Coronavirus and the JROTC

Abigail Lowry, ENN Staff

The Junior Reserves Officer Training Corps, or JROTC, program has become a prominent society at Lake Ridge, where students from all walks of life are able to learn how to become responsible citizens, productive students, and future members of the U.S. Army. Along with every other student organization, this one has made an impact on many student’s lives. Participating students within the organization are organized into smaller groups, known as companies. Through long drill practices and competitions, the companies and organization as a whole grows closer as a family.

The JROTC uniform has brought a lot of interest into the Lake Ridge community. Junior, Tiffany Rogers, has found that she has gained peers and friends because of who she is, as a First Lieutenant in the JROTC.

“People who know me outside of the uniform know me because of the uniform. I’ve been a part of JROTC since I was a freshman, and that’s what they recognize me as. The way that people treat me doesn’t change when I am out of the uniform,” Rogers states.

The JROTC program has become a recognized program that impacts others who may not be in the class. Freshman, Roslin Shurtz, has found in her short time in JROTC that it has become a community where students all over Lake Ridge benefit.

“The mission of JROTC is to motivate young citizens to be successful in high school, and if they know about JROTC, they know it’s not just about trying to join the army. It’s helping you become a better person and succeed in life. I’ve seen that in all students in the program that they’ve become better people,” said Shurtz.

The members of JROTC have shown dedication towards the program in ways that have never been seen before. Junior, Grant Elliot, feels that JROTC gives people a chance to prove themselves to others and benefit from relationships in their lives.

“Personally, I feel that we are dedicated to the JROTC program because, we are forming those core relationships with people and you do not want to let them down. That’s why this is so important. It gives us a chance to be responsible and prove ourselves to those around us and be the example which is important,” Elliot said.

The JROTC program, however, like many other organizations, has been affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. Elliott points out that JROTC has a very routine schedule, that regardless of pandemic or not, will not be stopped.

“Coronavirus has changed JROTC a lot. This is a very big year for us because we have a JPA check that determines our funding for the next four years. The check determines if we are following protocol and if we are doing the right things, in regards to army standards. This is a huge deal for us and with the Coronavirus, we had to change the way our program runs, so there is a large amount of stress upon us, but that doesn’t mean it can’t get done,” Elliott stated.

The JROTC program isn’t just about the military. There are many benefits, regardless of whether or not you’re interested, to everyone in the school and in the community. Students in this program may be pushed to the limit, but they are willing to take the risks that lie in front of them, in order to improve themselves and the community.