Program Information

Role & Purpose

The Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) is a program sponsored by the United States Armed Forces in high schools across the United States. The program was originally created as part of the National Defense Act of 1916 and was later expanded under the 1964 ROTC Vitalization Act.

Junior ROTC is a partnership between the Army and high schools all over the nation. Our program, the first in the Willamette Valley, is one of over 1600 Army JROTC programs nationwide, serving the nation since 1916, along with JROTC units from the other branches of the Armed Forces. The mission of JROTC is to “motivate young people to be better citizens.” Specifically, we help our students prepare themselves to lead successful, productive lives when they graduate from high school; we want to help them prepare to become productive American citizens of the twenty-first century. Our curriculum stresses high school completion, hands-on leadership training, good citizenship, community service, and study and life skills that will help students succeed. We try to do this by providing our students with a specific set of skills that they will find helpful in their high school journey — oral and written communication, goal setting and planning, teamwork, leadership, American military history and the role of the armed forces in our democracy, map reading, first aid, drug abuse prevention, and physical fitness. We also provide a series of activities in and out of the classroom that appeal to students who might not otherwise join after-school programs, thereby increasing their sense of connection to their school. Among these activities are Color Guard, Drill Team, Adventure Club, Physical Fitness Team, weekend campouts in the fall and spring, a weeklong encampment during the first part of summer, a formal dinner and dance, an awards ceremony at the end of the year, and soon to come, a Rifle Team. JROTC is a four-year elective program, each year roughly aligned with an academic class. Every year, North Salem’s JROTC program attracts students from each of the district’s other high schools, too.

According to Title 10, Section 2031 of the United States Code, the purpose of the JROTC is “to instill in students in United States secondary educational institutions the values of citizenship, service to the United States, and personal responsibility and a sense of accomplishment.” The US military is not actively recruiting from JROTC students. The military has stated that JROTC will inform young Americans about the opportunities available in the military and “may help motivate young Americans toward military service.”An United States Army policy memorandum states that JROTC is not precluded from “facilitating the recruitment of young men and women into the U.S. Army,” directing instructors to “actively assist cadets who want to enlist in the military and emphasize service in the U.S. Army; facilitate recruiter access to cadets in JROTC program and to the entire student body and work closely with high school guidance counselors to sell the Army story.” Former United States Secretary of Defense William Cohen referred to JROTC as “one of the best recruitment programs we could have.”