Commander (Cdr) Judy-Ann Neil is a Wolmerian and a graduate of the University of Technology and the University of the West Indies respectively. She enlisted in the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) in 1998 and was selected to attend the Britannia Royal Naval College, UK. She received the Academic Award on completion of the Royal Navy Young Officers’ Course in 1999 and returned to Jamaica, where she was posted to the JDF Coast Guard (JDF CG).
Cdr Neil has held several shore-based appointments at the JDF CG to include Marine Environmental Protection Officer, Operations Officer, and Officer Commanding Shore Base. She was seconded to the Ministry of National Security in 2004 where she worked at the National Security Strategy Secretariat. In 2008, she successfully completed her command at sea exam and was appointed Commanding Officer (CO) HMJS SURREY. From thereon, she had the distinct pleasure of commanding all three of the original County Class Offshore Patrol Vessels throughout her seagoing years at the JDF CG.
In 2011, she graduated from the staff course at the US Naval War College and was appointed Deputy Inspector General (Boards and Investigations) on her return to the JDF. Cdr Neil has completed several training courses and seminars in the USA, Holland, China, Chile, Canada, and Sweden. In November 2018, she graduated from the World Maritime University (WMU) with an MSc in Maritime Affairs; she was also elected as the fifth President of the WMU Women’s Association and was a recipient of the WMU Kalmar Award for Leadership.
Cdr Neil was the inaugural Force Gender Advisor in 2019; she was also appointed CO Directorate of Training and Doctrine in 2020. She is the recipient of the Military Commendation Medal for Excellence, the Medal of Honour for General Service, and the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Medal. Cdr Neil is married and has a daughter Chloe; her hobbies include sailing, reading, and cycling. Since 2003, she has been an active member of the Rotary Club of Kingston East and Port Royal and she enjoys mentoring young people.