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Minister Speaks on BDF Beef
posted (November 13, 2017)
On Friday night we told you about the beef inside the BDF where some soldiers feel that their promotions are being taken by officers who should have already retired.

The dispute arises from the statutory instrument - passed in August of 2016 - which changes the age for retirement, form 42 and 45 years old to 50, 52 and 55 years old.

The argument is that at least three senior officers, Acting Commander Ortega, and Majors Amoa and Romero should have been retired by the time that SI was passed.

But they are still in the force and Majors Amoa and Romero are about to get promoted.

It's caused resentment in certain quarters of the BDF - and on Friday during the news, Defense Minister John Saldivar sent us messages saying, basically, that its much ado about nothing. He pits first to the fact that the Defense Act makes it so that the BDF Board can consider further employment beyond retirement age for any soldier.

In his statement via text message, he adds, quote, "The Ministry of Defense made a policy decision over two years ago…to extend the retirement age for BDF officers and soldiers in recognition of the fact that, among other factors, too much was being invested in training for officers and soldiers for them to be retired at such an early age...Colonel Ortega, the acting Commander, fully qualifies to remain in the BDF both under the new regulations and due to the fact of still serving a bond, and is therefore not approaching retirement age for probably another four years. As per the Regulations, old and new, any officer who is to retire under these Regulations may apply to the BDF Board to remain in the Force. Majors Amoa and Romero had applied and the BDF Board had concluded that since there were major delays in passing the Statutory Instrument through no fault of officers who were nearing retirement, and given the experience and training of these officers, that they remain in the BDF, and that the necessary legal procedures be followed to effect this decision. Majors Amoa and Romero therefore remain eligible for promotion. With the new extended retirement age....there will be enough time and space for promotion of qualified officers." End quote.

Whether that promise of "enough time and space for promotion" will be enough to placate the unhappy officers under them remains to be seen.

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