You may have seen your school’s Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) cadets post the colors, drill outdoors or wear their uniforms, but have you taken the time to find out if the program is right for you?
JROTC is a high school program offered by most branches of the U.S. Armed Forces that teaches leadership and physical fitness. Unlike ROTC programs in colleges and universities, JROTC does not require military service, and it offers no opportunity to enter the military with a higher rank upon graduation. So, what’s the point of taking JROTC credits?
Get a Taste of Military Life
If you are considering joining the military after high school, JROTC presents an opportunity to find out what life as a soldier is really like. In JROTC, you’ll undergo military-style physical fitness training, drill like a soldier and learn leadership skills from a mentor with years of battlefield experience. Although you won’t be pressured to enlist in the military, you will get a clear taste of what life would be like if you did decide to enlist.
Take Advantage of Academic Benefits
If you’re planning to go to college, JROTC can help you get ahead in a number of ways. For example, you’ll have access to free SAT and ACT study help. You may also have an opportunity to compete for ROTC scholarships and earn college credit for your JROTC classes.
Face New Challenges
JROTC has a lot to offer students who love a challenge. From shooting to rappelling to wilderness survival, JROTC cadets get away from the classroom and learn some truly unique skills. Many schools even take part in regional competitions, where cadets run obstacle courses and take on other challenges that test their skills against those of their counterparts from other JROTC programs around the country.
Even if you don't plan to enter the military, JROTC can provide you with some great life experiences. Talk to your guidance counselor for more information about your school’s JROTC program.