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Barbados Underground

What Is Wrong With The Barbados Defense Force?

The Barbados Defense Force is the name given to the combined armed forces of Barbados. The BDF was established August 15th, 1979, and has responsibility for the territorial defense and internal security of the island.

There are three main components of the BDF:

  • Force Headquarters — provided administrative and logistical support for the entire force
  • The Barbados Regiment — this is the main land force component, and encompasses both regular and reserve units.
  • Barbados Coast Guard — this is the maritime element, with responsibility for patrolling Barbados’ territorial waters as well as drug interdiction and humanitarian and life-saving exercises.
  • Barbados Cadet Corp — Military youth organisation. Includes Infantry and Sea Cadets
Source: Wikipedia


Increasingly as the crime situation deteriorates, our Barbados Defense Force (BDF) will be called upon to play an increasing role in domestic and regional security duties. They are many who believe that the small size of Barbados should make an army unnecessary in our neck of the woods. Two reasons which are readily offered by those anti-army are 1). the threat of a military to democratically elected governments and 2). the high cost of maintenance by countries with limited resources . Over the years we have witnessed our BDF being called to assist the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) on routine patrols, participating in disaster efforts, ceremonial duties at national events to name a few. BU sides with the view that the BDF has been used to absorb mostly young males as a strategy to keep them employed over the years. In recent times the BDF has been unable to attract applicants which meet the basic enrollment qualification. It has become a source of concern in certain quarters. If the BDF is to replenish soldiers who retire, resign, dismiss or leave through other means recruits will have to be found, and soon.

We can always rely on a member of the Bajan blogosphere to offer a view, read on:

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Can A Woman Ever Be Equal?

Military Mom’s are Stressed and in Need of Help


Photo U.S. Specialist Jennifer Fifield of the 2nd Battalion of the 12th Cavalry Regiment attends a briefing at the forward operating base of Liberty camp April 1, 2007, before leaving for a mission in Baghdad’s northwest Sunni neighborhood of Ghazaliya. Mothers in the U.S. military are stressed, poorly paid and need more help caring for their children, according to a report issued by Congress on Friday. (Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters)

Military Mom’s Stressed and in Need of Help

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Mothers in the U.S. military are stressed, poorly paid and need more help caring for their children, according to a report issued by Congress on Friday.

Nearly half of all women in the active-duty military have been deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, and 24,475 women are there now, the report by the Joint Economic Committee said.

Yet child care services are not keeping up with longer and more frequent deployments, said the report, released to coincide with Mothers’ Day in the United States on Sunday.

Moreover, women get only 6 weeks of leave after the birth of a child, it found. — read full article


Picked up on this story while reading some of the international blogs and BU readers may ask how is this relevant to the Barbados scene. The punch line in the story seems to suggest that the US female soldiers deployed in Iraq all appear to be of the lowest rank and therefore the lowest paid. The idea that the USA is a co-educational system and one would assume that if one in seven soldiers in Iraq is a woman then there should be a high probability that that should be reflected in the number of senior female officers in Iraq as well. Why is it that in every other area of the society the success of women who are penetrating the glass ceiling is evident but not the army. It just seems that men have an innate belief that we must protect our women. Perhaps the fact that US female soldiers are lowly placed in rank is to act as a disincentive,

Here in Barbados we quibble about the merits and demerits of co-education but in the USA which is regarded as the freest of all democratic countries the old but innate primal male characteristic is still alive!

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