The JROTC Program is offered in select school across the country. Communities lucky enough to have one of these elite Units on their High School campus will attest that they are highly visible in the community and their Cadets (student members) grow to be more respectful and disciplined.
But what is the JROTC? JROTC or, Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps, was designed to help developing good citizenship and patriotism, appreciation of physical fitness and increased team building skills in the Cadets that utilize these programs. Its origins date back to 1916 with the National Defense Act and further expanded under the 1964 ROTC Vitalization Act. At this time, they have a presence in all 50 states and have over 3,000 combined Units, with the majority (over half) being Army JROTC Units.
Under the instruction of active and retired military members from all four branches, Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines, the students are able to participate in a myriad of activities and teams within the overall program. These teams include, but are not limited to, Orienteering, Physical Training, Color Guard, Rifle and Unarmed Drill teams. As a member of these teams, Cadets take on added responsibility and visibility not only in the Unit, but in the Community as well.
Excel Sportswear has been privileged enough to work with many of these Units, Instructors and Cadets. We have seen their numbers soar, fall and have seen Instructors go the extra mile for their Cadets and the program.
One such program we have had the pleasure of working with over the years is a Navy JROTC Program, under the instruction of a Chief who retired after 17 years of duty. This particular Unit was able to increase the number of Cadets in the program from roughly 100 in the 2010-2011 school year to around 170 in the 2011-2012 school year. That is no small feat.
When asked what the cause of the rapid increase in his numbers, they were quoted as saying, ”not sure if its anything we are actually doing or just our good fortune that we have a large 9th grade class this year.” They continued in saying that they, “Can’t pinpoint anything that we’ve done that would make the numbers jump, because for the last 10 years we have run right around 100.”
This seasoned organization is ready to hit the ground running with the new, larger, program that they are fortunate to have this year. When asked if things are going to be different or harder with such a large increase, his modest response was, “not really. It’s the same thing magnified a little bit, nothing crazy.”
As a Veteran owned company, Excel can both appreciate and understand the value of the skills, attitude and overall impact programs like the JROTC instill in the Cadets. We love that so many of the Units have turned to us to help the Cadets showcase their pride and, in turn, help increase their enrollment.
Today, Excel Sportswear would like to take a moment to salute these men and women who lead these programs. Thank you for all you do, have done and for continuing to serve your country beyond retirement.