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NJROTC AT RISK, Seeking students for PE credit to boost enrollment

Angel Medrano

NJROTC is an award-winning program that has currently been under threat due to a shortage of students joining the class. Without enough people in the class, it faces the possibility of losing an instructor and having funds be cut.

The extracurricular receives money from the US Navy in order to keep it running.

"It works on numbers," Lieutenant Commander Robertson said. "We are currently a three instructor school, meaning we must have 50 cadets per instructor to be a three instructor school. The Navy demands we have 151 people as a minimum, but for the first time in quite some time our numbers are under 151. At last count, the current number of students enrolled was 127."

If they don't find enough people to join, they run the risk of losing an instructor. "The program isn't under risk of being shut down," Commander Robertson said. "We are going to lose an instructor because we have not met the minimum requirement of having 151 people. August of next year, we will be down to a two instructor school versus three."

SHS isn't the only school that is being affected due to a shortage of kids interested in JROTC. "The truth is, whether it is fortunate or unfortunate, is that other schools are struggling with the same issues of trying to hold on to different programs due to declining numbers," Commander Robertson said. "What is the reason? I'm not sure."

A common reason why students are reluctant to join is that they don't want to class, but they are offering students an opportunity to be a part of the class without participating in uniform days. "In an effort to get more people in the program, we are offering a no uniform requirement." Commander Robertson said. "You can hang out with us for a whole semester to see what we're about and see what we do. The only requirement is you must participate in the class activities, which is marching and behaving in class. The only downside is that those who aren't full members, like the ones that have uniforms and are all the way in, will not get to participate in field trips such as picnics and Schlitterbahn."

JROTC counts as a PE credit towards the credits required to graduate, but the physical activity isn't the only thing they are about. The program prides itself on teaching leadership skills that will help students years after graduating.

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