Commodore Antonette S Wemyss-Gorman
Commodore (Cdre) Antonette Wemyss-Gorman is a pioneer service woman in the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), being the first female officer to attain a Flag rank. She joined the JDF in August 1992 and completed her professional development training overseas at the Britannia Royal Naval College, HMS Dryadin and at the US Naval War College. During her 15 years onboard various classes of ships in the Jamaica Defence Force Coast Guard (JDF CG), she has sailed the Caribbean, deploying to Haiti in support of JDF troops serving with the CARICOM Contingent in Operation “UPHOLD DEMOCRACY”, to The Bahamas and the Dominican Republic for exercise Tradewinds, to Curacao and other islands on multiple military and diplomatic missions. Her last sea command was as Commanding Officer of HMJS SURREY, a 42-metre Offshore Patrol Vessel which she sailed on its maiden voyage from Gorinchem, Holland to Jamaica in October 2007. Under her command, the ship completed a rigorous trials program, including the completion of Readiness Inspections and a variety of Sea Acceptance Trials including an emergency Drydock to correct ship building deficiencies identified. She holds a Master’s Degree with distinction in National Security and Strategic Studies from the University of the West Indies.
Cdre Wemyss-Gorman has held various critical appointments ashore including Unit Operations Officer, Officer Commanding Shore Base and Second in Command of the JDF Air Wing. She established and was appointed Commandant of the Caribbean Military Maritime Training Centre (CMMTC) in 2012. She developed the core courses of the Centre, including a flagship Bridge Watchkeeping Course for officers and the Naval Boarding Party course for enlisted, which, under her tenure trained over 300 persons from the JDF and from local and regional partners. Cdre Wemyss-Gorman is credited with modernizing the standards of training for the JDF CG and for the implementation of proficiency checks to improve operational effectiveness and accountability. Cdre Wemyss-Gorman was subsequently appointed Commanding Officer of the JDF CG, and attained the rank of Commander, making her the first female to attain that rank and Unit command in the JDF. As Commanding Officer, Cdre Wemyss-Gorman was engaged in the retooling of the Force’s Offshore Patrol Fleet. Her last line command was Brigade Commander of the Maritime Air and Cyber Command, a unique structure which she stood up as part of the transformation of the JDF into a division sized Force. Other notable appointments, these external to the JDF, include a secondment to the Ministry of Transport and Works as Deputy Director for Marine Transport, appointments to the Fisheries Advisory Board, and to the National COVID-19 Response Advisory Committee. Cdre Wemyss-Gorman has represented the JDF at various international fora, speaking on regional maritime security, transnational organized crime and search and rescue among other matters.
Promoted to her current rank in December 2019, Cdre Wemyss-Gorman assumed the post of Force Executive Officer, providing Force development guidance in support of the transformation vision of the Chief of Defence Staff. Cdre Wemyss-Gorman led the Force Strategic Defence Review which charts the course of the Force up to 2037. She oversees policies and all the staff branches within the Division Headquarters. Cdre Wemyss-Gorman is the most senior ranking naval and female officer in the JDF. She has been awarded the Order of Distinction (Officer Class) for her distinguished military service, the Medal of Honour For Meritorious Service, the Military Commendation Medal and the Medal of Honour For General Service for operations in the local theatre among others. She has also received an award for distinguished leadership by the United Nations Women Leadership Initiative (WLI) in 2015. In May 2019 Cdre Wemyss-Gorman was honoured by the Women in the Caribbean Maritime Association for her contribution to maritime security in the region. An avid gardener, she is also passionate about female empowerment and provides charitable service to girls through the WLI. She is mother to 15-year-old James and is married to Jonathan.