JROTC: Beneficial or Superficial?

Lela Schlangen, Co-Editor

JROTC Stock Image

JROTC Stock Image (Getty Images)Students in high schools all over America join JROTC. We see them parading around the halls in uniform, and at the beginnings of home games. Most students might not put much thought into joining JROTC, despite its popularity, believing that it’s not valuable- but here’s why it is.

JROTC stands for Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps, a program which, according to the official NJROTC website, is designed to “provide specialized training and educational tools to advance the personal and professional development of Sailors throughout their career”. You can join JROTC in your freshman or sophomore years of high school, and there are no requirements, to begin with. Those who join are later provided with uniforms, name tags, volunteering opportunities, and various other benefits. 

JROTC supplies students with a safe space to have fun and make friends. NJROTC cadet Tanysha Sánchez-Ramirez stated that “It made me more social, and helped me break out of my shell.” Paige Willis, also an NJROTC cadet, claims that “everyone’s respectful… the teamwork just goes naturally so everybody can make friends”. As well as providing a diverse social environment, it also allows for students to experience becoming leaders, with roles such as drill chief, athletics chief, class leader, exhibition chief, and more- all of which allow students to learn different leadership skills. 

JROTC also provides hands-on experience, leadership experience, and proof of diligence and commitment. These traits are all things that colleges look for in applications, and even some jobs. “It looks good on resumes,” said Tristan Kittrell, “Especially if you want to stand out.” JROTC also gives cadets the opportunity to gain volunteer hours, which is good for a resume as well.

Though JROTC requires effort and patience; every single cadet that was interviewed said the same thing when I asked them if it was worth it: “Yes.” Tristan Kittrell made another point, “If you’re into that sort of thing, I would recommend, but it’s not for everyone.” The benefits of JROTC are clearly evident, but not everybody needs that experience to get by. It fully depends on the student and their preference. While JROTC has a largely positive impact on cadets, it’s still important to think about the benefits before deciding whether or not to joi.