JROTC – A Leadership Experience Like No Other

By: Nick Smith

I am an Army Junior ROTC Cadet.

I will always conduct myself to bring credit to my family, country, school and the Corps of Cadets.

I am loyal and patriotic.

I am the future of the United States of America.

I do not lie, cheat or steal and will always be accountable for my actions and deeds.

I will always practice good citizenship and patriotism.

I will work hard to improve my mind and strengthen my body.

I will seek the mantle of leadership and stand prepared to uphold the Constitution and the American way of life.

May God grant me the strength to always live by this creed.

Throughout the school day you may see cadets marching, wearing their uniforms, or singing cadences and not doing much outside of that, but the program is one of the most life changing programs a student could take at any high-school. “The program’s main goal is to make cadets better citizens by teaching them everyday things helping make resumes, basic safety, things like that,” said Cadet Colonel Daniel Evans, the Brigade Commander of the program.

JROTC was established in 1916 by the US Department of Defense as a part of the National Defense Act of 1916 and was put into public and private schools across the nation with the mission statement of motivating students to become better citizens by helping develop skills in self discipline, teamwork, self-esteem, service to the community, personal responsibility and most importantly, Leadership. There are 3275 JROTC units around the world, about 1100 of those are ARMY programs like our own.

The program is known for instilling discipline and responsibility into young high school students and helping them become better citizens and improving their overall character. We asked Cadet Colonel Daniel Evans, the Brigade Commander of JROTC, on what JROTC does and why it’s so effective. 

Cadet Colonel Daniel Evans, The Brigade Commander of Hartsville High School’s JROTC Program

As the Brigade Commander of JROTC, Evans get’s the final say in most decisions and leads the program along with the Staff, Lieutenant Colonel Tumbleson, and First Sergeant Nelson. This allows students to assume the roles of leadership, which is the focus of JROTC. “It gives structure, discipline, critical thinking, and offers maturity. It gives chances of responsibility that most adults wouldn’t offer, and allows them to learn from potential failure, because if they mess up here, they can learn, and they have a team to help them grow from it.” 

Along with these leadership roles, JROTC is given a military style, varying from the different branches, the style “Gives the program incentive for cadets to do things properly and improve their want to improve on themselves so they can earn those leadership positions.” 

These leadership positions are what makes the program important for the later parts of your life, and create the people who will lead the community. “It goes back to going to making cadets better citizens, if they were already good citizens, they’ll make for the community leaders, teachers, mayors, and people who will generally help lead the community.”

The staff is also very active within itself. “We’ve made changes, putting things on computers everything is easier to understand and we’re building it up in school so it’s not looked down upon, and is more understood and taken seriously to others who are outside of the program.”

The biggest misconception of the JROTC program, however, is that it’s completely military focused and the only reason to join JROTC. JROTC is meant for helping students become better citizens and even offers groups such as our Drill Team, Rifle Team, Color Guard, and most years a Fancy team, all coming with the same emphases on leadership and self discipline.

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