Ombudsman, he did not even ask a question and I never even heard from him, then I wrote to the Chairman of the Defence Board nothing. Note I have been a patient from 2005 and in my discharge certificate I have been discharged as fit  – is this lawful?

I would like you to tell me if it is lawful for the ministry to issue appointments for several prisons officers and the superintendent of prisons has them for weeks in his office and wont issue them because some of the people on the list who have been working for more than 15yrs do not have any CXC’s?  Have they not been approved by GOV’T for appointment.

He [Nurse] is between a rock and hard place because he would like to issue the appointments to those who have CXC’s but not the ones who don’t  (he has made this known at staff meetings )  – is this LAWFUL?

0 thoughts on “A Cry From a Former Soldier

  1. no it is not lawful. If an appointment letter has been issued by the Personnel administration, a copy is sent to the Audit Department under statutory cover, and one is made available to the person appointed. If persons believed that they have been appointed, and the letter is being witheld, they should communicate their concerns to the Chairman, Public Services Commission, through the Mr. Nurse and a copy of the said correspondence can be hand delivered by the writer to ensure that the commisson is aware of the correpsondnece in case it has not been forwarded. Futher, it the appointments have been made, Personnel Administration is responsible for ensuring that the said appointments are gazetted.

  2. Why would you need CXC’s to handle prisoners …? Obviously by that Jack Ass’s behavior you do not need CXC’s to run a prison either …!

    As per the Ombudsman, who the hell is he again and how do you manage his performance?

  3. Sounds like a wrongful termination case to me get yourself a lawyer …. Based on your service to Barbados you may find a lawyer to take the case probono.

  4. @Autin

    the person said a contract, a contract can be terminated or not renewed, The person did not say that there was tenure.

  5. i also believe that the conditions of service for BDF members is very different from other public servants, actually they may not be public servants at all. he need to find the legislation that governs soldiers and see what it says in relation to BDF – soldier conditions. then he can see if any foul play was involved.

    i remember Owen making changes to the soldiers conditions as it relates to pensions, retirement age and something else.

    Prision officers are definately public servants and are grouped with other para military organisations. they enjoy most of the rights and conditions of public servants. some of the differences relate to strikeing and joining unions.

  6. seriously I am still lost on the need for an army. I sympathize with the individual but it is my belief that the institution should have been shut down after the demise of Tom Adams. Paying people to run ’bout the place and shoot at imaginary targets is not mys idea of a real job. But having said that any institution that employs people under the guise of doing them a favour is bound to be exposed for high handedness and should be made to make good on mistreating any of their charges…!

  7. @BAFBFP

    you want to increase the unemployment rate? Or you want to see them transferred to the police forrce to solve the problem of shortage. of police officers,

  8. TtP

    These men are trained to kill. How are they to be placed in society working at jobs that require them to bear weapons? There should NOT have been a need for soldiers in the first place. What happened in Greneda spooked Adams and he brought these wastes of tax payers monies into being. It really was a personal security measure, but now that he dead and gone, f#ck the employment rate, just keep them as far away from knives as is humanly possible. Look the roads need maintenance with side walks are overgrown with grass, and the buildings in a number of BIDC industrial estates could use some decent repair work, rebuilding … Sidewalks need to be built, and yet you are paying jack asses to chase phantoms believing that Barbados can really stave off an attack from a drone, since it is the owners of these types of weapons that are the true terrorists of this world.

  9. Of course we need a defense force…..”trouble never sends you forward a notice. ”
    BDF is doing a great job..least we forget the activities during the hurricane season…..How about Sydney Burnett Alleyne who was nabbed thru military intelligence before reaching these shores with a band of missionaries…Are we aware that a group of well trained SandhurstCIA seals could infiltrate our shores and take over Btown easily ? We need always to be forearmed….500 men in reserves, would make some think twice…

    • @Onions

      Do you recall what happened when the Cuban trained Grenadian army was confronted with American troops what happened?

  10. BAFBFP | June 21, 2012 at 4:31 PM |
    These men are trained to kill…………………………
    How often have I heard this 18 the century cliche.
    Many of us have been through military service, in what some may call real fighting armies. Yes we were trained to kill, but that was only just a part of the many skills which we gained during those years. Many of these skills we later brought back to civilian life with us. Some of us have spent just as much time in Technical classrooms,as on the ranges or on the FIBUA set up.
    The military has a different set of rules from the Civil Service and Private Sector . Before offering any advice,perhaps we need to know this soldiers terms of engagement. Ie How many years did he signed on for , and what options ,if any, were there.

  11. @ David…..difference here
    That was a full US military assault…I speak of mercenaries looking to rob the Republic Bank or Citizens First…lol ..

  12. I always thought that the defense force was a waste of tax payers money, and the harbour police or what it used to be called should have been expanded be expanded. what do they do?

  13. old onion bags

    I gun leave you be bro. But I gun leff you wid this … What makes Burnett such a bad man? Are there not two sides to a story? (Please don’t respond. I ain’ in nah mood fah cussin’ tonight)


    There are soldiers and there are soldiers. MOST are soldiers because they need a job! The qualification standards to be a soldier are basically heath related. The majority of them cannot even make the police force. I even have a problem with a lotta policemen as it is, having the kind of power that they do. If you were to show me two policemen, at least one of them would be a Jack Ass in my opinion. And you are saying that it is okay to add to that problem?

  14. Barbados with its contracting financial resources cannot afford two armies of occupation. Both need trimming to the very bone.

    Just keep a significantly reduced Defence Force for ceremony, pomp & pageantry. In addition it can assist the mainstream law enforcement agency in carrying out certain operations.

    The Civil Service workforce needs to be cut by 25%-30% and a number of ministries merged under one Minister.

    • @Miller

      You are aware that if you dismantle the workforce that it impacts government revenues? If it must be done it has to be done in away which does not compromise public revenue used to finance services.

  15. I do not agree with reducing the civil service. I just believe that they are paying for the wrong kinds of skill. Barbados needs a vibrant performance art culture. BBC pays for the bulk of the actors in the UK and they have reached a such level of excellence that they are in demand all over the world. Roads and side walks need to be built and consistently repaired. Why should we continue to enrich the likes of CO Williams? Bridgetown and the ports could use a number of three piece bands that could entertain folks eighteen hours a day. There is room for many more sculptures across the width of the country … And so on.

    … Why spend all of this tax monies on administrators …?

  16. Look David the only reason that Tom Adams created an army out of a defense force was to protect Government against a civil uprising hear … that is all that is all that is all … If Chavez decided that he was to undertake a military operation the Barbados Government will high tail to England for a war ship to intervene. Of course the idea nowadays would be to use the excuse of protecting a “World Heritage …” what ever the shite you call it …!

  17. To my certain knowledge, a number of soldiers have been treated in this unfair and illegal manner. There are two bodies to which they can appeal besides the court: the Defence Board and the Defence Force Pension Committee. Unfortunately, neither one of them has any respect for the former soldiers. Invariably, they refuse to answer correspondence and if they condescend to respond, they would promise a meeting to hear the grievance but would never set the date for the matter to be heard.

    I know of one case where a soldier had completed 14 years and 9 months service, he was told to leave and find a job. He committed no offence nor was he charged with any offence. Mind you, he had more than two years left on his contract. Eventually, he was given a discharge certificate which stated that he had exemplary service in the BDF. When he applied for his pension, he was told that he did not qualify because he was three months short.

    The BDF has bred a group of officers some of whom could only be described as the officers from hell and they treat soldiers like dirt. Something must be done about these little dictators or one of these disadvantaged soldiers might just go postal.

    • David

      Yes the BDF falls under the PM in his capacity as Minister with responsibility for defence. Unfortunately, he does not respond either, ask Colin Jordan. LOL!

    • Colonel Buggy

      Who cares? Our local ex military have their own problems. Because someone else is suffering does not mark it right for ours to be mistreated.

  18. Like a cigarette end, we are very often used, tossed away and then stamped on with a pair of size 12 ammo boots. So what’s new?

  19. Caswell Franklyn | June 21, 2012 at 10:28 PM |
    The BDF has bred a group of officers some of whom could only be described as the officers from hell and they treat soldiers like dirt. Something must be done about these little dictators or one of these disadvantaged soldiers might just go postal.
    Perhaps you could have made the difference,Sir.

  20. “The BDF has bred a group of officers some of whom could only be described as the officers from hell and they treat soldiers like dirt.”

    I remember serving under an officer whom Col Banfield had to order to get down with his Sam Browne and help the men do clean up. He posts in here everyday.

    Soldier Anonymous, why not tell the gathering what you were doing on the side that caused your services to be no longer required? As the Brigadier used to say, “undiscovered crime” makes for a certificate of exemplary service. Better read the Defence Act, too. You ain’t a civil servant, and the Ombudsman don’t deal with the army.

    David, ask any soldier who served with the gentleman you mentioned if he would have made a good COS. Mention the names “Broome” and “Spike” when you ask.

    Finally, the BDF has quite a few “little dictators”. Is it coincidence that so many passed through Waterford on their way to Bay Street?

  21. Clearly all is not well in the army….
    This may yet turn out to be a very useful post. Industrious sounds like someone who is able and willing to mount a defence…but..

    How many cases are they currently in the law courts related to the kind of issues raised by the former soldier?
    How is it that there have been so many top officers leaving the army over the past ten years?
    Why has there been such a dearth of new recruits?
    What really has become of the sports program? How is it helping local sport? What does it cost? Is this just a scam to put money into the army?

    Maybe BAFBFP is right about the need to shut the whole thing down and go back to a volunteer Regiment…… What would we save…? $30 million? $50 million?

  22. As a boy and a young man, I was intrigued by the idea of being a soldier but as the years passed I began to question the necessity of an army for Barbados. I have concluded that an army for Barbados is an unnecessary luxury that this country could ill-afford. We have no external enemies that are likely to invade, and in any event if they did they would overrun Barbados in mere minutes. Right now soldiers are continually deployed to assist the police since the Police Force is under strength. Why not use those resources to adequately equip the Police Force? The police could train a core group of officers to do what might be considered military duties.

    If for reasons of nostalgia, the country wants to retain some aspects of a military they could resort to a part time voluntary force as existed prior too 1978.

    One last interesting piece of trivia: Costa Rica with a population of 4.3 million has no army and they are not doing too badly.

    • To be fair to the BDF we should ask what it has achieved since being established in fulfilling its mandate. To whay extent has our police force been underperforming because resources continue to be diverted to the BDF. Would those resources be better spent on the RBPF?

  23. @ industrious u aint know wha gine on, the BDF runs it self internally it very seldom gets interference from Govt., the soldiers does not have the option to have their grievances heard from an outside body or association the system is design to look after soldiers through the chain of command.and deal with all matters that does not happen ask any solider. Your first contract is 6 yrs with the option to re-engage every 3 yrs providing u meet the requirements for re-engagement .Every solider knows that the chief at the end of the 3yrs can terminate the contract ,but the issue here is not the termination of the contract but how it is done with out ah valid reason at times and this has been going on for quite some time and between the time this current chief came to power look at the number of officers and junior rates that has left and who jump ship, when the poor power hungry chief caught himself he had depleted manpower and skills sets so much that he had to choice to hire civilians to work in ah number of substantive post once held by soldiers and officers it is hard to work fa 12 yrs did outstanding work when the police sick out work even harder in the Glendairy crisis and many more ops that cant be mentioned to be discharge and could not get ah simple reason for not being re-engage the least u could do fa a man is tell him why is services are no longer required but ya know why ya cant get na reason because most times its not ah valid reason or even lawfull, and don’t write the chairman of the board cause by de time de HQ dun give the PS in de MIN OF DEFENCE their reason and not the truth plus the PS is not verse in military procedure so case dun tried and nobody aint hear u yet and fundell never even saw or heard ur redress and lord help u if de chief and de PS is good friends and don’t even talk bout court most lawyers will bullshit u into frustration.

  24. equal rights and justice

    The fact that your sentiments are so commonplace throughout the length and breadth Barbados in all areas of public administration is proof positive that the political process DOES NOT WORK. These parliamentarians start their parade of soliloquies on Tuesday. Hope you have the stomach for the ignorance and deceit that will be on show, as it is clear that you have become exposed to an example of the extent to which a Minister is removed from the true undertakings that happen under his watch …!

  25. i will say it now and i don’t really care to much injustice in the BDF, for example
    If u have ah family member who is accused or under investigation lets say for ah drug offence u are first removed from any sensitive area and then polygraph till u fail and i mean up to 5 times till the HQ gets the result it once but if u fail once that’s it for u no second one to confirm and u can guarantee once u go to renew that contract it wont be renewed cause de ole chief feels if ya uncle bad u bad and u would have lost ur job because of ah family member,
    But mind u the deputy chief son who buse she more than once on base and had to be put out and was charge and remanded for drugs and ……nothing last i heard he was on ah military course in England.

  26. must i say like the police the BDF investigates itself only if an offence is found to be criminal is the police called otherwise its all in house cleaning and gross social politics

  27. equal rights and justice | June 22, 2012 at 2:25 PM |
    must i say like the police the BDF investigates itself only if an offence is found to be criminal is the police called otherwise its all in house cleaning and gross social politics.
    Isn’t this the norm in just about every military organisation?

  28. Colonel Buggy
    What norm what?!?

    What can be “norm” about a situation where a complaint by anyone in any organization is dealt with first by the head of that organization. If the matter is appealed, it goes to a PS who is usually some little retarded woman who is so overawed with the position that she has to be told which panty to wear on which occasion – by the same head of the military.

    WHEN that PS inevitably supports the Army man’s original position, (after months or years of delaying and deflecting) the matter may be referred to the Defence Board which is…… You guessed it!!! The ARMY HEAD, the Prime Minister and the AG, the latter two of whom are 100% directed by the former – in every area of the matter …..including being the person who represents the original accuser’s case to the board LOLOLOLOL.

    In other words, the four of them (the PS is there too) sit together, and guided by the Army chief, decide on the matter – and their decision is final.
    …..see if you can figure out why there are hardly any officers with any balls left in the army. ….why so many left in the last 10 years
    …Industrius can probably list them for you

    …see if you can figure out why “former soldier” is disgruntled….

    What norm what?!?

  29. That was ah nice ah nice cup of bush tea lol @bush tea u hit de nail right pun de head leadership in de army is piss poor and hence the reason for low moral seeing that the men have no real course for redress through the welfare officer who at the end of the day has to answer and can be fired by the chief so if ur redress is agianst capt and up and its through the welfare officer ya wasting ya time and de men know that

  30. @millertheanunnaki | June 21, 2012 at 6:23 PM keep a significantly reduced Defence Force for ceremony, pomp & pageantry.

    Dear miller etc. For 40+ years I’ve worked like Joe Heap mule and when I come home pun a Friday I so fcuking tired that I can’t even bathe myself.

    I real simple so explain to me again why my taxes should be used to support a decorative army?

  31. Those of us who are calling for the scrapping of the BDF. Are we the same people who were forced to wear pampers, and heaped praises on the same BDF for containing what could have been an explosive situation ,after the prisoners burned down Glendairy Prisions and were subsequently housed in make shift locations.

  32. Simple Simon | June 24, 2012 at 2:35 PM |
    “I real simple so explain to me again why my taxes should be used to support a decorative army?”

    Because Bajans see themselves as little “Englanders”. Didn’t you realize the amount of ‘importance’ that was attached to the recent costly celebrations of the Queen’s diamond jubilee and the inauguration of the new GG?
    Don’t you appreciate how important it is to award knighthoods and other monarchical and colonial awards and titles? Without these designations social climbing, hypocritical community PR involvement and craving for attention and publicity would be an exercise in futility.
    Don’t you know that the only reason Bajans don’t want their country to become a Republic is because they would look like jackasses instead of apes (as they are now) if they were to become constitutionally a republic but still award these titles and refer to people as “Sir This” and “Dame That” with the local Dad’s Army still marching to “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary “?

    Come on, Simple Simon man, you must give the people a form of social methadone to wean them off a 300 year heroin addiction called colonialism. Right, Sir?

  33. Buggy

    The situation at Glendairy needed attention long before the fires started. There were serious accommodation issues. Had the necessary attention been given by those responsible there would have been no need for the fire fighting exercise and loss of life that followed. I say keeping a defense force to cover for the incompetence of administrative decision makers (particularly those in policy setting positions) is a complete waste of money … and if you Buggy give me any back chat I gun cuss ya royalist ass …! 🙂

  34. Firemen who work at the airport station have a relatively easy job, yes, they have to be present for every aircraft that lands but very seldom do they have anything to do. So too is the BDF, they are there to see that no outside interference occurs in this country. Barbaos is a nation and every nation deals to have a Defence Force, imagine if we didn’t have one, the drugs trade would have easily taken over Barbados. As it is now the situation is pretty bad imagine what would happen if there as none. This is just one small part of what the BDF function entails

    • Scout

      Those same men in police uniforms could do the job. Your argument is not convincing.

  35. @ Simple Simon | June 24, 2012 at 8:40 PM |

    Things are not that simple in real life.

    If so we will be able to “manage” the Mary Jane problem by decriminalizing the trade and allow the local production & distribution to flourish in order to save foreign exchange and contain related criminal activities.
    But then again a whole heap of socially important people- (policemen, lawyers, judicial officers, probation officers, social workers and prison authorities) would not be able to earn a living. The only reason Mary Jane remains an illicit trade is because it’s a very difficult ‘cottage’ business to tax; unlike alcohol and tobacco.

    “Simple Simon met a pieman,
    Going to the fair;
    Says Simple Simon to the pieman,
    Let me taste your ware.
    Says the pieman to Simple Simon,
    Show me first your penny;
    Says Simple Simon to the pieman,
    Indeed I have not any.
    Simple Simon went a-fishing,
    For to catch a whale;
    All the water he had got,
    Was in his mother’s pail.
    Simple Simon went to look
    If plums grew on a thistle;
    He pricked his fingers very much,
    Which made poor Simon whistle.”

  36. ac | June 24, 2012 at 8:36 PM |
    Less we forget that during World War 2, the Gestapo and the SS, among others were classified as policemen, but many in fact were trained and equipped to the level of front line soldiers. The same most likely applies to the Costa Rica police, who for all intents and purposes are Military.
    A rose by any other name would etc etc.

    • Colonel Buggery

      People always resort to irrelevancies to try to silence me. I have no personal vendettas. I am merely suggesting that everything that is being done by the BDF can be accomplished by the RBPF with the necessary training and equipment. Maybe your head was too far up yours to realise that the BDF is almost always deployed to do police duties.

      Strengthen the police force, give them the training and equipment to allow them to perform the residual role that the BDFplays and you can eliminate one of the command structures and save millions. Remember, we only had a defence force from 1978 and the police was responsible for everything.

  37. Caswell Franklyn | June 24, 2012 at 9:10 PM |

    Those same men in police uniforms could do the job. Your argument is not convincing.

    Be careful sir, some may think that you are waging a personal vendata against the BDF.

  38. Caswell Franklyn | June 24, 2012 at 11:34 PM |
    Colonel Buggery

    Remember, we only had a defence force from 1978 and the police was responsible for everything.
    And we all remembered what happened on the night of December 1st, or 2nd , 1966, and who had to intervene to restore some semblance of order. Less we forget.

  39. I do what I like,when I like,and willing to accept all consequences for my actions.This was, is. and will always be my code of conduct,and as such am willing to attach my signature to anything that I say,publish or do. Let me here say that I HATE COWARDS,and I think that its a cowardly act to hide behind anonymity. Yet at the same time ,calling out other persons name. I am of the old school,and am still of the opinion that our battles should not be fought in the media;electronic or otherwise.Patience is still a virtue,things don’t happen overnight,and as my grandmother always said,”If greedy wait,Hot would cool”. Most of you who now shout must recall that when you first joined and signed the dotted line,for membership in the B.D.F ,did so without pressure,and of the knowledge that it was a non pensionable post,,over the years ,this mistake was corrected ,and today most of you are better off for it. Brothers,This too will pass.

    • Miche

      What you are saying is not necessarily accurate. From inception, and I can speak from inception because I was there, it was always intended that the BDF would provide pensions. All the permanent staff of the Regiment were pensionable but since the soldiers in the new entity would have been working under different conditions, they decided to have different arrangements. Unfortunately, they took too long to work out a reasonable pension scheme.

  40. Caswell, I must ask you to define “not necessarily accurate” It is either correct or In-correct in my book…no room for Grey,,Black or white.

    • Miche

      I am sorry that I was not clear. I was trying to point out to you that even though what you said about the pension was technically correct because there was no pension law in place: from the inception of the BDF soldiers were promised a pension. The promise was made at the highest level and even in Force Orders so the soldiers could reasonably rely on the promise.

  41. BAFBFP | June 25, 2012 at 11:44 PM |
    Wait Buggy wah it is dat you talkin’ ’bout …?
    Something that we have swept under the carpet. Starting off as an independent country with a disturbance /riot on day #2.,where the 2 Day PM had to call out the BR.

  42. @ miche Let me tell u something,first and foremost what u think is ur business,de reason u feel battles should not be fought in the media is because wunna does walk about looking proud in wunna uniform and on parades showing face making ppl feel all is well behaving like whiten sepulchres but on de inside is dead man bones.talking bout ole school but ole school is wha got de ppl place so. ppl in Barbados don’t even know de shite that does go on in dey but ppl like u would like to keep it so and de real coward is ppl like u that would sit on ur ass and say nothing and watch ah chief of staff discharge soldiers and cant even look them in da face and be BRAVE enough to tell them why their services are no longer required.

  43. Equal rights etc,etc. Getting up on your high horse cannot knock me down…it seems to me that , you were elected to say whose business is theirs and whose is not..,is not what you think your business as well…. You talk like an outsider, “WUNNA”,then to make it worse,you go on a tantrum ,and show your lack of the ability to communicate without the expletives;,,You call others cowards, when in-fact cowards always allow the media to fight their battles rather than come out and show that they are brave enough to stand firmly behind their WORDS. They have chosen names like John Smith, Anonymous,When in fact the name that they know themselves to be is Scare crow.or Judas COWARD..(Judas because of the ability to betray,and Coward because,.well that needs no explanation.. The only difference between you and the KKK was that they used a visible mask–

  44. @ miche in this time of the NEW WORLD ORDER the shepherds must be wise for the devil our enemy walks as ah man but is ah roaring dragon seeking to whom he will devour

  45. Let me here say that If any one had reason too be angry at certain decisions made by military top brass, I would be claiming that #1 spot,But I am not ,because have moved on,
    Anger is a healthy emotion ,given to us by our creator.In bestowing it upon us,he did so with an operation guideline booklet,in which he instructed us “Be angry,but sin not”.,Anger is a destroyer of those who cannot bring it under control,and I guess that some of you ppl may have reason to be angry,then they are those who are motivated by “Political reasons”(You know who I mean)but the place to vent your anger is not in the social medias,and I do agree with you when you stated that the devil is a destroyer,he would use anyone who gives him that opportunity ,so don’t fall prey to his bidding,let dialogue be done over desk,and not in the medias, We have all made that pledge to Uphold and Defend, The organisation that is now being blasted by some even took this a little further,for not only will they Uphold and defend,but they will do so with Excellence,,Even though we may not be functioning members, let us continue to waive the excellence flag,,,you were a part of a solid foundation,one without cracks,, Why drill holes in it now.

  46. Colonel Buggy,,A few questions for U,
    (1)How long did it take before you knew that all that is done by the BDF ,could be done by the police,,
    ( 2) Is it really true that soldiers are trained to kill,,,Why then is it the Defence force and not the killing force..Maybe it is true that you were trained to DEFEND,,but in doing so, someone may,be killed.

  47. Colonel Buggy,,A few questions for U,
    (1)How long did it take before you knew that all that is done by the BDF ,could be done by the police,,
    ( 2) Is it really true that soldiers are trained to kill,,,Why then is it the Defence force and not the killing force..Maybe it is true that you were trained to DEFEND,,but in doing so, someone may,be killed.
    miche. I would suggest that you re-read my posts , as well as those written by others, directed to/at me.

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