JROTC is a course that many students, freshman to seniors, are interested in. It is also a course that many are not interested in because they do not know the facts about the class. Many people think that JROTC is strictly a class that should be taken only if your desires after high school or college are to go into one of the branches of the military. That stereotype is not true. The truth is JROTC offers more than just what one would consider military training.
The truth about JROTC is that it is really just like any other class. You sit in a desk, have a handbook, attendance is taken, and once in a while, physical training is done. In fact, we have to do reports like this one, called an Info Brief, where we had to get up in front of the class and tell about ourselves for at least two minutes. We had to write the report and turn it in, so by doing that our writing skills were also practiced. Another activity that is done daily is that the JROTC leader’s creed is recited together, which helps us with memorization. Every Monday drill is done, which is marching. This helps in motor skills and coordination, and helps in learning patience. Tuesday’s and Thursday’s are class time. During class time, we do various activities. Examples of what we do in class is that we might watch an educational movie, learn first aide, or learn basic lessons that will help us not only in JROTC or the military, but also in everyday life.
One of the biggest things that I have personally learned in JROTC is confidence. I came to Merritt Island High School as a freshman. I went to a middle school in Titusville, and I only knew two people here at the school. Some of my closest friends were automatically made in JROTC. I became a Private First Class and then a Corporal, all within my freshman year. The class gave me the confidence to go after what I believe in. Only a select few cadets were chosen for the Corporal board, and I was one of them. I really think that the confidence that I gained throughout the year helped me earn the rank of Corporal.
JRTOC also offers many extra-curricular activities such as the Raider Team, Rifle Team, and Drill Team. We also do a lot of community activities such as beach clean ups, Christmas and Homecoming parades, clean up after football games, and parking details at football games. Once in awhile organizations will request JROTC to be in attendance at picnics or other special events. A lot of the things that we do can also be counted towards community service hours for the Bright Futures Scholarship.
Lastly, everyone wants a role model. I have learned to look up to my leaders in JROTC, including my instructors and my peers. The instructors have a love for what they are teaching and it shows. The patience and time that they put into the course is very evident. They are with the cadets in almost everything we do, whether it be a Raiders meet, Drill meet, being at the school by 6:30 a.m. for rifle team, or being at the various community activities that we do. They should be commended for all of the time that they put into their job.
In closing, I think that JROTC is a great thing, and feel that if someone who is questioning becoming a part of it, should give it a try. I think that they will find it will be worth their time.