JROTC: Committee services shape students for the future

Manasi Tripathi, Staff Writer

Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps, also known as JROTC, is a prominent class at OHS where students get the opportunity to enhance their leadership and overall be a good citizen. The course has large amounts of time dedicated outside of school, with programs like escape and evasion, orienteering, remote control aircraft program, etc.

People assume that JROTC is a class where students either want to be a pilot or go into the military. There are clear benefits for them in life, such as if you want to join the military after this class you will automatically get a rank. While ranking is a very important aspect, there is definitely more to this class. 

“It really just teaches you to become a better person and learn leadership and followership and it also teaches you how to take care of finance and teaches you culture, so that way, when you go out into the world after high school, you just know what you are doing,” said Nathan Gilbert, junior. “It is so different from all my classes and I find it more useful.”

Students do real life work such as learning how to find a house. This gives them an insight on how much of a responsibility it is to be an adult and have a fixed budget. One of the most important components of this class is community services; for students that means helping people around them and developing their leadership skills, like from planning an event to running it, and everything in between. Seniors take this opportunity to experience the real world.

“We go out to downtown Phoenix, and help out with things such as NAMI (it’s a charity walk) or do a law enforcement torch run,” said Grace Richardson, senior. “We do go to St. Mary’s Food Bank and we help them pack boxes.”

If you are interested in joining the military, there is also a program that offers students to practice interviews or help writing their resumes. Programs like escape and evasion is where the underclassmen are released on the mountain and the seniors have to hunt them down. It is one of the most liked programs by the students.

“What we do in the classroom is only a portion of what our program is really about. We have a marksmanship program, where students get to practise shooting and they can compete at the state level,” said Donald Clocksin, Colonel and JROTC teacher.

Hours of time are spent volunteering outside of school in community services. Students participate in their favorite activity and do something that they like. Students in ROTC have opportunities to do adult-like jobs and volunteer work, while still being minors.

“Personally, I have spent dozens of time working at snack bars or helping put on track meets or just volunteering for anything I can; we lead parades, which is really honorable,” said Connor Mangum, sophomore. 

Veteran’s day is one of the very important and busy days of the year for JROTC.  There are about five events in a day. It is a big day for the class and there are a lot of fun events planned to honor the veterans in Anthem.

“It is kind of like our super bowl, Veterans Day, but we do a lot of stuff all year round but Veterans Day is a big deal,” Clocksin said. “I had a chance in this place and others to have our students do things for our veterans and those people especially those in their 60s, 70s and 80s, they love to see high school students taking the time to wear [uniforms] proudly and professionally to present the colors.”

Students of JROTC have become really close and are like a family. They do many events together and take time out of their busy schedules to do community services for schools and communities around the district or sometimes outside the district.

“It’s kind of like a family here, that is one of the main things that drew me towards the program,” Richardson said.