by Marie-Claire Williams
Deputy Chief of Staff of the Barbados Defence Force (BDF) Commander Aquinas Clarke has been ordered on leave, pending the outcome of an investigation into an incident involving a subordinate officer.
Well-placed sources tell Barbados TODAY the matter is considered serious, and has left a cloud hanging over the island’s military.
However, senior BDF officials have so far been tight-lipped on the recent incident, refusing to confirm that it even took place or that a probe was under way.
Adjutant Major Jackie Morris told Barbados TODAY she had “no knowledge” of an investigation involving the second in command of the BDF, but she did confirm that Clarke was currently on “privileged leave” – the BDF’s equivalent to vacation leave. When pressed, Morris said she could not say how long Clarke would be away.
Clarke has also refused to speak on the matter, instead directing Barbados TODAY to Chief of Staff Colonel Glynne Grannum. However, repeated efforts to reach Grannum today for comment were unsuccessful.
Both Grannum and Clarke assumed leadership of the BDF on February 1 last year, following the retirement of former Chief of Staff Colonel Alvin Quintyne and his deputy Commander Errington Shurland.
Clarke, 45, enlisted in the Barbados Defence Force in 1991 as a member of the Defence Reserve, and transferred to the regular Force two years later. He rose through the ranks over the next two-and-a-half decades before assuming the post of Deputy Chief of Staff.