Attorney General Marlene Malahoo Forte (right) presents the trophy for Best Recruit to Romaine Howell at the passing-out parade for 226 Jamaica National Service Corps member, last year at the Moneague Training Camp in St Ann.
It was in 2016 that Prime Minister Andrew Holness expressed his intention of having the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), through youth engagement, influence the country’s socio-economic development and strengthen national security.
At that time, Holness, who also serves as the minister of defence, met with the senior leadership of the JDF and articulated his Learn, Earn, Give and Save (LEGS) philosophy that prompted the expansion of the force’s employment and engagement strategy.
Soon after, in 2017, the Jamaica National Service Corps (JNSC) was born, following an amendment to the Defence Act; and in June, the first cohort of 250 youngsters drafted under the programme began their yearlong military-like journey to become agents of positive change in their communities.
Today, well under two years since the programme was established, the JDF will receive the 2018 RJRGLEANER Honour Award in the category of Education for the work of the JNSC for training, educating, re-educating more than 1,000 at-risk youths.