This is the story of a small band of men who performed during the 1990 attempted coup, which itself needs to be recognised for what it was. In July and early August one hundred and fourteen Muslimeen terrorists attempted to take over the running of the government of Trinidad and Tobagoand failed.The reason for their failure lies squarely on the performance of the defence Force of the island nation, but this story does not dwell on the shortcomings of the terrorists, but rather on the shortcomings of the Establishment in not recognising even the role they played, far less the role of the many, many volunteers and civic minded peoples of the Republic who helped.
For so many peopleto be involved in an attempted takeover based on the modern radical religous concept that is now familiar to the world, was an extraordinary event. However it was soon overshadowed by Saadam Hussein grab to control Kuwait that its significance is all but lost. At the time before 9/11 in New York. It was the largest terrorist action worldwide in modern history to that time.

For the Defence Force of several thousand to first defy and then crush the insurrectionwas an astonishing event, but it could not have been accomplished without understanding leadership as a whole. More particularly with many isolated acts of heroism and outstanding courageby individual members.Yet at the end of it, no individual acts of bravery, exceptional leadership and raw courage were recognised. This is an impossibility. It shows, however, that the forcehad not changed. it was still ruled by personal petty jealousyand the lack of understanding of true leadership. There are no citations for valour for individuals, or even mentions in dispatches. As impossible as it seems, it had precedent. Twenty years before in the 1970 disturbances, the senior officers were so concerned with who the top hero was, and which of them would receive the highest award. They forgot completely the often outstanding performance of those junior. That ensured the favourable outcome to the whole mess. For example, who has ever heard of the outstanding performances of the Coast Guard Auxillary? Who were they and what did they do? How important was their contribution and most important. What recognition did they receive for their selfless acts of courage and support?

Preface for the book  "First Air Cavalry" written by Commander Gaylord Kelshall (Ret)

The Museum honoured these brave men whose service to Trinidad and Tobago was exemplary  (Editor)

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