The Ponitz Career Technology Center JROTC Program

The Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) is a program offered to the Ponitz Golden Panthers that teaches students character education, student achievement, wellness, leadership, and diversity. It is a cooperative effort between the Army and the Ponitz Career Technology Center to produce successful students and citizens while fostering in each school a more constructive and disciplined learning environment. The outcomes of the JROTC program are:

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  • Act with integrity and personal accountability as they lead others to succeed in a diverse and global workforce
  • Engage civic and social concerns in the community, government, and society
  • Graduate prepared to excel in post-secondary options and career pathways
  • Make decisions that promote positive social, emotional, and physical health
  • Value the role of the military and other service organizations

With the school’s support, the JROTC program achieves these outcomes by using a world-class 21st Century, technology-driven, student-centered curriculum. The curriculum consists of education in citizenship, leadership, social and communication skills, physical fitness and wellness, geography, and civics.

The curriculum is facilitated and taught by Captain Joseph McGough and 1st Sergeant Jose Monegro retired Army personnel.  JROTC teacher qualifications are based on military experience, education, maturity, stability, and leadership acquired over 20 + years of service to our nation. To safeguard the viability of the JROTC program, the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Department of Education endorse the proposition that states recognize that JROTC instructors are certified to teach JROTC and the array of subject areas embedded (e.g., Physical Education, Health/Wellness, Civics, etc.).

JROTC is a successful program, making substantial contributions to students, schools, and communities which benefit greatly from its presence. The benefits of JROTC are reflected in metrics impacting all schools in the U.S.


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Is JROTC a required course?

No. JROTC is not a required course at Ponitz Career Technology Center.

What does JROTC stand for?

JROTC stands for Junior Reserve Officer's Training Corps. It is a military regulated high school program whose purpose is to educate high school students in leadership roles while making them aware of the benefits of citizenship. The mission of JROTC is to motivate young people to become better American citizens.

What is the class like?

The program is a full credit elective class for every semester a person takes it. JROTC combines interesting classroom instruction with the opportunity to serve the school and the community, participate in extra-curricular activities, enjoy social activities, and have the chance to be in leadership positions.

What is exactly taught in class?

The material covered in the program varies throughout the year, with short segments of leadership training, basics of citizenship and other topics related to the U.S. Army. The Army JROTC curriculum also covers topics such as U.S. Military History, first aid, human relations, good techniques for oral communication, drill and ceremony, military map reading, personal hygiene, orienteering, and staff functions and procedures.

Is there an obligation to go into the armed services after high school?

Absolutely not. There is no obligation of any kind to join the service; in fact, most cadets do not go into the military. But for those who are interested in pursuing a career in the military, Army JROTC is a real benefit.

Who are the instructors?

There are two instructors, a Senior Army Instructor (SAI), and Army Instructor (AI). The SAI is an officer, and the AI is a non-commissioned officer (enlisted). Both are retired from active military service.

What does the program cost?

There is no cost to enter the program. The course materials, uniforms, supplies, and equipment is issued to the cadets free of charge by the U.S. Army. There are some things that a cadet might have to pay for, such as a field trip, issued equipment that is lost or damaged, or special equipment for a particular team.

Are both girls and boys enrolled?

Yes. All leadership positions are available to both sexes equally.

What are some of the benefits of taking the program?

Aside from being worth a credit in high school, there are several other benefits that can be attained from joining the program. First, people that enlist in the military after taking JROTC may be entitled to a promotion immediately after entering service.  Second, many colleges give advance standing and credit for completion of the JROTC program if the person enrolls in college ROTC. Third, the JROTC instructors have been very successful in helping high school students, who are interested, obtain ROTC scholarships and service academy appointments. Scholarships obtained from the ROTC program can be up to full ride. 

Do I wear a uniform?

Yes. After earning a uniform at the beginning of their first year, cadets are required to wear the Army JROTC uniform once a week on uniform day. Usually, at Ponitz Career Tech, the uniform day is on Tuesday of each week, but there are exceptions. The uniform is provided by the military and is custom-fitted to each cadet. The uniform consists of a pair of trousers, shoes, black socks, a shirt, a black belt and buckle, and a garrison cap. An alternate uniform may be worn if you are a member of a special team or a senior cadet. Cadets earn their rank and awards to put on their uniforms. It is considered an honor to wear the uniform and cadets wear it with pride.

Are there special regulations I have to follow?

Yes, although not to the extreme. There are, however, regulations about the personal appearance of cadets, wearing of the uniform, and even how to address the other military personnel and cadets. For example, males are not permitted to wear an earring (s) in the classroom, and females are only allowed one pair of earrings, one earring in each ear. On a uniform day, males must have their hair not exceed past their ears lengthwise, and female cadets must have their hair off the collar.

Can I still do other activities, outside JROTC?

Certainly, JROTC students are involved in everything from varsity sports to band, chorus, student government, and other clubs. You can spend as much or as little time as you want to with JROTC. The program offers several additional teams (raider team, drill team, and color guard) that cadets may join in addition to the normal JROTC class activities. The program also offers field trips, summer camps, military balls, and other group-sponsored activities. These offers are not mandatory for cadets to participate in; in fact, JROTC encourages students to participate in other activities.

What kind of recognition can I get by participating in the program?

There are a large number of awards that cadets can earn for participation and achievement in the program. Some are given by the unit, but others can be awarded by local military organizations such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Military Order of Purple Heart, and the Daughters of the American Revolution. These are just a few of the organizations that give awards. All awards have certain criteria but are open to all who achieve that criteria. Involvement, good leadership traits, and being an active participant in the program are the main requirements.

What about leadership training?

In JROTC, being a leader means first being a follower. The curriculum teaches all aspects of being a good follower and being a good leader. Cadets must learn the 14 leadership traits of a good leader. The program encourages practical application in other school activities as well as in JROTC.

How can I enroll in the program?

If you want to be in the program it is as simple as signing the course sheet for that program. Any person can start JROTC any grade in high school, it is not required that you enroll in ninth grade.