Sat | Nov 17, 2018

Heavy rain was no match for cadet force

Published:Monday | November 5, 2018 | 12:00 AMJason Cross/Gleaner Writer
Heavy rain did not stop the Jamaica Combined Cadet Force from putting on a show for their 75th anniversary celebration at Up Park Camp, St Andrew, yesterday.
Governor General Sir Patrick Allen inspecting the Jamaica Combined Cadet Force.<\n>
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Heavy rain yesterday afternoon did not stop roughly 600 young men and women in the Jamaica Combined Cadet Force (JCCF) from parading their new uniforms at Up Park Camp, St Andrew, during celebratory activities marking their 75th anniversary.

All who were on show ended up soaking wet, and even Governor General Sir Patrick Allen was not spared from the showers, as he was driven around inspecting the parade, standing in the back of a Land Rover.

Public relations officer for the JCCF, Major Oswald Smiley, told The Gleaner that all cadets are well fed and given essential nutrients, therefore they should not become sick from standing at attention so long in the pouring rain. He outlined that the organisation teaches young people to be resilient and follow instructions on their way to a meaningful life.

"The first thing you need to understand is that one of the purposes of the Jamaica Combined Cadet Force is that we instill in youths an objective mind so that they can have a good start in life. We also replicate the Jamaica Defence Force, by using military skills and discipline to get across the message of uniform obedience to orders given," he said.

SENSE OF BELONGING

"The rain is minute to what we are preparing the minds of our young Jamaicans for. We give them the necessary antibiotic and vitamin C in their feeding programme. That goes alongside discipline. We are preparing their minds mentally, physically, and spiritually. There is relevance now to all youth and uniformed groups in Jamaica because every youth needs a sense of belonging. Giving them a sense of belonging is part of the five-pillar strategic plan at the Ministry of National Security."

Major Wade Howell, who is in charge of public relations and marketing for the yearlong celebrations, told The Gleaner that a massive international cadet camp has been planned for next year July.

"One of the main features of this programme is that in July, we will have what we call an international cadet camp, where we expect all of the Caribbean countries and our partners from England and Guyana and so on to join us in Kingston. You can just imagine that camp with 20 countries or more converging on Jamaica to celebrate with our cadets, as the cadet force celebrates 75 years of service to Jamaica," he stated.

The celebrations will run close to the end of 2019.

jason.cross@gleanerjm.com