Salute to NJROTC


Abbey Wood McLellan

Students stand for inspection on Wednesday, September 18.

Kimmie Rauscher and Kat Reid

NJROTC (Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps) is more than meets the eye. From leadership to citizenship to life skills, NJROTC teaches their students more than what is implied. According to Commander Shelton, he wants his students to “…leave here and be successful even if they do not join the military.”

This program has its students work hard and teaches them “Honor, Courage and Commitment” according to the NJROTC’s core principles. The program gives students life skills and teaches them the importance of trying their hardest no matter what happens. We had the privilege to interview Commander Shelton who stated, “We concentrate some on the Navy but what we try to do is to introduce all the cadets to leadership skills and we put them physically in leadership [positions].’” Unlike most views on this class, ROTC is more than just physical fitness education and more of a class to teach their students to be better people. The people who go through this program work to become the better citizens of tomorrow, helping to lead us to victories both big and small. 

Upon interviewing the ROTC teachers, we realized that this class was doing more than giving information about the armed forces. It gives the students motivation to lead others and become a better citizen in their communities. For example, Senior Chief shared with us a meaningful story about one of his first students he ever had. According to Senior Chief, “I had a student my first year who hated ROTC and they only did it because their parents made them do it and they were very determined that once the year was over they would be done with it. Every year we have an annual Military Ball and this young lady actually went to the Mil Ball (Military Ball). She got prettied up and put on a pretty dress. She did her hair and whatever but before it was over she came up to me said ‘Senior Chief, I know that I said that I said I was against ROTC all year but I am donating all my four years here. I couldn’t see myself anywhere else but ROTC.’”

The students have claimed this program to be very beneficial to their everyday lives. According to Cadet Petty Officer 3rd Class Megan Marsh, “If you had met me two years ago in 8th grade or before joining this program, I would probably not be as outgoing as I am now. I am a naturally quiet person and I do not really put myself out there that much. This kind of forced me to change that.” As seen above, Commander and Senior Chief put their all into this program and it has been seen through their students. Senior Chief states, “I see my blueprint throughout the school. Even cadets and even students that are not cadets that I made relationships with, the smile on their faces when they see me and being able to motivate an athlete or a normal student.”

NJROTC creates the new leaders of tomorrow and teaches their cadets the life skills everyone needs to know. So next time you see one of the officers or a fellow student, make sure to give them the acknowledgement for all the hard work they do for our school and their own program.