Austin IAustin MathisMrs. MaxwellBrit. Lit.11/3/11 A History of Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps(JROTC) June 3, 1916, the United States Congress passed the National Defense Act of 1916. This act made provisions for an expanded peacetime army, a 400 percent increase in the National Guard, creation of an Army Reserve, and the creation of the Reserve Officer Training Corps. Over time, this has developed from a poorly organized college military and citizenship training class, to a large program that spans the country and is in high schools and colleges. The high school level is known as JROTC. Today, JROTC is in 1555 schools in the United States, with over 273,000 cadets in the program. It has taken time and much effort to get the program to where it is today. From their beginning in 1916, JROTC and ROTC have had many issues. There have been problems spanning from a lack of government funding, to full opposition by the President and Congress. But from the start,there was a lack of motivation to support and expand the program. The instructors were usually people who were there because of orders, and not because they wanted to be. The government did not want to fund the program due to World War I. Between 1916and 1919, only 30 units were established in different schools. Between 1919 and 1920, cadet enrollment climbed to a meager 45,000 of students. During the break between world wars, the program received little in the way of funding, and by 1939, only around 295 schools had their own programs. There were also many issues when it came to backing by the high schools. Some problems were:
Austin Ipoor or inconvenient schedule times, restricted instruction, and shortages of resources.These problems made it harder to motivate student to join, and enrollment dropped. Evenwith these problems though, over 72,000 students were participating in the program in1942. Needless to say, this time period created an uphill battle for JROTC. JROTC also experienced some competition during this time. Another program,Called the National Defense Cadet Corps, was working without government assistanceexcept for minor training aids. NDCC programs were usually programs that wanted to beconsidered JROTC, but could not meet the requirements. These requirements werefollowing the courses prescribed and the program needed to have at least 100 cadetsenrolled who were 14 years of age or older. With the lack of support that the programsexperienced, sometimes meeting these requirements were difficult at best. NDCCprograms did not receive instructors from the Army either. After World War II, the growth of JROTC was frozen by the Army. This freezecontinued from 1947 to 1964. “From 1947 until the passage of the ROTC VitalizationAct of 1964, the Army froze JROTC growth due to funding and manpower constraints.”("JROTC History"). In 1961, when Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara came intooffice, JROTC came under fire. According to him, JROTC cost too much. His solutionwas to turn existing units into NDCC units. This actually caused the program to expandhowever. “Shortly after McNamara’s intentions were announced, the Department ofDefense received over 300 letters and telegrams, and the Department of the Armyreceived 90 from senators, representatives, heads of educational institutions andindividual citizens. Almost all expressed disapproval of the proposed DOD action.”("JROTC History"). People believed that JROTC was helpful to the nation, produced the
Austin Ileaders of the future, and kept students and young people in general out of trouble. Manycongress members were of the same opinion. “At the same time, JROTC supporters in theHouse of Representatives introduced legislation proposing the expansion of the programfrom the existing 254 to a maximum of 2,000 units, and its extension to both the Navyand the Air Force.” ("JROTC History"). during this time, the Defense Departmentmoved towards taking back what they said, attempted to go over the issue again. this wasthe turning point for the better. When the Department of Defense reviewed JROTC and NDCC, they developedan 11 person committee to do the review. “The commission surveyed a cross-section ofsecondary school officials, community leaders and parents, and published its findings andrecommendations in a report entitled ‘Future Operations in the Junior Division ROTCand the national Defense Cadet Corps,’ dated June 1963.” ("JROTC History"). The reporttalked about things such as cost and lack of turnout for people in respect to it’s name, andalso covered the benefit to the nation and it youth. To solve the cost issue, theDepartment of Defense provided guidelines for JROTC spending. They also decided thatinstead of active duty soldiers working as instructors, they could use retirees that metcertain standards. This freed up over 700 active duty personnel, saving a large amount ofmoney and enabling them to be better used in their actual job fields. During this time,JROTC enrollment was around 60,000 cadets. This time symbolized a new start forJROTC. The new beginning came to fruition in 1963. “On Oct. 13, 1963, 40 days beforehis assassination, President John F. Kennedy signed Public Law 88-647, the ROTCVitalization Act of 1964. The law required the services to increase the number of JROTC
Austin Iprograms under their jurisdiction and also charged them to achieve a more homogeneousgeographical distribution of units across the nation. The 1916 rule mandating a minimumenrollment of 100 U.S. citizens, ages 14 or older, was retained for the continuation orestablishment of JROTC units as were many other provisions of the original legislation.”("JROTC History"). This helped to distribute the program more evenly throughout thecountry, causing enrollment to rise and the number of programs to increase. Another partof the law was to make special provisions for retirees hired to work in JROTC programs.The schools were paid to give benefits such as covering for the remainder of the pay theywould receive as active duty soldiers, and special allowances such as food and housing.This helped to remove competition by NDCC programs, due to the fact that they couldnot come close to the same payment. From 1970 to 1985, Provisions were set into place to benefit cadets that enlistedin the Army after high school. Cadets could enlist from the pay grades of E-2 to E-4,based on their performance and experience from JROTC. Qualified graduates alsoreceived special nominations to military academies. A new president also led to newassistance. “JROTC received another stimulus in July 1976, when President Gerald Fordsigned Public Law 94-361, which raised the authorized number of JROTC units from1,200 to 1,600. The Army received 200 of these new units. Due to the lack of funding,however, only 20 new units were actually brought on line before 1980.” ("JROTCHistory"). A non-exclusion policy was also set up during this time, allowing females toparticipate in JROTC for the first time. Between 1972 and 1973, the first female cadetsentered the program. This led to rapid growth of females, with over 40 percent of cadetsbeing female by 1993.
Austin I during the 1980’s, more legislature was passed to improve JROTC. “In September1980 Congress passed Public Law 96-342, which lowered the mandatory JROTC unitenrollment level from 100 to an amount not less than ten percent of the host institution’senrollment, thereby paving the way for increased institutional participation in theprogram.” ("JROTC History"). This allowed for creation of more programs, leading toeven stronger growth across the nation. by 1983, there were over 5,600 more cadets thanthe previous decade. In the next two years, more than 120 units were added. To this date,JROTC is still growing exponentially, with changes occurring to the lessons, and moreorganization being added, but no major changes have happened. Another important part of JROTC is the Creed. It started as different units writingtheir own creeds, but they were combined and used for the first time in 1995 during thecadet command spring review. the creed is as follows: “I am an Army JROTC cadet. Iwill always conduct myself to bring credit to my family, country, school, and the corps ofcadets.I am loyal and patriotic. I am the future of the Untied States of America. I do notlie, cheat, or steal and will always be accountable for my actions and deeds. I will alwayspractice good citizenship and patriotism. I will work hard to improve my mind andstrengthen my body. I will seek the mantle of leadership and stand prepared to uphold theConstitution and the American way of life. May god grant me the strength to always liveby this creed.”. This creed is important in defining the cadets way of life. JROTC is a program meant to motivate young people to be better citizens. This isdone through military structure, controlled lesson plans, and a curriculum meant to helpprovide students with the knowledge and skills required to do well in life. Although theprogram has had it’s struggles, it has survived and grown to change the nation.
Austin I Works Cited“The First JROTC Unit.” The First JROTC Unit. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Sept. 2011.<http://leavenworthjrotc.org/first_jrotc_unit.html>.“History of ROTC.” History of ROTC. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Sept. 2011.<http://www.rotc.usaac.army.mil/jrotc-history.html>.“JROTC.” JROTC. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Sept. 2011.<http://pediaview.com/openpedia/JROTC>.“JROTC History.” JROTC History. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Sept. 2011.<http://www.oocities.org/armyjrotchq/history.html>.“JROTC History.” JROTC History. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Sept. 2011.<http://www.warejrotc.com/UnitHistory/JROTCHistory/jrotc_history.htm>.“Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps.” Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps.N.p., 21 Sept. 2011. Web. 29 Sept. 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jrotc>.“National Defense Act of 1916.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia, 1 Nov. 2011. Web. 3 Nov. 2011.<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Defense_Act_of_1916>.“US Army JROTC.” US Army JROTC. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Sept. 2011.<http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/agency/army/jrotc.htm>.
Austin I“US Army JROTC.” US Army JROTC. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Sept. 2011. <https://www.usarmyjrotc.com/jrotc/dt/2_History/history.html>.