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The Jamaica Regiment

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The Jamaica Regiment
Cap Badge of the Jamaica Defence Force
Active31 July 1962–Present
Country Jamaica
Branch Jamaica Defence Force
TypeLine Infantry
RoleLight infantry
SizeFive battalions
Part ofJamaica Defence Force
Garrison/HQRHQ - Moneague
1st Battalion - Kingston
2nd Battalion - Montego Bay
3rd Battalion - Kingston
4th Battalion - Central Region of Jamaica
Combat Support Battalion
Motto(s)First and Foremost (1st Battalion)
Strive to achieve, never to yield (2nd Battalion)
Always Ready (3rd Battalion)
MarchQuick - Jamaica Defence Force
Colonel in ChiefThe King
Cap band dicing
Sentries of the Jamaica Regiment outside St James's Palace in July 2007

The Jamaica Regiment is the main formation of land troops in the Jamaica Defence Force. It is a non-mechanised infantry regiment consisting of five battalions, three regular infantry battalions, one territorial infantry battalion, and a Combat Support Battalion. A fifth infantry battalion (5 JR) is starting to be formed.[when?] The regiment has two main operational missions:

It also has been known to provide public duties in for the government and the capital on behalf of the JDF.

The regiment has two main camps. Traditionally, the two regular battalions (1 JR and 2 JR) rotated annually between them. This approach is evolving towards a geographic deployment in three regions. The battalion at Up Park Camp in Kingston has a commitment to assisting the local police in maintaining law and order, while the battalion at Moneague Training Camp in Moneague, St Ann is mainly committed to anti-drug patrols.

In 2018 the Jamaican government decided to have an enhanced, regional structure for the Jamaica Regiment. Thus, it decided to add a third regular battalion (4 JR) to support the police in Jamaica's central region.[1] In addition, the regiment is one of the main units that supplies United Nations peacekeeping troops for situations in the Caribbean region.



The Jamaica Regiment was initially formed in 1954 as a unit on the British Army colonial list. In 1958, the Federation of the West Indies was founded, and the regiment passed from the control of the War Office to the new Federation government, where it, and the other infantry regiments of the various Caribbean islands, were disbanded and reorganised into the West India Regiment. This lasted only two years, before this was disbanded and each of the individual islands regained control over their own armies. Initially, the regiment consisted of the 1st Battalion and the 3rd Battalion (National Reserve); however, the increasing array of tasks that the regiment was called upon to perform led to it being stretched. So, in 1979, 3 companies and part of the HQ of the 1st Battalion were split and used to form the 2nd Battalion; this mirrored the form and functions of the 1st Battalion. In 1999, the 2nd Battalion had the honour of mounting the guard at Buckingham Palace. The 1st Battalion undertook this during a visit to the United Kingdom in July and August 2007.[2]

In 1983, the regiment participated in the United States-led invasion of Grenada. In 2019 the Jamaican government announced that the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) would be expanded. As a result of this growth the Jamaica Regiment will fulfill two functions. Firstly, it will continue as a "British-style" infantry regiment that is the spiritual home and repository of customs and traditions for a number of battalions that do not necessarily serve together operationally. Secondly, it will act as a brigade-level formation for four infantry battalions of the regiment as well as a combat support battalion.[3] At the end of the planned growth, the Jamaica Regiment will consist of four regular infantry battalions (1st, 2nd, 4th, and 5th), a Combat Support Battalion, and three reserve infantry battalions (3rd, 6th, and 9th).[4]


Members of the JRB at Buckingham Palace.

Currently, the regiment consists of the following regular/reserve units:



The regimental march of the Jamaica Regiment is the JDF March. However, each of the regiment's three battalions has its own march:

  • 1st Battalion – So Early In The Morning
  • 2nd Battalion – 2nd Battalion West India Regiment (Königgrätzer Marsch)



Former members


See also



  1. ^ a b "Fourth Battalion The Jamaica Regiment | JDF.org The Official Website of The Jamaica Defence Force".
  2. ^ "BBC News | UK | Palace honour for Jamaican troops". news.bbc.co.uk.
  3. ^ "Jamaica Regiment | JDF.org The Official Website of The Jamaica Defence Force".
  4. ^ Regular battalions - https://www.jdfweb.com/jamaica-regiment. Reserve battalions - https://www.jdfweb.com/jamaica-national-reserve/
  5. ^ "Combat Support Battalion Duties | JDF.org The Official Website of The Jamaica Defence Force".
  6. ^ Moskowitz, David (2006) Caribbean Popular Music: an Encyclopedia of Reggae, Mento, Ska, Rock Steady, and Dance Hall, Greenwood Press, ISBN 0-313-33158-8, p.144
  7. ^ Larkin, Colin (1998) The Virgin Encyclopedia of Reggae, Virgin Books, ISBN 0-7535-0242-9, p.131