When this new opportunity presented itself in 2023, I was excitedly apprehensive (yes I said that). My mother reminded me that I wanted to be part of this hallowed institution when I was younger, but she encouraged me to pursue my other gifts and talents as she was not planning to have any more children, based on what I would have wanted to pursue in this institution.

It has been a process in patience to become part of this institution, intense information gathering is required to be obtained about your background, community involvement, your family and friend circle, inside and outside the institution. OMG, I was calling Mommy to ask the date I left Olbeck Preparatory and Dunrobin Primary (The Best).

In my DCU

Vaccination dates which you will know based on my age were done in the late 70s’s the card is yellow (covers face) and the graduation certificate is aged as well. 

Ok got through that. Let me tell you something, based on all the blood tests, x-rays, and dental examinations, I did not need to see a doctor for the rest of the year.

The time for patience then begins…

Don’t you just hate that I have not told you where this journey is taking me? (Smirk)

Patience, keep reading, please…

I am naturally patient, so waiting for the results of all the mental tests and physical examinations along with the findings of the vetting process, takes some time to be comprehensively completed.

Looking back, I believe it took around 8 months before it all started coming together. The final interview wasn’t as I had played it out in my mind, but I was successful.

Training began and my weekends disappeared but I was ‘Always Ready’.

I completed two weeks of outdoor training. Believe me, what I went through does not begin to compare to what regular persons in this institution experience, but it is still not for anyone without a certain level of mental strength. It pushed my limits.

Picture living with another person in a small one-man tent, each of us has a Bergen, which is a supersized bag that you pack everything needed to survive. I fought off the flu, as did others, as where we were, was freezing even during the day, and the rain was freezing, got tick and mosquito bites and I even got hyperthermia. Living and sleeping in the same clothes for three to four days, (fun times).

The food was not as my mother makes it but, my nephew who is a member of the institution told me ‘Aunty eat to survive’.

Doing ‘fatigue’ as it is called, is anything that you are ‘tasked to do’.

I wore ‘greens’ during training and it was an honor when I was given my DCU Digital Combat Uniform.

And stood proudly alongside the other Officer Cadets I trained with.

Now I am proud to say that I am a member of the Jamaica National Reserves, Always Ready…