Truth, Liberty, Tolerance
“ROTC is a really great program, it kind of feels like a family,” said Victor Valencia, a senior at McClatchy. Everyone at McClatchy has seen the ROTC kids in their crisp uniforms on Wednesdays or presenting the color guard during rallies and sports events, but how much do we really know about the program?
The Junior Reserve Officer’s Training Corps (Jr. ROTC) is a federal program sponsored by the United States Armed Forces in high schools across the United States. The program’s purpose according to the federal code is “to instill in students…the values of citizenship, service to the United States, and personal responsibility and a sense of accomplishment.”
Victor also explained the most important thing he has learned from ROTC: “hard work and dedication can get you through life.” Erykah Erickson, a junior, nodded in agreement as Victor spoke. Junior Andrew Fuel says the most important things he has learned from the program are, “leadership, responsibility, and it really upgrades your manners, so discipline too.” Jacob Prosch, a junior, agreed, “in ROTC we learn a lot about leadership, teamwork, and self discipline.”
“We do a lot of fun extracurricular things, like parades, color guard for sports, and just help our school out in general,” Andrew explained. Another participant of the program, Marcos Frederickson, a sophomore, shared his excitement for the Military Ball that takes place in January, “Oh! Military Ball … that’s always fun.” He explained the event, “The girls get to dress up and the guys wear their uniforms. And it’s Downtown and there’s a dinner. They also do this talent show and a display of different cultures.”
“One of the best things about ROTC are all of the opportunities and scholarships you can get from it,” said Erykah.
“We get benefits for working to join the military, like if we go into the military we will be ranked higher. Also being a part of it in high school looks good on your resume,” Jacob elaborated.
Marcos laughed and remarked, “Well, if I don’t get into a good college, I’ll always have ROTC as a backup plan.” ROTC truly acts like a family: it is a program that supports students and teaches them crucial life skills.
“I love the program, it’s made me into the person I am today,” Andrew concluded.