Jamaica National Service Corp (JNSC)

The Jamaica National Service Corps (JNSC) is a year-long comprehensive, integrated and sequential development process of education, training, experience, and self-development. The JNSC provides a continuous learning environment to develop and enhance the capabilities of programme participants. This development nests in the spirit of the Jamaica Defence Force’s commitment to nation-building and positive social impact. The programme runs across five phases: Basic Recruit Training (BRT); Intermediate Training (IT); Support Arms/Infantry On-the-Job Training (OJT); Infantry Qualification Course (IQC); and Work-force Entry Training (WET), as the figure below illustrates:

The JDF fully subscribes to the Government’s vision to positively engage the country’s youth and is committed to the success of the JNSC, as well as other programmes of youth engagement. The Force’s vision, in this regard, is one of sustained focus, continual strengthening and growth, and the achievement of outcomes that substantiate the exceptional input and effort that this important endeavour demands.

In May 2016, the Most Honourable Andrew Holness, Prime Minister and Minister of Defence articulated an intent to diversify and expand the engagement of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) in the pursuit of the Government’s goal of realizing increased social and economic growth along with strengthened national security. The fulfilment of this intent would incorporate the achievement of particular objectives, primary among which were:

  • The utilization of the JDF, along with other agencies to positively impact youth within the populace by way of increased employment and employability, positive engagement, fostering positive attitudes and better citizenship, thereby engendering a disinclination to engage in illegal activities
  • Increasing the geographical reach of the JDF, along with the extent of the support provided to the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) in the maintenance of law and order.

Under the Prime Minister’s intent, the Chief of Defence Staff directed the formulation of a strategy geared towards using the JDF to achieve the objectives outlined. The resulting product was a strategic framework which included:

  • Employment and Engagement. This focus area was essential to the implementation of the other aspects of the strategic framework, as it created a means for the needed increase of the Force’s human resources would be realized. It consisted of a proposal to directly employ young men and women to serve in a newly created category of service titled “The Jamaica National Service Corps (JNSC)”.
  • Security, Defence and Public Safety. This focused strategy consists of expanded military support to training and apprenticeship programmes and strengthened and broadened engagement of adolescents through the Jamaica Combined Cadet Force.

The JNSC targets unattached youth who can meet the JDF entry requirements. At the same time, the other components of the programme target a broader cross-section of youth. The focus on youth engagement and employment conforms with the actual intent of the Prime Minister’s Learning, Earning, Giving and Saving (LEGS) initiative. The JNSC employment initiative aligns with aspects of the Government’s employment initiative per the Housing, Opportunity, Production and Employment (HOPE) Programme.

The one-year engagement comprises several phases of training, including varying areas of specialization, culminating in a transition training phase during the tenth month. This transition phase is geared towards preparing the JNSC personnel to transition to the other categories of service in the Force, or to other careers. Having benefitted from the programme participants are intended to be significantly more employable, conditioned to perform better in entrepreneurial pursuits, have enhanced knowledge, increase awareness, consciousness, values and self-esteem, and to be more rounded citizens with a vested interest in individual and national success.

Upon completion, individuals would be expected to exhibit characteristics that attest to the values derived from being exposed to military service. Specifically, they would be expected to display positive characteristics, including the following:

  • Patriotism and an appreciation of individual responsibility to the Nation
  • The Core Values of the JDF, comprising Discipline, Integrity, Honour, Courage, Commitment and Loyalty, in all facets of life
  • Self-belief and adaptability to changing circumstances
  • Self-drive towards learning and personal development; Problem-solving skills and pertinent curiosity, scrutiny and creativity
  • Capacity for teamwork, peer and leadership support, and empathy
  • Practical communication skills and due regard for differences in persons, organizations and perspectives
  • Physical fitness and an appreciation for healthy living

Jamaica National Service Corp (JNSC)