JDF, UWI partner on military leadership training programme
The Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), through its military academy, has partnered with The University of the West Indies (UWI) to provide academic assistance and military training support under a newly conceptualised Initial Officers Training Programme (IOTP).
It is the first time that the IOTP is taking place in Jamaica, as in previous years, officer cadets were sent overseas for military leadership training.
"The game-changing concept of the Caribbean Military Academy (CMA) defies other institutional models by delivering tertiary-level academic and vocational programmes to service members, partner nations, law enforcement agencies and the at-risk-youth population of Jamaica," Brigadier Radgh Mason, president of the CMA, said at Tuesday's launch of the academy's website. He said that a cohort of 100 officer cadets, who are currently being selected, will be participating in the programme, which starts in April.
"On completion of one year, students are set on a path to earn an undergraduate degree in leadership through part-time studies, which the cadets can finish up in three years. The academic programme, formulated through our partnership with The University of the West Indies Online campuses, is in keeping with the standards of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst," he said.
The UWI and the CMA signed an MOU in 2019 that will provide specific programmes that will help with development of the military. The CMA, established in 2019, is the foremost military institution in the Caribbean providing training and academic courses to improve military and paramilitary organisations across the Caribbean and the world. Currently, there are 73 courses being offered across eight schools and seven campuses in Jamaica.
Dr Luz Longsworth, president of The University of the West Indies Open Campus, said this approach is a flexible pathway to allow officers to balance field training, their academic pursuits and their lives.
"The Open Campus is excited to work with the JDF on the Initial Officers Training Programme, which will benefit from yet another innovative approach - an approach that will look at micro-credentialing where online programmes can be structured in such a way to ensure that the officers can exit at various points with certification, which can then be built up towards a higher level degree programme," Dr Longsworth said.