How the BDF Can Help More

andrew_nehaul

Submitted by Andrew Nehaul

The Barbados Defence Force – an essential part of the Barbados community

The Barbados Defence Force (BDF) although an integral part of the Government is perhaps an enigma to most Barbadians as they mostly see the members of this organization only at official ceremonies. It is not my intention to go into the makeup or day to day running of this entity but rather to explore how the BDF can be encompassed more as a part of the Barbadian society.

My connection with the BDF began in 1981. There was a mild hurricane that passed close to Barbados and volunteers were sought by the BDF to help people in the north of the island whose homes were damaged. I knew Brigadier Lewis and volunteered. I was given a uniform and some carpentry tools and 10 of us were sent by truck to replace roofs, outhouses and other parts of dwellings affected by the wind and rain. It was the first time that I felt the joy of giving back as I was able to witness and help the plight of the poor and elderly Bajans we served that day.

Although time has passed and I now live 5000 miles from Barbados I, like others have a feeling of love and patriotism for a country that is so small that in the past some world atlases did not even show it.  I have a fondness for the BDF and the great work they do for Barbados and so, this is simply to suggest other common areas that the BDF may be open to.

  1. May I suggest that at 5 pm each day the BDF should have exercises at the Garrison Savannah where all are invited to partake. Starting with a bugle to get attention, this can be a run on the garrison, sit-ups and/or other cardiovascular exercises. People can do as much or little as they like but participating in this should be fun and not work. The best would be to have someone who is extroverted leading the exercises (radio station personalities?) who can encourage these budding athletes and put them at ease. Perhaps a brief discussion once or twice a week about food for healthy living etc can be added. All the radio stations should encourage Bajans to attend and get a healthier life.
  2. As part of the chef’s course at the hotel school, the trainee chefs should spend 2 weeks in the kitchens of the BDF cooking for its members.  Moreover, 12 head chefs at restaurants and hotels across the island should be encouraged to offer their services free of cost for one day a month. The emphasis should be on creating dishes based on the BDF budget and I am sure that this would not only be a challenge but a task that will be favoured by them. The menus and recipes of the visiting chef along with his portrait should be shared on the BDF site and their social media.
  3. All Barbadians should be encouraged to volunteer for 2 days a year to the BDF. They can be given basic training, used to maintain Government buildings, rake a beach, learn scuba diving, learn to drive a truck, share IT skills etc This should not be seen as free labour but more about community building. Thereafter they can then decide if they want to be a part of a reserve and be called up in event of national emergencies (hurricanes, fires etc). 

Finally the BDF should create and sell souvenirs exclusively for Barbadians who have served with them where the money goes towards a fund as set out by the command of the force. These could be pins, belts etc and can only be purchased by people who have volunteered or taken part in the above exercises.

13 comments

  • good story. i have numerous close friends in the BDF.

    they know my position when it comes to that organisation. it should be disbanded. there is absolutely no need for a professional army in Bim. The Coast Guard, yes. A voluntary Regiment, yes. A professional Army, no way.

    all that you addressed can be done by a voluntary regiment that can be embodied full time when necessary or by a hybrid of a small cadre of professional army people supplemented by volunteers but not the sizable useless thing we have now.

    they could be phased into the police, the fire service and the prisons if they so wish

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  • @ Greene May 19, 2020 9:00 AM
    “good story. i have numerous close friends in the BDF.
    they know my position when it comes to that organisation. it should be disbanded. there is absolutely no need for a professional army in Bim. The Coast Guard, yes. A voluntary Regiment, yes. A professional Army, no way.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    You are not the only one. Your UK-based buddy, Mr. Spot On, has always argued for its restructuring only if to reduce the massive annual expenditure budget under BERT and now Covid.

    Shouldn’t the surplus to requirements be asked to transfer to the RBPF to fill the massive recruiting gap?
    Of course, with the proper training to ensure they appreciate they are now dealing with civilians and have to operate within the confines of the LAW and not shooting targets or invisible enemies like Covid.

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  • Now, now, don’t be too quick to bury the BDF, the chosen leader will need these individuals to prop up her dictatorship in the near future, that is Bajans finally wake up and comprehend what’s UP and go Busa.

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  • @ Miller

    Your point is well taken on the subject of a merger for BDS Army & RBPF.
    The Gov can implement this immediately with the necessary law enforcement courses set in place for Army personnel.

    Credos to you Sir

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  • The BDF is a total waste of funds. The late Colonel Banfield was opposed to the establishment of the BDF. He strongly supported the Volunteer Force. I have always maintained that this country needs a very well managed and equipped Coast Guard to protect its coastal economic zone. Barbados has not got the capability to interdict factory-ships of the Asian nation exploiting its exclusive economic zone. What is the function of the BDF? As far as I can ascertain the quasi militarized police force and the BDF serve as the sword of Damocles, to subjugate the citizenry into a comatose state, whereby questioning of the elite’s action is not attempted.

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  • @ robert lucas May 19, 2020 5:17 PM

    You really go straight to the heart of the matter with your no nonsense approach to reality; that is, survival of the fittest.

    Guys like you who dare to speak out- in the interest of justice and fair play- are always considered enemies of the banana republic state.

    Just watch for what happens to poor Mr. Maurice Waldron who has inherited in his daddy surgeon’s hands.

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  • “Guys like you who dare to speak out- in the interest of justice and fair play- are always considered enemies of the banana republic state.”

    and they always have a SECRET FILE on these people, using taxpayers money protecting the nastiness that is the status quo and their corruption in banana republic.apartheid, racist slave society Barbados….

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  • @WURA-War-on-U May 20, 2020 4:57 AM

    I used to think that Gladstone Holder was talking a lot of crap about his correspondence from over-seas being opened when it landed on these shores; until my Food Science Journals would come torn and replaced locally by new packaging. There would be a cover note apologizing for the damage. This sort of s–t continued for quite a few years. I was on the call-in program on CBC with Benn and I would get a good laugh explaining how stupid the authorities were in allowing access to sodium nitrate and not sodium nitrite for use in ham making. As I explained on the program, sodium nitrate was used in the manufacture of gun powder not sodium nitrite. In any event to make explosive is quite easy for any one with a back ground in chemistry, And here they were opening my journals dealing with food safety and how to make food products. My Food Science Journal had a lot of complex chemistry and i was wondering how the ass these idiot would follow the chemistry, since some of it gave me some problems in following.

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  • In the 1990’s there was a program on V.O.B in which the commissioner of Police was interviewed. Out of the blue he made it known that the police had all the arms and ordinance to to settle any dispute with the citizenry. I have always remembered that interviewed, considering that there was no discussion about the citizenry being inclined to rise up.. Here this man was stating what the police would do. I am glad that there are a lot of arms in the country and that what happened in 1937 cannot happen again. This virus ought to be an awakening for those who feel that having access to arms mean that they can call the shots and do as their like.

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  • @robert lucas May 20, 2020 10:32 AM ” he made it known that the police had all the arms and ordinance to to settle any dispute with the citizenry.”

    Tut, tut!

    Maybe at the time the person had forgotten who was paying his salary?

    It sounds like a “crack some heads” statement.

    Wait! By the way what ever became of the “gentleman” who knew that the “government” had the power to crack our hard foolish heads?

    Wait he is no longer one of the governors?

    Statements like that are ALWAYS crack head statements.

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  • “My Food Science Journal had a lot of complex chemistry and i was wondering how the ass these idiot would follow the chemistry, since some of it gave me some problems in following.”

    they were exercising their power over you….wait until Ms. Fighting Imperialism realize just how much shite she can do until she is stopped by the electorate…

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  • They always tend to forget the most important thing while on their LITTLE POWER TRIPS… that all these little secret arms of this and that MUST BE PAID BY THE TAXPAYERS whom none of them protect…

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  • Does Barbados need a standing Army? Some would say not in a million years but the BDF is not about arms or fire power it is about employment. No Gov’t would disband the BDF without an alternative means of employment for the members and that is not a given.

    We could do without many workers occupying positions in both Gov’t and private industry but what would that do for social harmony (did I say unemployment)?

    Like

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