Army JROTC (Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps) has a long and proud tradition of service to the nation through the betterment of its youth. Founded as part of the National Defense Act of 1916, subsequent legislation opened the program to the other military services and made it an integral part of the school curriculum. This legislation also recognized JROTC instructors as qualified Instructors in “leadership, wellness, fitness and civics, as well as other courses related to the content of the program.” Public and private educational institutions apply for JROTC units and commit to share costs and meet standards. At any given time there are 200 high schools on a waitlist for JROTC programs.
JROTC in IPS dates to 1919 when a program was first established at Arsenal Technical High School. The Tech program has been in continuous service ever since. Currently there are active Army JROTC programs at:
- Arsenal Tech High School.
- Crispus Attucks High School.
- George Washington High School.
- Shortridge High School.
A minimum of 100 cadets in Grades 9–12 organized into a cadet chain of command make up a JROTC unit. Two instructors, normally consisting of one retired officer (the Senior Army Instructor, or SAI) and one noncommissioned officer (the Army Instructor or AI) teach a rigorous curriculum and supervise cadets in all their activities. The Army reimburses IPS for a percentage of instructor pay and provides uniforms, equipment and an accredited and rigorous curriculum. High schools in 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, Japan, Korea and Germany currently host more than 1,700 JROTC units, employ approximately 4,000 instructors and enroll nearly 300,000 cadets, almost half of whom are females.
JROTC is not a recruitment program for the military. Cadets do not incur any military obligation, and instructors do not apply any pressure toward military service. However, cadets who choose to enlist or enter Senior ROTC may receive benefits through higher rank or advancement.
JROTC in IPS is far more than “marching around the gym” and posting the colors at a school ceremony. It is a tremendous, all-inclusive program for students of all abilities and backgrounds. It is recognized not only for its extremely positive effect on cadets, but also for its powerful impact on the school and community within its sphere of influence. JROTC is a large, popular, 21st Century Learning Program that:
- Features a world-class curriculum that employs student-centered learning and enhances program popularity.
- Teaches citizenship and leadership roles and subjects that align to national and state standards.
- Integrates current instructional and technology strategies and maximizes award winning multimedia curriculum.
- Hosts quality competitions to motivate cadets.
- Demonstrates the ultimate model of diversity.
- Provides training for a pathway to the miltary at all IPS high schools.
For additional information about JROTC, contact retired Col. Jerry Hadley, IPS JROTC Director of Army Instruction, at 317.226.3915 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mission and Curriculum
The focus of Army JROTC is reflected in its mission, “To motivate young people to be better citizens.” JROTC accomplishes this mission by providing educational opportunities and lifelong skills to America’s youth. The Character Education Partnership identifies programs that build character as those with less violence, higher self-esteem, less absenteeism, higher achievement scores and academic performance, greater connections to school, engagement in lessons, and commitment to success. JROTC is such a program.
The curriculum helps cadets develop lifelong leadership and decision making skills. These attributes are exhibited on a daily basis in the cadet chain of command and set a model for the student body to emulate. In IPS, cadets take JROTC as an elective class on a daily basis, Monday through Friday, and on one of those days they are required to wear the JROTC uniform. Incoming freshmen cadets can receive credit for physical education through participation in JROTC. The curriculum supports the school’s mission and mandates by integrating technology, linking content to state standards, integrating reading and writing, and providing character and financial education. In a recent evaluation that led to accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), the quality assurance review team noted, “… [JROTC] serves to reinforce the competencies taught in the other academic subjects in which students are enrolled.”
Instructors, Mentors, Leaders and Coaches
JROTC instructors in IPS have completed at least 20 years of military service and set an outstanding example of personal behavior, professional etiquette and appearance for cadets, colleagues and the community. They perform full time as teachers and after school they are the equivalent of coaches whose teams are always in season. After-school activities are open to all cadets and include rifle team, color guard, drill team and raider team. Major instructor responsibilities are to continuously improve instruction, provide a safe and supportive environment, mentor, coach and practice strategies to motivate cadets to learn and succeed in high school and in life. Instructors stay abreast of new and alternative instructional and motivational techniques, use the latest technology and interactive multimedia available, and provide an awareness of world cultures and history, as well as possible careers. They reinforce the curriculum through service learning and co-curricular activities after school and on weekends. Administrators, counselors and teachers rely on them to set standards and provide support. JROTC instructors provide an overall blanket of visible leadership. They can be counted on to be team players in solving problems, assisting with school programs and initiatives, and helping other teachers in many arenas.
Cadets: The Future
IPS JROTC cadets set the example by being active in the community as well as in their schools. They exemplify a tremendous work ethic and standard that increases the expectations of all. They serve as role models to the other students in the school. They are not just talking about achievement, service to the community and filling leadership roles -– they are doing it. Cadets know how to set goals as well as how to develop and follow a plan to reach them. They are willing to help others do the same. Our cadets tutor. They conduct food drives and visit veterans at the VA Hospital. They work in middle and elementary schools to assist younger students to learn about character and team building and to provide an example for them to emulate. They participate in academic, marksmanship, drill, physical fitness and leadership competitions, as well as in a demanding annual summer camp at Camp Atterbury. Instructors and cadets visibly exemplify pride, patriotism, high standards and increased expectations. Both instructors and cadets are seen as resources because of their knowledge of conflict resolution, emergency action responses, leadership, teamwork and emotional intelligence. Although the cadets do not have a military obligation after graduation, successful completion of JROTC while in high school allows those that enlist in the military to do so at an advanced pay grade, enhancing their military pathway and career.