Inside JROTC


By Arlette Galicia

Students take out time from their own life to focus on JROTC, also known as Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps. Even though it’s a lot of work, these student leaders are always learning something new and enjoy the time they spend together. Every participant says they feel a part of a family and love the bond the program has created. JROTC was introduced in 1914 in Wyoming by a retired captain, Army Lt Edgar R. Steevers, who wanted to create a program where students could get involved at their school as well as learn about their country’s traditions.

Madison and Marissa love JROTC because it feels like a family which is supportive and helpful towards one another. “Honestly, everybody is like a family. We all instantly bond no matter how different we are. It feels like a complete family,” senior cadet Marissa Ortiz, mission support squad and special teams commander said. “Personally, I chose to join because my dad was a marine and seeing what he’s done made me interested in a career in the military and when I saw this program I decided to join because I figured it could be a good first step into the military,” senior cadet Madison Armstrong said (Group Commander of the unit). The two seniors are very sad to be in their last year of JROTC, but they can’t wait to start their future careers, Marissa especially, is proud to have made it this far into the program. 

JROTC is not limited to our campus. They are a part of drill competitions outside of SMHS, and the Academic Bowl is the main attraction. Th

ere are four people on each team, they go against all the teams worldwide, and everybody is timed. Based on the number of questions the team gets correct, and if they beat 50% of the others, they go to the next level. If a team makes it to the top 16, they have the opportunity to visit Washington D.C.. Major McLouth would love to go with his students this year. It would be an amazing opportunity for the seniors to have one last chance at going, and the underclassman can experience Washington D.C.

“I was looking for a career in the military and it was a great very first stepping stone, the leadership that brings in, and the experience is one of the biggest things because it’s just in and out, just amazing stuff going on every time you come into the room,” Cadet Denny Field said (Honor Guard OIC). Denny, a junior, is next in line to become a leader for the program. He sometimes feels overwhelmed because of all the work ahead of him, but he feels confident that he can make a positive impact on the underclassmen. Thanks to the upperclassmen, Denny has learned a variety of new leadership skills which he hopes to put into action his senior year. 

JROTC is constantly active in our community through volunteer projects and other services. They receive many requests to help our community, for example, they’ve attended a marathon, where they were handing out water, and six more in the month of October. JROTC helps out at games, the snack bars, and other major school events. Thanks to them, our stands are nice and clean after every football game. 

Only a couple months in, and Andrew and Eli are already loving JROTC. “It’s fun, it’s my first year here, it’s been a couple months and I’m already loving it. Love the people here, the group staff, the teachers, Master Sergeant Lazare, Major McLouth, they’re both really good people,” Cadet Andrew Gonzalez said (Cadet Airman). Just like the others, both Eli and Andrew hope to have a future in the military.  “It was really welcoming, they include you in things. Especially the top 5, they’re really helpful with things ,” Cadet Eli Cadacio said (Cadet Airman). 

“Our focus and mission is to create better citizens for America, serving not only the school, but the community and the nation,” said Mark McLouth, JROTC Major. Despite having different backgrounds, all cadets have made a very close bond.

JROTC runs as a huge family and has created strong bonds within their program. Even if you have the tiniest interest, they encourage you to join and try it out. The SMHS Cadets have a great future ahead of them and they can’t wait to be the next leaders of our country.