“WHAT IS JROTC?”
JROTC stands for Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps. It was established nationally in 1916, and here at Lely High School in 1976. It has as its sole purpose “to motivate young people to be better citizens”. Although it is funded through a partnership between the Department of Defense and local School Districts, JROTC is not intended, designed, nor permitted to prepare or recruit young people for a career in the military; instead it aims to help them get into college and have a better life.
“WHY DO THE STUDENTS WEAR UNIFORMS?”
Students wear the uniform because it helps develop discipline, pride, and motivation. At Lely High School the program is partially funded by the Army, so the students wear Army uniforms; at other schools the programs are partially funded by other branches of the military, so the students there wear those uniforms. Students (known as “cadets” in JROTC classes) at Lely High School wear the uniform only one day a week. The rest of the week they wear their normal school clothes.
“WHAT IS JROTC CLASS LIKE?”
JROTC is like a combination of a Sports Team, a Club, a Social Studies Class, a Health Class, and a P.E. Class. The curriculum is designed nationally to fit in with the National Education Standards, and is then modified locally to fit State Standards and District requirements. The class lasts 48 minutes, and involves citizenship activities, marching practice, and then either academics or athletics, depending on the day of the week. A normal weekly schedule is Monday – Academics, Tuesday – Academics,Uniform and Marching, Wednesday – Leadership Lab, Thursday – Uniform and Marching, and Friday – Athletics.
“WHAT EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES DOES JROTC OFFER?”
JROTC at Lely High School fields competitive teams in the following events: Physical Fitness, Academic Achievement, Brigade Academic Challenge, Squad Drill, Platoon Drill, Company Drill, Exhibition Drill and Color Guard. JROTC Cadets are active in other school activities as well, including all of the school’s competitive Sports Teams, and many clubs on campus, including School Leadership and National Honor Society.
“WHAT ARE THE TEACHERS LIKE IN JROTC?”
Contrary to what you may see in the movies or on TV, the teachers in JROTC are not Drill Sergeants! There are two teachers (called “Instructors” in JROTC) at Lely High School: CW4 (Ret) Harp and Master Sergeant Santiago. Both instructors are retired from the Regular Army with over 50 years total service. CW4 (Ret) Harp retired from the Army in 2009 and has been at Lely High School ever since; he has a B.A. degree from Columbia College. His experience of being the Director / Course Manager of the US. Army Field Artillery Warrant Officer School makes him a passionate advocate for keeping students in school and motivating them to go on to college. Master Sergeant Santiago retired from the Army in 1993. He holds a BS. Degree from Hodges University. Although both of the instructors are retired military men, they are very friendly and approachable, but they will insist on students meeting the standards!
“HOW DO I TAKE JROTC?”
Students (or their parents) desiring to enroll in JROTC simply need to talk to their Counselor. Students successfully passing the JROTC class are awarded either P.E. credit or Elective credit, depending on the individual student’s needs as assessed by their Counselor. Students are always welcome to come down to the JROTC Building and talk to the instructors if they have questions or are interested in the program. The JROTC offices located in the back of the school near the Varsity Locker Room