The Turks and Caicos Islands Regiment was formed in 2020 and is the country’s home defense force. It is a battalion within the British Armed Forces. As the Turks and Caicos Islands are a British Overseas Territory, defense is the responsibility of the United Kingdom.
On 3 December 2019, then-Governor Nigel Dakin announced that the United Kingdom agreed to assist the islands in the formation of this military force. The Ministry of Defence in the UK sent a Security and Assistance Team to the islands to assess the situation in the islands and help formulate the next steps.
The formation of the Turks and Caicos Islands Regiment follows closely the creation of the Cayman Islands Regiment, which was also formed in 2020. Other similar forces, such as the Royal Bermuda Regiment and Royal Montserrat Defence Force, were formed in 1965 and 1899, respectively.
Role of the Regiment
The Regiment is a contingent military force established with three primary functions.
- Defense of the Turks and Caicos Islands.
- Disaster Relief and Humanitarian Assistance.
- Border Protection.
The Regiment provides a supporting role alongside the Marine Branch of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force in securing the country’s border.
Officers and Leadership of the Turks and Caicos Islands Regiment
Commanding Officer: Lt Colonel Ennis Grant
Second in Command: Major John Galleymore
In January 2020, then-Governor Dakin announced that applications would be opened to encourage persons to apply for the position of Commanding Officer. The Regiment has 6 officer positions.
On 11 June 2020, the Governor’s office announced that Lieutenant Colonel Ennis Grant, of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force, had been appointed as the first commanding officer of the TCI Regiment.
Lt Colonel Grant’s second in command is Major John Galleymore.
Some officer posts for the Regiment include training Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, which began in September 2020. The first two of these officer cadets, Francis Glinton and Adrian Park, completed their Commissioning Course and returned to the Turks and Caicos on 29 November 2020 with the rank of Captain.
There are 40 marine reserve (part-time) positions within the Regiment.