Jamaica Defence Force

Executive Officer, Maritime, Air and Cyber Command

Lieutenant Colonel R A Dacosta

Lieutenant Colonel (Lt Col) Richard A Dacosta was born in Kingston, Jamaica.  He received his early education at the Holy Childhood Preparatory School, secondary education at Campion College, and later entered the University of the West Indies (UWI) to read for a degree in Geography.  He joined the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) in April 1996. Subsequent to recruit training at the JDF Training Depot at Newcastle, St Andrew, he was sent to the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, UK in May 1996 for initial Officer training.

He was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the JDF in April 1997. He  first served in the Second Battalion, The Jamaica Regiment (2 JR) as a Rifle Platoon Commander, followed by appointments as the Battalion Intelligence Officer (S2), Adjutant (S1) and Acting Officer Commanding for various Companies.  He also served an attachment to the  Sp and Svcs Bn as a Cadre Training Officer at the Newcastle Training Depot from Oct 1998 – Jan 1999.  He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in May 1998 and Captain in May 2001.

In April 2002, he was posted to HQ JDF Intelligence Unit where he served in varying capacities as Operations Officer (SO3 G2) and OC (SO2 G2) in the Unit, providing intelligence support to the JDF as well as local and international inter-agency partner organizations.  He was promoted to the rank of Major (Maj) in May 2008. He served on secondment at the Jamaica Constabulary Force National Intelligence Bureau (JCF NIB) over the period Oct 2008 – Jun 2010 as the J2 of the joint JDF/JCF Counter Narcotics and Major Crimes Task Force (CONMACTFOR – Op Kingfish).

Lt Col Dacosta was posted to HQ JDF from May 2012 – June 2015 where he served as SO2 J3 (Ops) in the Joint Information and Operations Centre (JIOC), seeing it to initial operating capability (IOC).  Subsequent to this, he served at the Combat Support Bn (Military Training Wing, Newcastle) as Detachment Commander from June 2015 to June 2016, where he was responsible for overseeing the training of two Recruit Intakes and a number of Professional Military Education Cadres for Junior NCOs, Senior NCOs and Warrant Officers of the Force.

He was posted back to HQ JDF Int Unit in June 2016 and served as the Acting Commanding Officer (A/SO1 G2) of the Unit.  In October 2017, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel while attending the US Army Command and General Staff College (CGSC) in Ft Leavenworth, Kansas.  On return from CGSC, he was appointed as the CO of HQ JDF Int Unit (now renamed the Military Intelligence Unit) in Aug 2018 and served in that capacity until  posted to HQ JDF as SO1 J2/J3 in Jan 2021.

Lt Col Dacosta has deployed on exercises overseas in Belize and Barbados (EX TRADEWINDS in 1998 and 2012) as well as to the UK (Ex CALYPSO HOP in 1999) where he was part of the JDF mounted Queen’s Guard at the Royal Residence at Windsor Castle.  He has attended professional development courses locally as well as in the UK, USA and India and has also represented the JDF at numerous conferences and seminars both locally and overseas.

He was awarded the Medal of Honour for Meritorious Service in Aug 2013, the First Bar to the Medal of Honour for Meritorious Service in 2019, the Medal of Honour for General Service (Local Operations) for 2018, the Medal of Honour for Long Service and Good Conduct and the Military Commendation Medal in 2020. He is married and is raising two sons.