Othneil Blackwood

I am a PhD student supervised by Paul I am a military practitioner and MPhil student of Education (ELSI) at Cambridge, with 16+ years of experience spanning operations, workplace learning, and project management. I am a recipient of the Medal of Honour for exceptional operational service to the Jamaica Defence Force, and a proud graduate of the Canadian Infantry School Gagetown, the Canadian Army Command and Staff College, and the University of the West Indies. I advocate for research around curriculum and strategic projects that drive the future sustainability for education and leadership development in the Caribbean. My research interests include professional military education, integrative academic and vocational education, knowledge management, and collective security.

I am a lifelong learner and public servant specialising in instructional design, technology integration, and military administration, with 16+ years of military leadership service spanning operations, workplace learning and project management.

I am an emerging researcher and avid reader interested in professional military education, integrative academic and vocational education, knowledge management and security affairs. Among my current professional projects, I contribute to developing programmes and initiatives to shape the future sustainability for education and leadership development in the Caribbean.

I became a full-time commissioned officer in the military, beginning after finishing high school in Jamaica. I struggled in the intervening years to gain a university-level education while navigating my career. University studies complemented my prior training in the military, which had involved specialised professional military education and training development basics. In September 2019, I started as an instructional designer at the Caribbean Military Academy, the English-speaking Caribbean’s historic first military education institution. I have helped craft initiatives geared at ‘professionalising’ regional military education, including its relationship with higher education, improved student experiences, and lobbying with civilian entities to support the revamped military education system.

My current research serves a four-fold purpose. First, it adds to the existing body of knowledge around military education. Second, it offers some form of methodology to look at emerging military education institutions in a small-island developing state (SIDS) context. Third, it empowers practitioners in different approaches to analyse or implement professional military education within a high needs resource-poor environment. And fourth, it extends the understanding of how organisations wean/ transition from an outsourcing-based military education model.

Despite the high demands of work, school and family, I pursue various community activities and hobbies. I work with children from my church community, assisting them to learn life skills and develop a love for the outdoors through camping, hikes, swimming and various such activities. I engage with professional associations, including the Association for Educational Communications & Technology (AECT), the International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI), and the Project Management Institute (PMI). I am also a volunteer member on the Jamaica Chapter’s Executive Board of the Royal Air Forces Association (RAFA) and an active member of the Jamaica Rifle Association, the island’s umbrella organisation for recreational shooting.

Among my most outstanding achievements is my family. I am a devoted father of twin stepdaughters and two sons. I love exploring the outdoors and enjoy strenuosity. I am, among other things, a runner, an avid chess player and writer, interested in the music of diverse cultures and working on mastering the acoustic guitar soon.

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