Have you ever wondered what was that led kids at your school dress up in military uniforms and march around? Well, the answer is the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps or as it is more commonly referred, JROTC. It’s the program that adds structure to a young adult’s life while developing discipline, motivation and leadership skills. JROTC is a military-themed program for high school students, but, unlike its college counterpart, it does not require anyone to join the military.
Army JROTC was started in 1916 with six units and has since grown to over 1,000 units. The mission of Army JROTC is to instill in students the value of citizenship, personal responsibility and a sense of accomplishment.
At Army and Navy Academy, JROTC provides the backbone to the school’s specialized focus on leadership training. Students are referred to as Cadets and wear military uniforms daily. The JROTC aspect gives Cadets a sense of pride and brotherhood and while wearing the uniform, they come to realize they’re all on the same team.
All Cadets are required to participate in JROTC once they reach high school and are taught how to march, wear a uniform, and to show respect to people in higher ranking positions. High school Cadets are also required to take a LET (Leadership Education and Training) class. LET classes are specific to grade level, meaning freshmen enroll in LET I, sophomores in LET II and so on.
LET training ranges from marching and military history to U.S. government operations.
In closing, JROTC is a necessary component to how Army and Navy Academy is organized and operates. It is a major key in how we teach leadership and instill a brotherhood at the Academy.