JIS News

The Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) will host a colourful, lively, military display as part of the island’s 50th anniversary celebrations.

Dubbed the ‘Jamaica Military Tattoo 2012’ it will provide a historical perspective of the JDF from 1962 to the present while projecting their future relevance.

A military tattoo is an elaborate show of marching bands, precision drill movements and dynamic military displays and performances.  It will be held over four nights, from June 28 to July 1, at the JDF Polo Field at Up Park Camp.

Endorsing the event at the official launch at the JDF headquarters on March 22, Minister of Youth and Culture, Hon. Lisa Hanna, said it will be a “jewel in the crown of the Jamaica 50th celebrations”.

She stated that is one of the events that will help instill pride in country and inculcate those values that are needed for nation building.

Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Antony Anderson, said the military tattoo will be an “exciting” and “inspirational” family event.

“One of the things that we wanted to do, for this tattoo, is to make sure that the event not only entertains but causes people to think of nationhood and national pride,” he said. He thanked the sponsors and assured that a high quality event will be delivered.

Event Director, Jamaica Military Tattoo 2012, Lt. Colonel Jaimie Ogilvie, informed that the event also celebrates the army’s 50th anniversary.

“Unquestionably, both Jamaica and the JDF have made some remarkable gains and seen some significance achievements since 1962, and for us, the men and women of the JDF, nothing less than an event of the quality, diversity, magnitude and attention to detail…will be sufficient to mark this important milestone,” he said.

Along with members of the JDF, other performers will be drawn from the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), the Jamaica Fire Brigade and the Jamaica Combined Cadet Force.

There will also be overseas participation with performances from the Guyana Defence Force parachute team; the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force steel orchestra; the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marine, United Kingdom, the Chinese Military orchestra, among others.

The show is expected to amaze, stimulate and excite, and will bring Jamaicans closer together as the nation seek to achieve Jamaica’s 2030 goal of becoming the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business.

The term “tattoo” originated in the 17th century while the British Army was fighting in the low countries of Belgium and the Netherlands.

Back then, the Dutch phrase “doe den tap toe” which means “turn off the taps” was communicated by drum beat as a warning to innkeepers to turn off the beer taps and for soldiers to return to their barracks for the night.

Over the years, “doe den tap toe” was shortened to become simply “tattoo” and is known for thrilling audiences over the world. There have been four tattoos in Jamaica’s history. The most recent was the 1983 celebration of the island’s 21st anniversary of independence.

For further details please visit: www.jamaicamilitarytattoo.org


By Chris Patterson, JIS Reporter