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Story Highlights

  • “I have always been passionate about helping the youth, so when I joined as a volunteer, it was important to me to be a part of an entity that reinforces positive values that enable them to contribute to society,” he tells JIS News.
  • “Being a volunteer helped to make me very confident in myself and helped to assure me that we can go forward and progress as a society, as I could see people being helped and in turn helping others,” he says.
  • Colonel Miller has been awarded a medal as part of the JCCF’s 75th anniversary celebrations, where persons who have contributed to the organization’s success will be recognised over the next year.  

It is no coincidence that Colonel Woodburn Miller’s journey as an Educator in 1953 began simultaneously when he signed up as an adult volunteer with the Jamaica Combined Cadet Force (JCCF).

According to Colonel Miller, his decades serving in the JCCF and in the education system reflect his interest in youth development.

“I have always been passionate about helping the youth, so when I joined as a volunteer, it was important to me to be a part of an entity that reinforces positive values that enable them to contribute to society,” he tells JIS News.

The former principal of DeCarteret College and Kingston College oversaw several units, including the Wolmer’s  Boys’ School  and DeCarteret College. He also led the Kingston division.

As the JCCF celebrates its 75th anniversary, Colonel Miller expresses pride at the transformation he has witnessed in the more than  60 years he has been involved with the youth-based organization.

“When I joined, there were very few cadet units and we didn’t have as many Jamaicans at the front of the JCCF as most of our senior officers were British. I am happy to see our own leading the Force now and I am impressed with how much the programme means to schools and society,”  he adds.

Recalling his years as a trainer for cadet members, Colonel  Miller says the organization enabled him to influence the lives of hundreds of youth.

“We teach many important values to these youngsters, chief among them are discipline and respect. When people learn to respect older people and each other and to be kind and helpful in the community, it really impacts society in a positive way, so I am pleased to have been a crucial part of that,” he says.

The former English Language teacher tells JIS News that his life was impacted positively by his continued participation in the JCCF.

“Being a volunteer helped to make me very confident in myself and helped to assure me that we can go forward and progress as a society, as I could see people being helped and in turn helping others,” he says.

Colonel Miller endorses the JCCF’s aim to increase its membership to 10,000 over the next three years.

“The expansion is a very good idea. I am only sorry I am not strong enough to help because I know what a great effect the Force will have on these youth and ultimately their communities and society. Uniformed groups, such as the JCCF, have proven to be critical to reinforcing social values in our youth and that’s what Jamaica needs,” he notes.

Colonel encourages persons to become volunteers in the JCCF as the organization enters a new era.

“I appeal to Jamaicans to become volunteers as you not only learn to be disciplined and helpful, but it is also so rewarding seeing the ways in which you can touch the lives of our youth,” he adds.

Colonel Miller has been awarded a medal as part of the JCCF’s 75th anniversary celebrations, where persons who have contributed to the organization’s success will be recognised over the next year.