Able Woman Marine Jamie Cleare is soaring to new highs as a member of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force. She continues to break molds and stereotypes, as she carves her path as a female diver. Her certifications include Open Water Scuba Instructor, Dive Master, Combat Diver, Combat Swimmer, Rescue Diver, Emergency First Responder, Advanced and Open Water. As the first female to hold the prestigious award of Open Water Scuba Instructor in the Defence Force, Cleare plans to use her skills to draw more females into the male-dominated skill-set.
Destined for leadership, Cleare has always been a leader, whether it was through playing sports or being a part of a school club. Roles such as team captain or school prefect were natural inclinations for Cleare, as each one prepared her as a budding leader in her quest for excellence. After successfully completing Recruit Training, she was drafted into the Commando Squadron Department, which added to her role as a leader.
When asked if she experienced resistance while leading the team, her response: “I didn’t, but I still would not say no.” Having an assertive voice can be intimidating to others, while delegating orders. For this reason, in the past, she may have experienced resistance, because of how strongly she gets her point across. Cleare asserts she is not going to sway what she says, because someone can feel slighted. According to her, her stand is that this is a military organization built on delegating and carrying out instructions, and once she remains professional and carries out her duties, that is what is important. She knows that at the end of the day, it’s nothing personal, but all in a day’s work.
When she first entered into the Defence Force, she witnessed females performing predominantly roles such as writer/secretarial duties. Operational roles females were limited. She knew that as a
female diver, she could hang with the males and perform the same functions as them, because her colleagues are growing and achieving at the same. As a female she wants to continue breaking barriers and set new goals as she sets new highs in her diving career.
Her advice to the next generation of female divers in the Defence Force: “Follow hard after your goals, don’t allow the stereotype (male-dominated area) to dictate your decision in becoming a female diver. Although it’s going to be physically and mentally challenging, follow through if that is what you really want to do.”
Cleare intends to attract more females into the dive team by showing the importance of females in the unit. She wishes females to know and see that diving has no gender, but is for both sexes. Despite her accomplishments, there are many other areas just waiting to be explored. To establish oneself in this field, an individual must first pass the dive course. When Cleare completed the dive course there were no female instructors; however, progress have since been made. Whenever the next upcoming dive course is available, she will be the first female instructor, which can be a visual encouragement presence for females. It is important to give the female divers coping skills. When Cleare first attempted the dive course, she didn’t look down the road trying to figure out if she would still be standing months later. She took it in stride, knowing that each day has an end period. Most of all she wanted to end on a high note, so she kept pushing and pressing, until she achieved her goal.
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