Every school year students can see in their course selection manuals that JROTC is a class offered by Cedar Cliff. JROTC stands for Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps. The class teaches about leadership and how to be a good citizen.
The JROTC influence goes well beyond the classroom. The daily lives of JROTC cadets start early in the morning. Sophomore Josh Weber said, “Most of us wake up at 5:00 a.m. to get ready. We usually do PT (physical training) in the morning.”
Physical training is not mandatory but is encouraged. The practice starts at 6:20 a.m. The cadets must meet U.S. Army physical fitness standards. They must do a two-mile run in under 13 minutes. They must also be able to do 71 pushups and 78 sit ups. “We are training for the big Raider Competition in April,” Weber said.
After the morning practice, the cadets hit the showers; then they might have a staff meeting and then go to school. The school day for them is not much different from any other student. The only difference is that for one class they are in the JROTC room. Junior Eric Ashley said, “JROTC does not mean you have to join the military. We do a lot of history and politics in the class, but we also learn about being a good person and giving back to the community.”
First sergeant Michael Sullivan, a JROTC teacher, said, “Right now the kids are getting ready for the JROTC Program for Accreditation (JPA).” Col Hancock has won the Gold star for JPA the past 16 years.
Sullivan said, “We focus on making the students confident and good citizens as well as getting them ready for college.”
During 4b flex some JROTC cadets meet for J-lab to prepare themselves for the SATs or the ASVAB.
Cadets wear uniforms on Wednesdays. They have two different uniforms. The first is called dress uniforms. They can be either class A or class B. Class A is the suit jacket with tie. Class B is without the suit and tie. It is just the dress shirt. The other option is (ACU) Advanced Combat Uniform. That one is the digital camo uniform.
After-school activities for JROTC cadets depend on the day of the week. Some days they have armed drill, and on other days unarmed drill. Drill consists of instruction or training in military exercise. “Drill is a lot of marching and discipline. It is mostly about discipline,” senior Jake Irwin said. “It takes a lot of hard work. You learn what to do, and learn how to do it well,” Some days cadets build and cross the rope bridge. Then sometimes they have off days.
“To anyone looking at JROTC, I would say take the class. It is only a semester, and if you don’t like it, you don't have to take it again,” Irwin said.