JROTC stands for Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps. It was established nationally in 1916, and here at Jordan High School in 1965. It has as its sole purpose “to motivate young people to be better citizens”. Although it is funded through a partnership between the Department of Defense and local School Districts, JROTC is not intended, designed, nor permitted to prepare or recruit young people for a career in the military; instead it aims to help them get into college and have a better life.
“WHY DO THE STUDENTS WEAR UNIFORMS?”
Students wear the uniform because it helps develop discipline, pride, and motivation. At Jordan High School the program is partially funded by the Army, so the students wear Army uniforms; at other schools the programs are partially funded by other branches of the military, so the students there wear those uniforms. Students (known as “cadets” in JROTC classes) at Jordan High School wear the uniform only one day a week, on Tuesdays. The rest of the week they wear their normal school uniform.
“WHAT IS JROTC CLASS LIKE?”
JROTC is like a combination of a Sports Team, a Club, a Social Studies Class, a Health Class, and a P.E. Class. The curriculum is designed nationally to fit in with the National Education Standards, and is then modified locally to fit State Standards and District requirements. The class lasts 90 minutes, and involves citizenship activities, marching practice, and then either academics or athletics, depending on the day of the week. A normal weekly schedule is Monday – Athletics, Tuesday – Uniform and Marching, Wednesday – Academics, Thursday – Academics, and Friday – Athletics.
“WHAT EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES DOES JROTC OFFER?”
JROTC at Jordan High School fields competitive teams in the following events: Rifle Marksmanship, Orienteering, Physical Fitness, Academic Achievement, Brigade Academic Challenge, All-City Staff, Voice of Democracy, Squad Drill, Platoon Drill, Company Drill, Armed Drill, Exhibition Drill (Step Team), and Color Guard. In addition, the program supports the school with our Courtesy Patrol Team and Disaster Squad. JROTC Cadets are active in other school activities as well, including all of the school’s competitive Sports Teams, and many clubs on campus, including School Leadership and National Honor Society. In addition to all of this, the program regularly conducts or goes on about 14 field trips/extra-curricular events per year.
“WHAT ARE THE TEACHERS LIKE IN JROTC?”
Contrary to what you may see in the movies or on TV, the teachers in JROTC are not Drill Sergeants! There are two teachers (called “Instructors” in JROTC) at Jordan High School: Major William R. Kroeger and Master Sergeant Roland A. Souza. Both instructors are retired from the Regular Army with over 20 years in service. Major Kroeger retired from the Army in 2002 and has been at Jordan High School ever since; he has a B.A. degree from CSULA, a M.S. degree from Florida Tech, a California Professional Clear Credential in Secondary Education, and has been recognized by both the National Honor Society and “Who’s Who Among American High School Teachers” for teaching excellence, as well as being the only JROTC Instructor in LAUSD to earn the JROTC Bronze Instructor Award. Master Sergeant Souza retired from the Army in 2005 after serving overseas in three separate wars. His experience of being an enlisted soldier in combat makes him a passionate advocate for keeping students in school and motivating them to go on to college. He holds an A.A. degree and a California Special Subjects Credential, and is currently pursuing his B.A. degree and California Professional Clear Credential at Citrus College. He is a JROTC Bronze Instructor Award candidate this year. Although both of the instructors are retired military men, they are very friendly and approachable, but they will insist on students meeting the standards!
“HOW DO I TAKE JROTC?”
Students (or their parents) desiring to enroll in JROTC simply need to talk to their Counselor. Students successfully passing the JROTC class (and the California Fitness-Gram Test) are awarded either P.E. credit or Elective credit, depending on the individual student’s needs as assessed by their Counselor. Students are always welcome to come down to the JROTC Building and talk to the instructors if they have questions or are interested in the program. The JROTC offices are in the Basement of the Boys Gym (East Gym), or you can call (323) 568-4174.