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Jamaica: Fake recruitment ad causes thousands to descend on JDF headquarters

By Jamaica Gleaner

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(JAMAICA GLEANER) – The Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) is reporting that it is probing the origin of false social media postings about a recruitment exercise by the army which caused thousands of unsuspecting persons to descend on its headquarters today.

In a statement, the JDF says approximately 2000 persons turned up at Up Park Camp in St Andrew to be interviewed for acceptance into its Jamaica National Service Corp programme.

“The JDF typically interviews and tests approximately 60-80 applicants daily and so today’s turnout of almost 2,000 was extremely unusual. “

It says many of those who turned up travelled from as far away as Westmoreland and St James.

“ . . . in considering their fate, the JDF opted to register and process some of their applications. This, the JDF warned, is not the norm, but was done simply out of consideration for the distance that they had travelled.”

The JDF is warning the public to be on the lookout for misleading information about recruitment.

Full Statement

The Jamaica Defence Force is today urging persons interested in applying to the Jamaica National Service Corp (JNSC) programme to be careful about what they read on social media about the program and the application process, and to be wary of unscrupulous persons posing as JDF recruiters.

The warning comes in the wake of approximately 2000 persons, wrongly turning up at Up Park Camp today to be interviewed for acceptance into the JNSC program.

According to Major Basil Jarrett, Civil Military Cooperation and Media Affairs Officer for the JDF, the JDF typically interviews and tests approximately 60-80 applicants daily and so today’s turnout of almost 2000 was extremely unusual. “Before anyone is called to do the interview and test, they would first be required to complete the application process online before they are notified to come in. A large number of persons who showed up today had neither applied online nor received a phone call and when we enquired as to what prompted them to show up, we were shown a social media posting that was circulating online.

The JDF did not put out that post and so we are warning applicants that they should only rely on information posted on official JDF social media platforms and mainstream news for information relating to their applications or the application process.”

Among the 2000 applicants who showed up today, were persons who were travelling from as far away as Westmoreland and St James and in considering their fate, the JDF opted to register and process some of their applications. This, the JDF warned is not the norm, but was done simply out of consideration for the distance that they had travelled. As a rule though, all persons applying to the JNSC program must register initially on the JDF’s recruiting website jointhejdf.com and wait to be called.

Major Jarrett added that, “While the JDF is buoyed by the show of support and is encouraged by the interest that young Jamaicans have shown for the JNSC programme, we are also reminding applicants that there is no application fee or other costs associated with applying and so persons should be immediately suspicious of anyone trying to hijack their enthusiasm by ‘selling’ them a spot in the organization.”

The JDF says it will also be investigating the origin of the false social media posting and will update the public accordingly.

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