First female commandant in the Caribbean

| 18/07/2013

(CNS): In what is truly a historical appointment for the Cayman Islands and the Caribbean region as a whole, Lieutenant Colonel Bobeth O’Garro who has been the acting Commandant for the Cayman Islands Cadet Corps since 2008, has now been confirmed to that post. This makes Lt. Colonel O’Garro the first female Commandant to lead a Corps in the Caribbean region.

Commandant O’Garro joined the Corps as a Deputy Commandant in 2002. At the time, she was being seconded from her position as a police constable with the RCIP; but even then she was making history by being the first female officer to join the recently established cadetting programme. Following the retirement of her predecessor Colonel Phillip Hyre, six years later she was appointed as acting commandant, and has held that post for the last five years.

Commandant O’Garro’s achievements during her tenure with the Corps have been notable as she has consistently sought to open new doors for cadets locally and regionally. She is recognized as being the driving force behind the introduction of the Business and Technology Education Council’s diploma (BTEC) to the Cayman Islands in 2003. This marked the introduction of the BTEC qualification to the Caribbean region and the vocational exam is now being offered in mainstream schools and in various subject areas.

Her accomplishments as it relates to BTEC have not gone un-noticed throughout the region and in 2010 she was the recipient of the Caribbean Cadet Medal for her contribution towards the development of the Cadet Corps in the Cayman Islands by her introduction of BTEC for both the local Corps and the region as a whole. She had been nominated by the then, Commandant of Trinidad and Tobago who recognized that Commandant O’Garro’s research and foresight had also opened the opportunity for cadets throughout the Caribbean to travel to various countries in the Army Cadet Exchange (ACE) program. She is a recipient of the Cayman Islands Cadet’s Long Service Medal; Disaster Mitigation Medal for services given during and in the aftermath of Hurricanes Ivan, Dean and Paloma; as well as the Good Conduct and Meritorious Service Medal.

The Corps is also proud to announce and welcome Lieutenant Wilston Bennett, who has taken up the post of Officer Commanding the Cayman Brac detachment.  Lieutenant Bennett will be responsible for training and development of cadets and volunteers in the sister islands as well as having general management responsibilities for the day to day operations of the detachment. 

Lieutenant Bennett joins the Corps from a position as the dean of discipline at a prominent high school in Jamaica, with enrollment of over 2400 students in his care. He is a trained counselor and social worker by profession, having received his Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Counseling from the Northern Caribbean University in Mandeville Jamaica. He brings on board a wealth of teaching and counseling experience. Lieutenant Bennett has taught at both the primary and secondary level, served as a probation officer; a guidance counselor (within the Ministries of Education and National Security, Jamaica) and residential child care officer with Jamaica’s Child Development Agency, where he was responsible for the overall safety of children being held in state residential facilities.

Both appointments took effect on 1st July 2013.

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