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Joining the ROTC

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Do you know what you’re going to do as a career after high school? Most students don’t know what they want to do after High School. A estimated 20 to 50 percent are “undecided” with their career after High School. My parents faced this same problem and one of the options that was available to them was the armed forces.  It is harder to get into today than back then, you have to pass a test now, but it is still a good option.  If you are interested in this option, you should find out about Reserve Officers’ Training Corps! (ROTC).

The ROTC is known for both of military training and academic studying. The ROTC was founded in 1916. It can find you the job/career you want and help you get into the military branch you want to join. The program is intended for people who are just starting college.  ROTC members go to college while receiving ROTC training and when they are done, they are obligated to serve at least four years in the military.  The program provides scholarships so you can pay for college. ROTC offers scholarships based on when you enter the program. A senior in high school, when they graduate, can get a scholarship for a full four years! While a college student can get a scholarship and it would cover the rest of their college career.  There is also a Junior ROTC option for seniors in high school, which allows you to start your training early, guarantees you a spot in ROTC and helps you get into colleges.  After graduating from college and the ROTC program, you will have skills to be a leader, mentor, and a trainer!

To join ROTC you must be a U.S citizen, at least 17 years old, and at most 27 years old, and take a physical fitness standard test. If attending ROTC at 17 years old you are required to have a parent or guardian’s permission and three more academic years left in a four-year college degree program. When you join ROTC you must consent to a commission and serving at least four years in one of the military branches.

What’s great about ROTC is that not only does it help you complete college, providing tutors and financial aid, but it allows you to join the armed forces with an extra rank! The Higher ranking you have in the military, the more you get paid. There are four options you can go in ROTC, The Army, Marines, Air-Force, or the Navy. Army ROTC is known for being the most difficult and successful leadership program in the country. Navy and Marine’s are both one ROTC. Air Force ROTC’s main goal is to make leaders for the Air Force and make better citizens for the U.S.A. The Coast Guard is the only service branch that does not have an ROTC program.

A lot of people have amazing success from joining ROTC. One example is Jessica Baptiste. Jessica’s high school had a terrible graduation rate. Only 27.5%  of her freshman class graduated and her city also had three times more crime than an average city! At Franklin K. Lane High School she experienced students never paying attention, kids walking out of class and even cursing out the teacher! Even though there was a lot of bad around her, she had good things that stood out. One thing that stood out for her was ROTC. When she joined the Jr. ROTC, she noticed that even though the others in the program were all kids from her school, their behavior was very different; they were respectful and focused.  The most shocking thing to her was how everyone was disciplined — they all tried their hardest and followed the rules all the time. Jessica learned how to stop stressing and most of all became a leader! Even though her school was a mess and she came from a tough background (one parent was an alcoholic) Jr. ROTC helped her take her anger and frustration and channel that energy to reach her full potential and giver her confidence in herself. When she completed Jr. ROTC, she decided not to continue the ROTC program because she realized that a lot of her friends from Jr. ROTC were either going to Iraq or had been there and she decided she didn’t want to be in the military. However, she did not regret anything about joining Jr. ROTC because of all the great skills she learned from it and how it made her a stronger person, more ready to pursue a positive future.

I like to think I am a typical high school student — I have had some fun, been in some trouble, but now that I am close to graduation I am little nervous about what I am doing with my future.  I have looked into junior college, because that is really my only option coming from a continuation school, but it really isn’t right for me.  What is right for me is the ROTC program.  I plan on joining the Jr. ROTC and, if it all works out, continuing on with the ROTC program and college.  So, if you are like me and are not sure of what to do, you should check out the ROTC…it might be your perfect solution.

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Works Cited

Baptiste, Jessica. “Education | Stories by Teens – In Training: I Found Discipline and Support in JROTC—but Not My Future.” Education | Stories by Teens – In Training: I Found Discipline and Support in JROTC—but Not My Future.Youth Communication, n.d. Web. 07 Feb. 2017. <http://www.youthsuccessnyc.org/education/stories/In_Training_ROTC-Baptiste.html>.

“Reserve Officers’ Training Corps.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 2 Feb. 2017. Web. 07 Feb. 2017. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reserve_Officers%27_Training_Corps>.

“Ways to Attend.” Goarmy.com. US Army, 7 Nov. 2016. Web. 07 Feb. 2017. <http://www.goarmy.com/rotc/ways-to-attend.html>.

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