Jamaica Defence Force

Jamaica National Service Corps

Effective May 2017, the Jamaica National Service Corp (JNSC) is the standard mode of enlistment for persons joining the JDF to serve as full-time soldiers. Prior to this, there were two previous primary categories of service:

Regular Force: Soldiers that perform military duties on a full-time basis
The Reserve Force: Soldiers that perform military duties on a routine or on-call part-time basis.

The JNSC is a third distinct category of service, consisting of Prior to the introduction of the JNSC, persons joining the JDF to serve in a full-time capacity would enlist in the Regular Force for a standard term (usually six (6) years) with the option to re-engage for further periods up to retirement. The JNSC service is different from service in the Regular Force in that it is not career service but rather, a preparatory phase for future careers.

The JNSC is structured to provide continual development over this one-year service period. The objective is to develop a range of life skills and build sound character, in order to make persons more versatile and better equipped for success in their chosen career path.

As the end of the one year period, the JDF will reserve the option of inviting persons to apply to enlist in the Regular Force or the National Reserves based on the vacancies that exist in the Force at the time, and the suitability of the individuals based on their qualifications and aptitude, as well as their performance and character while serving.

The development mechanisms and rigours of the JNSC are designed to make persons very eligible candidates, not just for the JDF, but for careers in other public sector entities such as the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), the Department of Correctional Services (DCS), the Jamaica Fire Brigade (JFB), the Jamaica Customs Agency, the Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA), as well as other public and private sector agencies.

Persons completing the programme will earn a JNSC Completion Certificate and a JNSC Record of Service, which will provide pertinent information in relation to their service, inclusive of any special accomplishments or contribution to the Force.


The goal of the JNSC service is the continued development of the individuals involved in the programme. JNSC personnel will undergo continual training serials as well as periods of on-the-job training (OJT) but will not bear arms on operational or security related duties. The Defence Board however reserves the right to authorise a change in the mode of employment if it is deemed necessary or expedient to so do, at which time, the stipulated serials of training and qualification would be enacted.


JNSC personnel will wear a uniform that distinguishes them from the other primary categories of service in the Force but will be classified as recruits throughout the period of basic military training.  Upon successful completion of basic military training they will attain the rank of Private (NS), which they will retain for the duration of their year of service.  The substantive rank of a Private (NS) will be that of Private, and shall be treated accordingly where applicable under the Defence Act and with respect to JDF rules and regulations.  However, the Private (NS) will be inherently lesser in seniority to the Private (Regular Force) with respect to all matters in which seniority is applicable. 


JNSC soldiers will be remunerated in accordance with a rate of pay that is specifically designated for their category of service. 


Soldiers enlisted under the JNSC will be enrolled in a mandatory savings plan consisting of a fixed percentage of net earnings for the duration of their service. They will be paid the full principal and accrued interest at the completion of the period of service. The intent is to create a base that will provide financial security and give broader options for persons upon completion of their service.


JNSC soldiers will not be eligible for monetary allowances or benefits associated with marriage.  JNSC soldiers that marry while serving will do so with the full understanding that the responsibility of supporting and accommodating their families will be entirely theirs. 


The JDF will make suitable arrangements for the provision of health care for JNSC soldiers but they will not be entitled to family health care at the expense of the JDF. 


Soldiers serving under the JNSC will be required to complete the “JNSC Service Completion Form” at least ninety (90) days prior to the completion of their period of service.  The JNSC Service Completion Form will allow them to indicate their interest in serving in the Regular Force, the National Reserve, the Jamaica Constabulary Force, the Jamaica Fire Brigade, the Department of Corrections, or any particular area of the Public or Private Sector. 


JNSC service will count as reckonable service towards retirement benefits for persons that re-enlist to serve in the JDF or proceed to employment in other arms of the Public Sector.