Analysis of The Junior Officer Training Corps Program and Its Benefits

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Just think if we gave every high school kid the same opportunities no matter their background to grow and learn, would you afford them the opportunity? Every kid doesn’t learn the same or want the same career path to be successful in life. The students are taught the only way to be successful is to go straight to college after high school. For some students that my work, but for other it may not be the best option. Therefore, the city of Cincinnati should implement JROTC programs into all our local schools because this would increase opportunities, promote discipline, and personal responsibility.

The Junior Officer Training Corps (JROTC), provides students the opportunity to learn and develop skills to be successful other than your traditional route. According to Cassel and Standifer (2000), studies of the students participating in the program match the leadership abilities of first year college students. The JROTC program helps develop leadership, personal responsibility and structure, giving students the ability to outperform their peers (Cassel & Standifer, 2000). The official JROTC website U.S. Army Junior ROTC. (2019) states the programs is a special purpose program that is accredited by AdvanceED, also “the curriculum is rigorous and relevant to 21st century education” (U.S. Army Junior ROTC, 2019). With that being said, the program is currently only in 1,700 schools in the United states to include foreign countries as well (U.S. Army Junior ROTC, 2019).

The Junior Officer Training Corps curriculum consists of four major areas of focus, motivation, learning, competency, and applying them to real life situations. Within these four areas the curriculum also consists of health, fitness, history, and communication to name a few (U.S. Army Junior ROTC, 2019). The program is ran and taught by retired active duty, reservist, or guard members. The instructors go through training to qualify with the National Defense Authorization Act 2007 to teach JROTC. Over the long history of the program it has proven to be one of the most impactful high school programs in history. High schools judge their proficiency level by attendance, graduation, dropout, indiscipline, and GPA. This chart shows how these five quality indicators pan out between traditional school and JROTC students.

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In all the different categories the JROTC students far exceed the students attending traditional high school programs. You would think that every school would be petitioning to adopt the program into their schools to give students more options to choose the path that works best for them. According to McGauley (2015) the military preys on low income school districts, focusing on individuals that lack opportunity and colleges are only focused on individuals from wealthier school districts (McGauley, 2015).

Clearly this teacher doesn’t realize that JROTC isn’t a military breading environment and that colleges aren’t concerned with your income but your potential instead, which is the same with the military. According to Elder (2015) these types of program such as JROTC allows wolves (recruiters) pray amongst sheep (Elder, 2015). As a recruiter myself, I can tell you firsthand it doesn’t matter what your background is, we focus on the student’s goals and if we can help them achieve those goals, we show them how.

High school can be a scary place if you are lost and unsure of where you fit in. Therefore, extracurricular activities are an important part of growing up. Not every high school student is athletic or wants to apart of the student counsel. JROTC gives students the option to be a part of a team and give them a sense of pride they can’t find anywhere else. JROTC cadets where uniforms helping them to not fall into the wrong crowd giving them an outlet to turn to when needed. According to McLeod (1994) the program helps students learn about respect for authority and fellow classmates. It builds structure and leadership skills that students may need to be successful after graduation (McLeod, 1994). For educators to want to deny students these opportunities because of how they believe and view the military, shows who really is the uneducated one.

JROTC offers great career opportunities and can instill the values of discipline and structure, which can develop leadership skills in future military service or other non-military professions. The board of education, educators, and parents need to be educated on the programs curriculum and the success students have had by being apart of JROTC. The program isn’t about breeding soldiers but rather breeding students with the skills to be successful after high school. The youth of today is tomorrows future so lets give our students every opportunity to learn and grow into young adults.

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