JROTC Marches On


Trinity Gilbert, staff writer

What is JROTC ? JROTC is a federal program sponsored by the United States Armed Forces in high schools. Standing for Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps, JROTC was created with the passage of the National Defense Act of 1916 as the US prepared for WW1 in 1917. The purpose and goal of the program is to develop characteristics and skills in students that will help cultivate their futures. Here at Spotsylvania High School, our JROTC program teachers Lieutenant Colonel Emery and sergeant first class Baylor, teach the Army branch of the military. Colonel Emery attended college at South Carolina State University, in Orangeburg, in 1974-1979, and says, “ I actually taught ROTC college so i had an idea of what to expect.” Required to learn the JROTC mission statement, foreign languages, and life skills, as well as physical training, ROTC students don’t have it easy. Colonel Emery says, “ Current and future leaders, far from perfect but still learning,” and “ one of the aspects of ROTC that help students in their everyday life is our emphasis on them being leaders and we take many of them out of their comfort zones enabling better leadership skills.” Students are required to wear uniforms on Tuesdays or Wednesdays, depending on when they have class, which also counts as part of their grade, do to the limited tests and quizzes on the subjects covered. Another big part of ROTC student grades is drill and physical training, occurring once a week students are required to pass a cadet challenge test which consists of curl ups, push ups, pull ups, run one mile, and a flexibility test. Colonel Emery says, “In drill, students are required motivation to learn and improve, and a little coordination helps.” Certificates for the program are not given unless the student plans on serving for the military and has been a working participant of the program for over 2 years. If a student were about to accomplish this, then the certificate would enable them to receive more money when entering the service than those without any ROTC background. For future students who are thinking about joining ROTC in upcoming years, application packets will be available in the guidance office by December or can be picked up at the JROTC office. An order of merit list is made based on scores from the packet and future cadets are selected from thereon. Would you like to join the JROTC program ?