PICA Chairman Salutes JDF Stalwarts

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Chairman of the advisory board of the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA), Joe Issa, has hailed incoming and outgoing stalwarts of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF).

Submitted: February 10, 2017

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Submitted: February 10, 2017

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Chairman of the advisory board of the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA), Joe Issa, has hailed incoming and outgoing stalwarts of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF).

In an interview with Issa, who was recently appointed to chair PICA, he commended former Chief of Staff of the JDF, Major General Rudolph Green and expressed condolences to his family and friends. Major General Green died this week at the age of 90.

PICA, an executive agency since June 2007, partners with the JDF to secure Jamaica’s borders in accepting and processing passport applications and managing the country’s immigration processes, among others.

Referred to by the general public as the passport office, PICA is said to have evolved from the former Immigration, Citizenship and Passport Services Division of the Ministry of National Security.

“Generally, as citizens, we ought to pay homage to the soldiers who defend our country and protect our borders,” says Issa, the Cool Group founder and executive chairman who was just 25years old when Major General Green retired.

Issa adds: “I don’t know Major General Green personally, but the little I know of him he seems to have been a very professional person on and off the field and has served Jamaica well. My condolences go out to his family and friends.”

“I also understand he served during the challenging era of the 1970s and had given to charities over the years,” says Issa, who is also a philanthropist with several charitable projects helping to educate underprivileged children.

He says of Major General Green: “I think he deserves to be commended, particularly for the professionalism which he is said to have maintained within the JDF.”

Major General Green, Jamaica’s fourth JDF Chief of Staff since Independence “steered the army through the difficult times of the 1970s and is remembered for his strong emphasis on professionalism within and outside of the JDF,” the Jamaica Observer said.

Among others who have praised Major General Green is JDF Chief of Defence Staff, Rear Admiral Hardley Lewin, who has referred to him as an icon, a visionary, a true professional and patriot.

“Green was the first Jamaican soldier to be conferred with the rank of Major General, as previously, all the heads of the JDF were ranked as Brigadiers. He was also a freemason who was well respected for his charitable work,” the newspaper wrote.

But even as Issa, a Eucharistic Minister of the Roman Catholic Church, bids farewell to one JDF Stalwart, he welcomes another – Brigadier Rocky Meade.

Brigadier Meade has just replaced Major General Antony Anderson as Chief of Defence staff of the JDF, after being deputy for five years and serving JDF for 32 years.

“I welcome Brigadier Meade to the position as a Jamaican interested in the internal and external security of citizens and the country and as chairman of PICA, which is in partnership with the JDF in securing the island’s borders.

“I believe he is fit for the job, having served as deputy for so long…his time has come, and I am happy for him and look forward to working with him in all my capacities, including as a member of the Ocho Rios Chamber of Commerce Past President Advisory Committee,” says Issa.

Apparently, Mead’s journey to the top started when he joined the Jamaica Combined Cadet Force Unit at Wolmer’s on the advice of his mother. This is said to have led him to become an aeroplane pilot while still there in the late 1970s.

Mead reportedly said at his swearing-in ceremony that “the journey of a thousand miles began with that one step… and I saw the JDF as the next logical step to pursue my love for the military.” In welcoming yet another stalwart, Issa adds: “I also congratulate Major General Anderson as he takes up his new position as advisor to the prime minister and the minister of national security on how best to secure our country.”

According to a communiqué, Major General Anderson, through the National Security Council (NSC), will advise on several matters to do with the internal and external security of Jamaica.

According to the release, he will advise specifically on “defence, crime and security, public safety-related policy and strategy, inter-agency cooperation, partner-nation engagement, and regional and international security.”

Says Issa: “Major General Anderson has wide and deep knowledge of the security of the country and is experienced in internal law and order strategies…I expect him to do well in his new role as National Security Advisor (NSA).”


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