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Trinidad & Tobago - Personnel

Recruitment was voluntary, and many of the officers had been trained in Britain. As of 2017 the Defence Force consisted of approximately 4,000 personnel distributed among the 3,000 strong Regiment, the 1,000 members of the Coast Guard, and the Air Guard of about 200. As of 2012 the TTDF consisted of the Trinidad and Tobago Regiment (TTR), the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard (TTCG), the Trinidad and Tobago Air Guard (TTAG), and the Defence Force Reserves (TTDFR) with a total strength of some 5,165 personnel [indicating a Reserve strength of about 1,000].

In the 1980s the Defence Force consisted of approximately 2,130 personnel distributed among the army, the coast guard, and the air force; the Police Service included about 3,000 members, divided among the police and the fire and ambulance services. In 1986 the Regiment, the ground forces arm of the Defence Force, had 1,500 personnel organized into one infantry battalion, one reserve battalion, and one support battalion.

The recruitment process has several steps. It begins with the Regiment publishing media advertisements for selection sessions. Session dates, times and locations will be included in the advertisements. Applicants must attend a selection session if they are interested in joining the Regiment. They must bring the original and one copy of each of the following to the session:

  • Birth Certificate with supporting affidavit, if necessary.
  • Proof of identification in the form of a valid Trinidad and Tobago Passport, Driver's Permit or National ID card.
  • Police Certificate of Character issued not more than three months before Selection.
  • Proof of educational qualifications.

All selected applicants must take an entrance examination and undergo both medical and fitness evaluations. Applicants who successfully complete the recruitment process will be required to complete 14 weeks of Basic Training.

A soldier has to satisfy set conditions before he/she is elevated to the next rank. These include passing cadres, (Promotion training) in the case of the enlisted person, and examinations for the Commissioned Officers and performance evaluation.

Applicants may incur some minimal costs to undergo the medical check that is required before the start of recruit trainingAny citizen of Trinidad and Tobago who meets the qualifications for a particular post is eligible to join the Regiment. Posts include Regular Commissioned Officers, Short Service Commissioned Officers (who are hired for specific, short-term assignments) and Other Ranks.

Applicants for the post of Regular Commissioned Officer must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age but no older than 25 years of age.
  • Possess at least five Ordinary (O) Level subjects including English, Mathematics and a Science Subject.
  • Possess at least two Advanced (A) Level subjects.

Applicants for the post of Short Service Commissioned Officer must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age but no older than 43 years of age.
  • Possess at least five Ordinary (O) Level subjects including English, Mathematics and a Science Subject.
  • Possess at least two Advanced (A) Level subjects.

Requirements - Officer Cadet

  • Citizen of Trinidad and Tobago, Between 18 to 25 years and single
  • Five (5) GCE Grade A, B, C / CXC O'level I, I,I II including English Language and Mathematics
  • Two A Level passes Grade A-E
  • Be interviewed by the Commissions Board
  • Undergo Officer Cadet Training

Requirements - Enlisted Persons

  • Citizen of Trinidad and Tobago, Between 18 to 25 years and single.
  • Three O'levels or certified in a trade or skill
  • Possess evidence of completion of secondary-level education.
  • Pass an entrance examination
  • Satisfy physical and medical requirements
  • Undergo sixteen weeks of recruit training
  • Certification in a Trade or Skill
  • If applying to the Engineering Corps, also possess at least a National Craftsman's Certificate or its equivalent.
  • If applying as a Cook or Steward, also possess evidence of formal training from a recognised institution.





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