As a global destination, Jamaica is known for its culture, paradise beaches and strong tourism industry. It is also a country that is investing in its national defense and strengthening the security of the Caribbean basin, which means putting the role of its non-commissioned officers (NCO) under the microscope.
“One of the main security objectives is the development of the Jamaica Defense Force (JDF) non-commissioned officers,” said United States Army National Guard Captain Aaron Lies, Bilateral Affairs Officer of the Office of Security Cooperation, US Embassy Kingston.
To this end, soldiers from the District of Columbia (DC) National Guard joined the JDF in an Exchange of Subject Matter Experts for the Professional Development of Noncommissioned Officers, from December 12 to 14, at the Caribbean Military Academy, in Kingston. As part of the National Guard Bureau’s State Partnership Program, the two countries have supported the goals of the United States Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) since 1999, to continue security cooperation and develop defense capabilities. , of Jamaica’s security and disaster response forces. .
“It changed my view on the importance of a state association. I also have more respect for Jamaica as a country,” said DC Army National Guard Sergeant Jessica A. Frazer, Recruiting and Retention Battalion.
“I believe that the development of a non-commissioned officer starts at the lowest rank. You don’t have to be a non-commissioned officer to start developing leadership skills. It started much earlier,” said Sgt. Frazer. “NCOs are the backbone of the Army. “We must participate in the overall vision and strategy.”
During the three-day seminar, attendees focused on principles of NCO development such as training, promotion, leadership, duties and responsibilities. Members of the DC National Guard obtained information from the JDF Jamaica Regiment, Support Brigade and Jamaican Maritime, Air and Cyber Command.
“One of the most important things we focus on is the duties and responsibilities of a non-commissioned officer: they adopt the US Army non-commissioned officer creed, but they must act using it as a guide to accomplish their mission.” said the DC Army National Guard Sergeant Major Esmeralda Vaquerano, Master Sergeant G-1 (Staff).
They are Sgt. Major Vaquerano as Sgt. Frazier recognizes that a diverse and inclusive force is a necessity in warfare. Today’s National Guard is the most modern, ready and interoperable force in its history. Additionally, National Guard members spent nearly 7.5 million man-days supporting Combatant Commands in 2023.
“We have been able to reassure members of the Jamaica Defense Force that they are not alone,” said Sgt. Frazer. “The exchange allowed us to help alleviate current and future challenges in a better way. I hope we helped them better understand the roles and responsibilities of an effective NCO.”
The National Guard State Partnership Program has grown to 100 partner countries. The program actively addresses complex challenges regardless of rank.
“This makes us more effective and stronger,” said Sto. May. Cowboy.
The exchange, which highlights a 25-year bilateral relationship between the Washington DC National Guard and the Japanese Defense Forces, also reinforces the need for future engagements.
“We train our NCOs at all levels and demonstrate effective mission command. The Jamaica Defense Force is watching how the US Army uses its non-commissioned officers and wants to do the same,” said Capt. Lie.