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The BDF Says Goodbye to Brigadier General Steven Ortega

Commander of the Belize Defence Force, Brigadier General Steven Ortega is wrapping up his term as the military’s leader. The career soldier’s four-year term at the head of the army, comes to an end tomorrow. Back in November, we reported on his retirement. Today, we spoke to Ortega about his exit from the BDF.

Brig.Gen. Steven Ortega, Commander, BDF: “I’d like to thank the good lord for giving me the opportunity to serve the people of Belize in this capacity as Commander of Belize Defence Force. I’d also like to thank both governments because I started off with one administration and finishing off with the other for allowing me to be the leader for the force but also not to be a leader or a commander for the force but also an advisor to them in the capacity of commander of Belize Defence Force. It was a humbling experience. I learnt a lot and I believe I gave some good advice and things that you could have done better there’s always that hindsight and I believe that there will always be stuff that you’d like to change and stuff you would like to bring forward and I believe that we did some remarkable adjustments especially when it comes to the welfare of the soldiers. I had an excellent team working with me as staff officers and even as Battalion Commanders and we implemented quite a bit of changes to ensure that the soldiers’ morale and welfare always was continued to rise.”

Ortega also commented on his successor, Colonel Azariel Loria who will take over as the official commander of the BDF come January at the annual BDF Day.

Brig.Gen. Steven Ortega, Commander, BDF: “I believe it has been announced. I heard that it has been announced and it is Col. Lazero Loria. He has been my deputy for the past four years os he is well versed with what is happening as my deputy.”

Reporter: What are your future plans ?

Brig.Gen. Steven Ortega, Commander, BDF: “Rest. My phone hasn’t turned off for the past about fifteen or almost twenty years so I’ll finally get to turn my phone off and sleep. I believe my wife will be very happy as well because the phone rings at night you know you’re in the bed she’ll wake up as well.”

Brigadier General Steven Ortega who began his term back in 2017 was born and raised in Esperanza Village, Cayo District. He attended Sacred Heart College and Belize Technical College before joining the BDF in 1990. From there he went on to pursue higher academia at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst in the United Kingdom and by 1992 he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant of the BDF..