Today the Royal Bahamas Defence Force sends a Happy Father’s Day to all Fathers, especially those throughout the rank and file of the Defence Force. Our Fathers are representative of such diversity of backgrounds and lifestyles. Notwithstanding, we cherish you all, thank you for your input in your children’s lives and encourage you to be fathers of integrity always.

Force Chief Petty Officer Oral Wood

Force Chief Petty Officer Oral Wood is an enigma and a very well decorated one at that. In fact, he is the most decorated Senior Enlisted person in the Force, sporting medals and awards he collected during his 32 years as a Marine in the Royal Bahamas Defence Force. During his tenure, he has served with great energy in several essential departments which include Military Operation Platoon formerly known as MOP, Training, Foreign Affairs, Defence Attaché to Cuba, Coral Harbour Base Administration, Commando Squadron and now in our Defence Headquarters.

He is a highly skilled Marine with over one hundred missions, local and international training courses and workshops under his belt. In his current position as Command Force Chief attached to Headquarters, his role is a very pivotal one, providing positive influence, direction and sound advice to Commander Defence Force, as well as to Officers and subordinates as required.

Force Chief Petty Officer Wood has been married for 13 years and has embraced the joys of parenthood along with his wife, Vielka Vanessa. The loving couple has three daughters, whom he affectionately refers to as “Daddy’s Little Angels.” He continues to nurture his close knit and very protective relationship towards each of them.

Joshelyn, 12, Jhailyn 8 and Joleyka 3, are reared in a Christian and well-disciplined home environment which encourages them to consistently strive for excellence. Both Joshelyn and Jhailyn are musically inclined and serve as active members of their church’s choir. They are also honour roll students at Bahamas Academy.

Force Chief Wood emphasizes that he has sacrificed much of his initial years of military service away from the comfort of home life, when he didn’t have a family of his own. Presently, as a married man and a father of three, he devotes much of his spare time with all of them. Each week, he makes a special effort to take his girls on a beach outing or to engage in various outdoor activities. Additionally, much of his success with family life has developed from building an incredibly strong spiritual foundation. As a father, he embraces the old phrase, “A family that praises together, stays together, therefore, having a strong relationship with God is critical for a happy, stress free and complete home.”

He encourages all fathers to strategically plan for their children’s future, which requires one to be extremely disciplined with saving money. “Don’t take anything for granted he says and always take advantage of opportunities for self-development.

Story by Able Woman Marine Shari Colebrooke

Photos by Marine Seaman Collison Ingraham

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