Behind the Scenes of JROTC

Jasmine Wongphatarakul, Staff Writer

   Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, known as JROTC, is a military program that offers high school students leadership skills and motivates them to become better American citizens.

   Although the program has a strong military influence, participants are not required to join the military after high school. West Ranch offers this program to students who want to learn new skills, self-improve and contribute to the school and community.

   Cadet Airman Elisabeth Hoffman explains, “You learn to be dedicated to your nation and community. Through JROTC, it is expected that you learn respect and honor to your country and to others. The JROTC course is a learning experience as a whole.”

   JROTC students meet every other day at Valencia High School from 1-4 p.m. Cadets learn based on the curriculum of Leadership Education and Training (LET), of which there are four levels and different focuses for each year. More experienced cadets take on leadership roles as commanders and staff officers, while first year cadets learn the basics of leadership and citizenship.

   In addition to the curriculum, JROTC has a ranking structure where students can promote by their skills, abilities and experience. Students also participate in various school events and community services. Other activities include training in teams such as rifle, saber, colorguard and drill. Cadets are also required to wear their uniforms once a week for uniform inspections.

   As cadets train in their teams, they get to connect with one another and create tighter bonds. 

   Cadet Airman Yelin Kim states, “You get to interact with people in all grades. We literally do everything together so it’s really nice to get to know more people from different grades and schools.”

   Ultimately, JROTC is not just a motivational and leadership program, but a family. As cadets continue to learn and train, they build life-long relationships and skills that will better their future.