Colonel (Col) Ricardo Stanford Blidgen was born in Kingston, where he received his early education through to high school from 1977 to 1990; when he graduated from the St Andrew Technical High School. After leaving high school, he worked with Sealy Jamaica Limited for a short stint, and then went to work with Cable & Wireless Jamaica Limited for ten (10) years. He also worked with a few other companies in the transportation, security, safety and administrative fields.
Col Blidgen began his career in the Jamaica Defence Force on 24 June 1993 and was commissioned in the rank of Second Lieutenant on 3 December 1995. He has served in several capacities and appointments throughout his military career such as; Infantry Platoon Commander, Recce Platoon Commander, Transport Officer, Regimental Signals Officer, Cadre Training Officer, Second in Command Echo Company, Second in Command Alpha Company and Second in Command Bravo Company, Officer Commanding Headquarter Company, Officer Commanding Alpha Company, Officer Commanding Bravo Company, Officer Commanding Charlie,Officer Commanding Echo Company and Second in Command of the Third Battalion The Jamaica Regiment (National Reserve) – 3JR (NR). He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on 27 July 2018 and appointed Commanding Officer of 3JR (NR). He was then appointed Brigade Executive Officer of the Jamaica National Reserve (JNR) on 9 March 2020. On 1 September 2020, he was promoted to the rank of Colonel and appointed Brigade Commander of the JNR.
Col Blidgen has represented the JDF in Puerto Rico, Honduras, the United Kingdom and Canada and has attended various military courses to include the Officer Commissioning Course, Platoon Commanders’ Battle Course, Service Fund Accounting Course, Environmental Impact Assessment, Strategic Environmental Assessment, Caribbean Strategic Security Course, Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Response in Honduras and the Canadian Joint Command Staff Programme.
He holds a Master of Environmental and Business Management Degree from The University of Newcastle, New South Wales and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) Degree from the University of Technology, Jamaica.
Col Blidgen is the recipient of the Medal of Honour for Efficient Service, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, the Medal of Honour for Meritorious Service and the First Bar to the Medal of Honour for Efficient Service.
He is an Industrial Security Professional in his private avocation, and presently manages the corporate security portfolio among other functions and responsibilities at the Jamaica Public Service Company Limited.
He is married with two (2) sons and is a Justice of the Peace for the parish of Kingston.