#Jamaica, November 1, 2017 – Kingston – Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr., is urging young persons to join the Jamaica Combined Cadet Force (JCCF).
Speaking at a recent JIS ‘Think Tank’, he said the JCCF is one of the best vehicles to create the kind of Jamaica that the Government is moving towards in terms of a crime-free country. Senator Charles Jr. said young Jamaicans can utilise the JCCF as a tool to aid in their development and that of the country.
“I am making an appeal to all cadet alumni and all persons who are relatives of cadets to get on board. Sign up, find a way to make a contribution, whether it is financial by supporting our Trust, which we hope will provide scholarships for cadets and adult officers, or whether it is to help us to identify resources to equip the band and the engineer regiment and other battalions… just get on board,” he urged.
The State Minister is also encouraging Jamaicans to give their time as mentors, volunteers or share their expert opinions and recommendations in creating strategies to expand the Cadet Force. He argued that the JCCF can bring the country to a place where youngsters embrace the core value of discipline, which is the foundation of the cadet.
“If we give our youngsters purposeful activities to keep them engaged, they won’t have time to be diverted along the wrong path,” Senator Charles Jr. said.
The State Minister said that the JCCF has been investing in making the Force more visible and accessible to the public, and that through its expansion programme, it is ensuring that Jamaicans are fully aware of the role the cadet plays in national development.
Senator Charles Jr. also gave an outline of the different ways the public can volunteer to the various units. He cited the Cadet Alumni registry that has been revitalised on the new website, cadetforceja.org. He said potential volunteers should sign up or visit the office to show their commitment.
“All Jamaicans, home and abroad… find a way, through our website or by contacting us, to participate in the development of our youngsters through the Cadet Force. Make an application through the website. There is also information about how to contact the headquarters to become an adult volunteer,” the State Minister said.
“We are structuring programmes to be more engaging, especially for career development of the youngsters. One such programme is the Air Pilot programme that has been reintroduced. There are two cadets who have received 11 distinctions in their CXCs, who are participants in the pilot programme and will become certified pilots thereafter,” he noted.
Meanwhile, the JCCF Commandant, Colonel Errol Johnson, said the Cadet Force is one group that can assist in preventing crime and violence and other illegal activities in the society.
“We need volunteers to be mediators and counsellors. You can volunteer for the Cadet Force, and we will give you the basic training,” Colonel Johnson said.
He said persons who are willing to volunteer should not be deterred by the training, because there is an opportunity to learn other transferable skills, such as people management, psychology and administrative duties. Colonel Johnson said the Force engages young persons in such a way that they will not be tempted to move into illegal activities.
He explained that currently, cadets in training are exposed to critical services. “We have several undertakings that will cause them to be a part of the society. We are training our cadets in disaster management to be first responders, first aid and mediation. In their communities they can prevent any outbreaks or provide mediation to prevent outbreak of activities that can prove detrimental to the society,” the Colonel added.