From the Palm Beach County School District
Olympic Heights High School will be home to Palm Beach County’s first Marine Corps Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) in the 2015-2016 school year, after a two-year effort by the Department of Choice and Career Options to bring the program to the School District.
The Marine Corps JROTC joins 10 JROTC programs in the district – eight Army, two Air Force and two Navy – at district high schools. The Choice and Career Options department began working in 2013 to secure a sponsorship for a National Defense Cadets Corps from the U.S Marine Corps.
Editor’s note: We see only two other Marine JROTC programs in South Florida, one at Deerfield Beach High, and the other at Stranahan High in Fort Lauderdale. There is an Army JROTC at Atlantic High, an Air Force JROTC at Lake Worth High, and a Navy JROTC at Boca High.
The Marine Corps JROTC program will be led by two instructors who are retired military personnel. Students who become cadets are issued uniforms, participate in leadership programs and learn military history along with citizenship, leadership, personal growth and responsibility, public service and career exploration.
“We are excited and proud that this two-year effort had been awarded to us. It is another opportunity for our students to gain valuable leadership experience and career opportunities,” said Dr. Peter Licata, Director of Choice and Career Options. “The goal of JROTC programs is to build better citizens and to make students leaders in their community. Leadership skills are instilled so the students can be a success in whatever lies ahead for them.”
Olympic Heights Principal Dave Clark said it is an honor for his school to offer the district’s newest JROTC program. “Being a part of JROTC is like being a part of a big family,” Clark said. “There are all different sorts of people, but they get along well because they are all part of the same team.”
JROTC programs are offered by branches of the Armed Forces to prepare high school students to become leaders as they pursue their post-graduate careers, whether in college, the workforce of future military service. Schools with JROTC programs receive approximately $250,000 worth of uniforms, supplies and equipment, including classroom materials and curriculum, from the federal government.
Students are not required to join the military after high school, but the Armed Forces often offer incentives, such as accelerated promotion, to those with high school JROTC experience. There are approximately 155 graduating seniors throughout Palm Beach County who have chosen to enter the military after high school.
To learn more about the Marine Corps JROTC program, contact Tara Kobel, Choice Specialist-JROTC, at firstname.lastname@example.org.