View Full Version : JROTC paves way for recruit-training success

01-16-04, 08:56 PM
JROTC paves way for recruit-training success
Submitted by: MCRD San Diego
Story Identification Number: 2004115121051
Story by Sgt. L. F. Langston

MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO, Calif.(January 16, 2004) -- Throughout high school, dedicating himself to a rigid military lifestyle was his way of picking himself off the couch and doing something.

Once just a face in the crowd, PFC Roberto M. Chavez, guide, Platoon 3132, Company L, gradually worked his way up to leading his platoon.

Born in Chula Vista, Calif., and raised in nearby National City, Chavez realized he was becoming a couch potato and not progressing in school. He decided to immerse himself in the Marine Corps JROTC program at Sweetwater High School in National City.

"It wasn't until 9th grade JROTC that I became motivated to excel," Chavez said. "In order to be promoted, you had to make good grades.

"I used to hang out with friends that just played video games and did nothing. I stopped hanging out with them and started hanging out with guys in JROTC."

Chavez started picking up leadership skills. "I looked at my JROTC instructors as mentors," said Chavez.

"He showed a lot of initiative and was an overall high achiever," said retired Gunnery Sgt. Jesus Tavares, a JROTC instructor at Sweetwater.

"I learned what camaraderie was all about being in JROTC," Chavez said.

The Marine Corps JROTC program became a foundation for Chavez's success, giving him a well-rounded view of leadership skills, physical fitness, academics and community services.

"He was a super student, and I wasn't surprised he carried what he learned here onto recruit training," said retired Chief Warrant Officer Gerry Forand, another JROTC instructor at Sweetwater.

Taking on the duties as platoon guide came easily for Chavez. He participated in the JROTC rifle program's drill team and four-man exhibition drill team.

"He definitely sets the pace for the platoon," said Chavez's senior drill instructor, Staff Sgt. Tony S. Cruz.

Chavez participated in a series meritorious promotion board that would advance him to the company meritorious promotion board.

"During the series board, his knowledge and bearing were locked on. He's a strong runner with a 300 physical fitness training score," said Cruz.

Chavez missed winning the board, but the respect he has gained from his fellow recruits is strong.

"He started out slow and worked his way up. He deserved being company honorman," said squad leader, PFC Bradford Cunningham, Platoon 3132.

Chavez's commitment to excel and become a leader has been evident through his actions, but he is aware there's always room for improvement and learning.

Leading his platoon with pride and confidence off the parade deck, Chavez will take his 10-day leave period visiting friends, family and JROTC cadets.


PFC Roberto M. Chavez, guide, Platoon 3132, Company L, used his four years of JROTC experience to his advantage in recruit training, working his way up to top recruit in his platoon. Photo by: Sgt. L. F. Langston


The Drifter

01-18-04, 10:25 AM
Local JROTC visits Island
Submitted by: MCRD Parris Island
Story Identification Number: 2004116104013
Story by Lance Cpl. Brian Kester

MCRD/ERR PARRIS ISLAND, S.C.(Jan. 16, 2003) -- The Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps is one of many ways for young men and women to see the opportunities and leadership that the military has to offer without having to sign on the dotted line.

The Battery Creek High School JROTC chapter visited the Depot for a tour of the facilities and some physical training Jan. 9. The students were afforded the opportunities of running an obstacle course, eating in the chow hall, and participating in simulated fire at the Indoor Simulated Marksmanship Training facility.

According to the Marine Corps JROTC Web site, www.tecom.usmc.mil/jrotc/history.cfm, there are six categories of emphasis for tomorrow's leaders.

The program hopes to develop informed and responsible citizens, build character, teach students about the elements and requirements for national security, instill discipline as an important leadership skill, develop respect for authority, and enlighten students to possible career and educational choices.

The JROTC program develops and emphasizes the value of leadership and strives to instill those qualities in the members of the program.

While the national program sets the tone, the local chapters follow suit with locally applied guidelines.

The Battery Creek JROTC is a multi-faceted program that stresses discipline and a need for community service, along with physical and mental strength, said retired Maj. Jeff McGill, leader of the Battery Creek chapter.

The JROTC is structured around a high school schedule and has requirements set by the Department of Defense.

According to the Marine Corps Junior ROTC Web site, "The Junior ROTC program offered in a high school must be no less than three-years and no fewer than 96 hours of instruction each year. Usually, each year contains 180 hours of leadership instruction and application."
The Battery Creek program involves one class hour of the curriculum much the same as history or mathematics.

"There are six classes a day; three for freshmen, two for sophomores and one for the juniors and seniors," said McGill. "Each teaches leadership, Marine Corps history, customs, courtesies, drill and patriotism."

Keeping with those standards, the Battery Creek chapter builds leaders through the leadership of McGill and the experience of older students within the program.

"I preach academics, attitude and history, and if they lack those qualities, then they will probably go out of the JROTC," said McGill. "Everything up to Marine Corps standards including grooming and fitness levels, it gives the students the chance to become leaders."

The program also enlightens students to possible career and educational choices in their future.

"It's my fourth year and it has been a lot of work, but it has been worth it," said Mary Elizabeth Pruett, a BCHS senior. "I started in JROTC just to get a physical education credit, but I love the morale within the unit and the discipline I received. It has gotten me on track for my future."

"I plan on going to college and then on to the Marines," said Pruett who has already been accepted into the Citadel. "I already knew what I wanted to do. This just gave me the fever a little bit. I will be there for four years of college with boot camp being in the last two years, but I want to graduate and walk the stage an officer."

Students choose their own path, but the leadership provided within the program has led Philip Buchanan, a BCHS junior, to a jump-start on what he wants to achieve at recruit training after he finishes school.

"After high school I am going straight to boot camp," said Buchanan. "I am proud of myself for what I have achieved in JROTC. I love the yelling and drill and all of the physical training we do. I want to get more experience and get into better shape for boot camp in my last year."

Achievement in the JROTC program should equal triumph in the world after high school, as it is a building block for success.


Mary Elizabeth Pruett, Battery Creek High School junior and member of the school’s JROTC chapter, begins her ascent up the rope on the 4th RTBn. obstacle course Jan. 9. The Battery Creek chapter visited the Depot for a tour and conducted some physical training.
Photo by: Lance Cpl. Brian Kester


The Drifter

ashley clark
01-18-04, 11:45 AM
I'm in something similar, called the Young Marines.It's one of the reasons why I want to go in the Marine Corps. Since we don't have Marine Corps JROTC around ,I thought this would be the next best.
Our unit went to Quantico this past summer and go to see the Silent Drill team,and Iwo Jima,and we went to Washington.