Jamaica Defence Force

Acting Commanding Officer, Combat Support Battalion

Major Othniel S Blackwood

The role of a Commanding Officer in the Jamaica Defence Force is to integrate the efforts of his or her subordinates, contribute towards ensuring that all emergencies and incidents are dealt with in a timely manner, plan for the unpredictable, and safeguard the effective employment of the Battalion to fulfill its roles.


Major Blackwood is Acting Commanding Officer of Combat Support Battalion. He held numerous roles in the Jamaica Defence Force, including Infantry, Special Operations, and Military Education and Training.


Summary. Maj Blackwood was born and raised in the rural Jamaican community of Orangefield, Linstead, St. Catherine. In July 2005, he joined the JDF and completed his Initial Officer Training and Education at the Canadian Forces Infantry School in Gagetown, Canada. He subsequently graduated from the Army Operations Course at the Canadian Army Command and Staff College in Kingston, Canada. He holds multiple degrees from the University of the West Indies, and also an MPhil in Education at the University of Cambridge, England, as an inaugural Marcus Garvey Scholar for Jamaica.


Past Assignments. Throughout his nearly 18 years of service in the JDF, Maj Blackwood performed a variety of roles to include the following:


  1.     Platoon Commander at the Second Battalion The Jamaica Regiment
  2.     Adjutant at the Second Battalion The Jamaica Regiment
  3.     Troop Commander at the Counter-Terrorism Operations Group (CTOG)
  4.     Detachment Second-in-Command (2IC) at CTOG
  5.     Detachment Commander at CTOG
  6.     Director of Academic Affairs and SO2 G1 (Pers and Admin) at Headquarters Caribbean Military Academy
  7.     Head of Programmes Development and Delivery at Headquarters Caribbean Military Academy
  8.     Battalion Second-in-Command (2IC) at the Directorate of Training and Doctrine; and currently as
  9.     Acting Commanding Officer of the Combat Support Battalion (CSB)


Passions. His entire military service has demonstrated an unyielding passion for leading by doing ethically sound actions, setting a good example, and giving careful thought to the welfare of his fellow soldiers. He is deeply committed to uplifting Jamaica and all humanity through his pursuits as a leader, writer, and thinker.


Family and Hobbies. His 12-year marriage to Latoya has produced four children, two daughters and two sons. His interests and hobbies include reading and writing, playing chess and the bass and acoustic guitars, staying physically active through running and other non-contact sports, and immersing himself in the natural world through outdoor exploration.