St Kitts Nevis Defence Force Commends Major (Retired) Leroy S Percival JP for his achievements
ZIZ News…Oct 4, 2011 – Among the fourteen persons who received Community Awards last National Heroes Day was Major (Ret) Leroy S Percival, formally of the St. Kitts Nevis Defence Force. The retired Major was honored for his contribution to the Federation of St. Kitts Nevis in the area of safety and security.
Maj Percival hails from St. Johnson Village, St Kitts. He attended the St Johnson Village Primary School and received his secondary education at the then Basseterre Senior School. Upon leaving school he successfully pursued and accomplished his post secondary education by way of adult education evening classes. His early induction to service to the country was as a member of the 7th Company of the Boys Brigade of the St Johnston Methodist Church.
In conversation with Maj Percival, he explained how watching the soldiers of the St. Kitts Nevis Defence Force marching through St. Johnson village fostered a desire to do greater service to his country. He cited Ambassador Errol Maynard, then an officer in the Defence Force as his role model and one who made a great impact in his life. It was the young Lieutenant Maynard who made the suggestion that he (Maj Percival) join the SKNDF.
Maj Percival enlisted in the SKNDF in 1968 and served as a Regular Soldier until 1981 when the Regular Corps was disembodied. His first role in the SKNDF was that of a rifle man and he rose steadily through the ranks and attained the Rank of Warrant Officer Class One (WO1) and the appointment of Regimental Sergeant Major.
Major Percival received most of his early infantry training from the Guyana Defence Force. Over the years he also attended courses in Barbados, South and Latin America, the USA and the Republic of China on Taiwan where he earned Diploma in National Development from the Fusing Khan Military College. Major Percival is also a graduate the renowned John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Centre and School where he was trained in Psychological Operations and Civil Affairs courses.
Major Percival served in the SKNDF until the Regular Corps was disembodied in 1981. He continued with his spirit of service to “Country Above Self” when he was transferred to the Royal St Christopher Nevis Police Force in 1981. As a police officer he served in the Special Services Unit (SSU), as an instructor and later the Commandant of the Royal St Christopher Nevis Police Force, Police Training School. Major Percival was appointed RSS Instructor in 1984 and he took the task as a challenge to demonstrate the good quality of training and skill-set that he acquired during his proud service in the St Kitts Nevis Defence Force. Those same skills were evident when he successfully let the first contingent of police officers from St. Kitts Nevis deployed to Grenada during the 1983 Intervention
His police career conclude with distinction, loyalty and honour in 1997; upon the reactivation of the St Kitts Nevis Defence Force he opted to dust-off his old military boots and responded to a call for duty at Camp Springfield, home of the St Kitts Nevis Regiment and Headquarters of the St Kitts Nevis Defence Force. He returned to the SKNDF with the rank of Captain and was appointed Company Commander, Alpha Company (‘A’ Coy), a light Infantry Company. He was later promoted to the rank of Major and held a number of staff positions including Staff Officer Operations, Training and Intelligence and also the appointment of Deputy Commander.
Major Leroy S Percival served the Federation in the national security field with honour and distinction for over 41 years. He mentored and positively affected many lives during his distinctive career. At the inception of his chosen career, the young men in the St. Johnston Village community, including our very own Commissioner of Police, C.G. Walwyn, regarded him as a role model.
Major Percival has strong interpersonal skills and paternal disposition that have resulted in him assuming a role of ‘father’ for many young persons in our society. To complete his life, Major Percival is the proud father of two beautiful daughters and a grandfather. He operates on the principle outlined in the quote: “Excellence is not achieved by chance; people make it happen through discipline, dedication, commitment, hard work, loyalty and accountability.” He remains a positive figure and a wealth of resource to the St Kitts Nevis Defence Force, and never hesitant to offer his service and advice on an issue or situation that may arise in our fast changing world. I, Captain Kayode Sutton is proud to say that I am one of his products during his tour of duty as Commandant of the Police Training School where he trained me as a Police Recruit in 1996.
We thank God for giving Major Percival the health and strength to serve unhesitatingly and distinctively the Federation of St Kitts Nevis. On behalf of the Commander St. Kitts Nevis Defence Force, Lt Col Patrick E Wallace JP, the Officers and other ranks of the St Kitts Nevis Defence Force, thank to Major Leroy S Percival for his valuable contribution to the development of this noble organization, especially through some trying times and the transformational period.