Lieutenant Colonel (Lt. Col.) Bobeth O’Garro dedicated twenty (20) years of service to the Cayman Islands Cadet Corps (CICC) and her Country after being seconded to the CICC in 2002 from the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) as acting Commandant from March 2008 until her appointment became confirmed five years later in 2013, where she remained until June 8th 2021.
Cadetting like many unformed services is often regarded as a male-dominated discipline, despite which Lt. Col. O’Garro became the first female Commandant in the region. She is the first female head of a paramilitary uniform group in the Cayman Islands. The CICC, through Lt. Col. O’Garro’s, was also the first institution to offer the BTEC Level 2 Vocational Qualification in the Cayman Islands.
Her contribution to Cadetting has proven to be beneficial to the Cayman Islands economy through "Cadet Tourism.” The CICC, under her leadership, hosted the Caribbean Cadet Commandants Conference and Caribbean Cadet Camp in 2012 with groups from individual Caribbean territories and the United Kingdom.
During the course of her years of service to the CICC, Lt. Col. O’Garro has been awarded the Certificate of Honour (Cert. Hon.) Caribbean Cadet Medal (CCM), Meritorious Service Medal (MSM), Long Service Medal, Queen’s Silver Jubilee Medal, and Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for her resolute contribution to the Country and Region.
Lt. Col. O’Garro also served as Chairman of the Caribbean Cadet Association (CCA) for four (4) years, where she provided exceptional leadership to the Cadet Commandants of the Caribbean Region. In this capacity, her primary focus was strengthening regional integration and efficiency by establishing operational protocols. This resulted in the regional cadet movement being organized into three (3) zones (North, Central and South) and more effective management from Guyana in the south to Bermuda in the north.
Speaking to Lt. Col. O’Garro’s contributions to the Cayman Islands youth Deputy Governor, Franz Manderson stated “The Cayman Islands Cadet Corps is a great foundation for Cayman youth as it equips them with the tools and life skills for personal development and growth. Lt. Col. O’Garro’s commitment to youth development and mentorship to thousands of young boys and girls has played a pivotal role in equipping cadets and adult volunteers alike with several life skills for success. Evidence of this is captured in the number of young Caymanians (past Cadets) who have matriculated collectively into our Civil Service, accessing employment opportunities in entities such as Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, Cayman Islands Coast Guard, Cayman Islands Fire Service, Customs and Border Control, Cayman Islands Regiment, Hazard Management Cayman Islands to name a few.”
When the Cayman Islands Regiment (CIR) was being conceptualized, Lt. Col. O’Garro provided comprehensive guidance notes on the establishment and functioning of this unit. As a committed individual, she willingly gave of her knowledge and skills to ensure success in the formation of the CIR, which currently has a number of past Cadets serving in key posts of the organization.
In honour of Lt. Col. O’Garro’s years of service, HE the Governor Martyn Roper hosted a dinner at Government House on Thursday 17 March 2022. Commenting at the dinner reception Gov. Roper noted “It is a pleasure to acknowledge and congratulate Lt. Col. O’Garro for her 20 years of service and dedication to the Cayman Islands Cadets Corps and our islands. She has proven to be an outstanding role model to the Cadets, advisor to the adult volunteers and a fine example of what one can achieve through hard work and commitment to duty. It is highly impressive that Lt. Col O’Garro became the first female regional Cadet Commander within a male-dominated discipline. Her commitment to youth development coupled with her tenacity, have no doubt guaranteed success in building a vibrant and strong Cayman Islands Cadet Corps. I was pleased to host a dinner at Government House for her and Cadet colleagues to thank her for her outstanding service.”
Speaking to her contributions to the Cadet Corps Lt. Col. Errol Brathwaite added “Lt. Col. O’Garro has always been at the forefront of every CICC activity while providing unmatched National service to Country when there was a need to do so. This is captured in her service as manager of the National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC) during Hurricane Ivan and other such disasters, COVID-19, and managing her team in the Call Center during National elections. Now celebrating our 20th Anniversary, the Cadet Corps no doubt achieved outstanding success in developing strength of character among Caymanian youths through a strong, exciting Training Programme lead by Lt. Col. O’Garro.”
Commenting on her retirement Lt. Col. O’Garro noted “I am pleased to have played my part in the development of our nation's youth. Though I am retiring from full-time service, I will continue volunteering with the CICC. I would like to encourage all youth of the Cayman Islands to join or volunteer with the CICC. The “Cadet Movement” offers irreplaceable opportunities that aid in the growth and development of young people.”