The Jamaica Defence Force is constituted under the provisions of Section 4 of the Defence Act. The Defence Act has charged the JDF with defence and protection from external forces or threat to the sovereignty of Jamaica. The JDF also supports the maintenance of order in Jamaica as well as any other duties as may from time to time be defined by the Defence Board.
The Defence Board is subjected to the general authority of the Hon. Prime Minister who has Ministerial responsibility for defence matters including command, discipline and administration. The Chief of Staff has overall responsibility for the operations and administration of the Force.