Jamaican Defence Force (JDF) officer cadet, Melvin Shawn Rhoden, emerged the top overseas student graduating from the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst in the United Kingdom (UK).
Jamaica’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom (UK), Anthony Johnson (2nd left) and Mrs. Pamela Johnson, share a moment with Jamaica Defence Force officer cadet Melvin Shawn Rhoden (2nd right) and Lt. Col. Peter McCutchean from the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. Rhoden was awarded the Overseas Sword for being the top overseas cadet at Sandhurst, during Saturday’s (Dec.18) Sovereign’s Day Parade.
Rhoden narrowly edged fellow JDF officer cadet, Lucien Patrick Moulton, to receive the coveted Overseas Sword at Saturday’s (December 18) Sovereign’s Day Parade, which marked the commissioning of 437 specially selected officer cadets from Britain and 17 other countries including Jamaica.
The sword is awarded to the overseas cadet considered by the commandant to be the best of the intake.
Sandhurst Commanding Officer, General Patrick Marriot, told Jamaica’s High Commissioner to the UK, His Excellency Anthony Johnson, that both cadets were of the highest calibre and had performed at the highest level.
Twenty-two year old Rhoden, who hails from Port Maria, St. Mary, studied business administration and marketing at Moneague College in St. Ann before joining the JDF. After two years in the army, he was selected to attend the Royal Military Academy.
While at Sandhurst, Rhoden was a member of the academy’s football and cricket teams. Both he and Moulton, who is a native of Kellits, Clarendon, had command of a battalion during their preliminary exercises.
The Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst is one of the most prestigious officer training institutions in the world and many countries send their top officer cadets to train and study there. The main purpose of the training offered is to develop an officer with the leadership qualities to lead soldiers both on and off operations.
Jamaicans have one of the proudest records of any group of overseas cadets, winning the Overseas Sword, on several occasions.
Training at Sandhurst covers military, practical and academic subjects, with time set aside for sports and adventurous training.