In June of this year, Brigadier General David Jones told the media that he would soon be retiring. Today, Minister of Defence John Saldivar told the media that the General is currently on pre-retirement leave after which he will leave the Belize Defence Force. Saldivar adds that Colonel Steven Andrew Ortega, who currently holds the post of Deputy Commander Belize Defence Force, will be taking over the BDF Command. He is presently holding over for General Jones who is on leave but at the end of that leave, Colonel Ortega will be installed. Minister of Defence John Saldivar explained the selection process.
John Saldivar – Minister of Defence
“The first part of that process if for the general to make his comment upon his officers and their fitness to take up this position that is taken into consideration by the ministry and by the Prime Minister and the National Security Council and once we agree on it it is forwarded to the Governor General. Col. Ortega is the most senior person in the BDF at this point.”
Colonel Steven Andrew Ortega joined the Force on September 30, 1990. He continued to serve as a rifleman in Foxtrot Company until September 1991, when he attended and successfully graduated from the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst, United Kingdom. On August 8,1992, he was commissioned in the rank of Second Lieutenant and continued to rise in the ranks of the BDF. On February 1, 2013, he was promoted to Substantive Colonel and appointed Deputy Commander of the Belize Defence Force. He is the recipient of the BDF’s Long Service and Good Conduct Medal and the Force’s Certificate of Distinguished Service.