Photo by Lifetouch Photography
History of JROTC
The Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (JROTC) came into being with the passage of the National Defense Act of 1916 as the US prepared to enter WWI in 1917. Under the provisions of the Act, high schools were authorized a loan of federal military equipment and the assignment of active duty military personnel as instructors in order to help enlist recruits and officers into the Army.
From a modest beginning of 6 units in 1916, JROTC has expanded to more than 1800 schools today and to every state in the nation and American schools overseas. Cadet enrollment has grown to 281,000 cadets with 4,000 professional instructors in the classrooms. Although the program retained its military structure and the resultant ability to infuse in its student cadets a sense of discipline and order, it shed most of its early military content, as it now hosts a student-centered curriculum focusing on character building and civic responsibility. Today, JROTC has become a citizenship program devoted to the moral, physical and educational uplift of American youth instructors motivate students to become better citizens.
The Thunderbird Battalion
The Army JROTC program at East Anchorage High School was established in 1977 as a cross-enrolled program with Bartlett High School. In 1981, East High was authorized their own Army JROTC program and was designated the Thunderbird Battalion in keeping with the school name. The battalion total enrollment averages about 200 cadets at the start of each year.
Purpose for JROTC
JROTC's purpose, as described in Title 10 of the U.S. Code "is to instil in students in United States secondary educational institutions the value of citizenship, service to the United States, personal responsibility, and a sense of accomplishment." JROTC prepares high school students for leadership roles while making them aware of the benefits of citizenship. Classroom and outside activities become opportunities to acquire the knowledge, discipline, and sense of responsibility that are necessary to take charge of one's future.
The leadership education and training goals of the curriculum are for cadets to...
Graduate from high school
Act as good citizens by exercising their rights and responsibilities
Learn how to resolve conflicts
Achieve positive self-esteem
Learn skills for teamwork
Maintain good health and appearance
Learn the importance of American history and citizenship