Enhanced Security Measures Inspire Rural Youth to Join JDF

Photo: Claudia Gardner From left: Aman Spence and Nico Campbell are among the rural youth who are looking forward to enlisting in the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF).

Story Highlights

  • The presence of soldiers in rural communities far removed from the urban centre of Montego Bay, since the Enhanced Security Measures was effected in St. James, is piquing the interest of youngsters in enlisting in the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF).
  • Nico Campbell, a resident of Niagara and past student of the Maldon High School, in St. James told JIS News that he is looking forward to enlisting in the JDF. According to Mr Campbell, his dream from his childhood days has always been to join the military.
  • “They are like family, like uncle, brother, father. They treat us nice… . What I like is that they will sit and reason with you, but when it comes on to their working time, they will say they have to get back to work and they are gone. They are very professional,” he added.

The presence of soldiers in rural communities far removed from the urban centre of Montego Bay, since the Enhanced Security Measures was effected in St. James, is piquing the interest of youngsters in enlisting in the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF).

Nico Campbell, a resident of Niagara and past student of the Maldon High School, in St. James told JIS News that he is looking forward to enlisting in the JDF. According to Mr Campbell, his dream from his childhood days has always been to join the military.

“I always wanted to become a soldier, but people told me I am too short. But since these soldiers come in here and I see someone that is shorter than me, and the soldiers say I can join, right away, I went on the Internet and signed up. The security measures have almost made my dream come true. It (the application) has not fully come through as yet, but it’s almost come through,” the 21-year-old said.

“They are like family, like uncle, brother, father. They treat us nice… . What I like is that they will sit and reason with you, but when it comes on to their working time, they will say they have to get back to work and they are gone. They are very professional,” he added.

Twenty-one-year-old farmer and mechanic Aman Spence, was also excited about the prospects of joining the JDF. He told JIS News that he has begun to ready himself physically in case he is called up.

“They told me it is a good thing to join. I am not afraid. Everybody feels safe when you have the police and the soldiers in the community. They have to do their work and I am OK with it. They don’t rough us up,” he said.

In the meantime, Michelle Bertfield, a businesswoman, told JIS News that she was happy for the presence of the soldiers in the community, as this has eliminated instances of car theft by persons passing through the Niagara thoroughfare.

Along with other residents, Ms. Bertfield and personnel from the neighbouring primary and infant school had volunteered to facilitate the security forces by ‘de-bushing’ and giving a well-needed overhaul to the old abandoned teachers’ cottage in the community, which temporarily houses them.

“The soldiers are good people. In this community we never had any violence. But we are glad to know that they are (here), because I have my kids going to Montego Bay High School… . When the soldiers are in here, you can leave your door open,” she said.

“We are comfortable having them. A lot of people come around and say they love to see what is going on because the place was getting too violent. They treat me all right; they are nice. They treat everybody just the same. People love them, love to see them in here,” added Ms. Bertfield.

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