The School Newspaper of Plano West High School

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Training With JROTC

Lining+up+at+the+Homecoming+game%2C+students+in+JROTC+stand+tall.
Lining up at the Homecoming game, students in JROTC stand tall.

Lining up at the Homecoming game, students in JROTC stand tall.

Lining up at the Homecoming game, students in JROTC stand tall.

Michael de Silva, Staff Writer

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An incoming generation of young adults is bound to have new leaders. Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) gives adolescents skills they can use to take charge and make the future a better place for each other.

“I joined JROTC so I could meet new people with different talents that are better than my own,” senior Michael Mansour said. “It has helped me find leadership opportunities so that I can grow with other people and help them.”

JROTC puts students through leadership-centric activities. It also acts as preparation for Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC), which is a college-based training program.

“There is no military obligation,” senior Mikayla Blanton said. “The sole purpose of JROTC is to motivate young people to be better citizens.”

Despite its military roots, JROTC prioritizes leadership over everything else. The military is simply seen as an option for the students in their future lives.

“JROTC is a leadership enactment course that has fundamentals of military values in it,” Mansour said. “It is not meant to teach you how to be in the military; it is meant to teach you what you can do in your future life and have an option of joining the military.”

However, many students join with the intent of being in the military, often because of family history.

“A lot of my family was in the military,” junior Kyra Delgado said. “They were talking about their experience with me. It got me interested, and here I am.”

One way JROTC sets itself apart from solely being a military-based class is that the cadets compete in multiple areas against other schools.

“My favorite thing about JROTC is that there is competition,” Mansour said. “It entices you to put yourself out there and do more than you would normally consider.”

JROTC also teaches professionalism. Their upcoming military ball is meant to show cadets and their families how to act in a formal setting.

“It is pretty much like prom, and I feel like everyone looks forward to it,” Delgado said. “Since West, Shepton, and Jasper are all different, you get to meet new people from different schools.”

High-ranking cadets serve as staff members. They spend one class period every day from December to April planning out the ball.

“The ball is our most formal event of the year, and as staff members, we are the ones who organize and conduct it,” Mansour said. “I am looking forward to seeing how much the cadets have blossomed this year, since it is the last event where we will all be together.”

JROTC is much more than a military training program. It is a unique chance for students to learn leadership skills in a school setting as well as make friendships that will last forever.

“I would say if anyone has the slightest interest in it, they should join,” Delgado said. “In JROTC, everyone is unique and different. We all just bond together. It does not matter where you come from or what your background is. Just join.”

 

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Training With JROTC