CORRECTED: NNOMYnews January 18- The Culture of JROTC

CORRECTED: NNOMYnews January 18- The Culture of JROTC


NNMarch 2023  

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NNOMYnews 1054:  The Culture of JROTC

Hello ,

The Junior Reserves Training Corps (JROTC) program is slated to nearly double in the amount of units spread out among our national public high schools.

With ample direct and anecdotal evidence of multiple types of abusive behavior located in the culture of JROTC, it is a stretch for the Pentagon to uphold their claim that the program promotes any reasonable definition of building good character and citizenship . Military conceptualizations of honor and duty and the citizenry's compliance to all things military combined with a country addicted to violence in work and leisure are too often blinded to the dangers that young people face in programs that promote military values as the defining measures of good citizenship.

At a minimum it is time for activist organizations, concerned citizens, and legislators to withdraw their support of allowing the JROTC expansion in our schools in the next years that are in the planning stages and organize to limit these programs at current levels or even call for a reduction.



The MAGA Face of JROTC

January 18 2021 / Gary Ghirardi / Op-ed  / NNOMY - With the violence  witnessed in the beginning of 2021 at the nation's capital,  we have been forced to acknowledge the culture war that exists in the United States in full expression. We also witnessed in the subtext of that event, and the emerging crisis that will follow it, the government's promise of increasing securitization as a reaction to it. That process did not start at the "surge on the capital"  but has been in a steady progression of growth for many years. This latest event only provides an additional justification for the need to  increase the militarization of our "democracy."

Nowhere is that trend more evident as in the Junior Reserves Officers Training Corps (JROTC) military cadet program slated for a massive expansion. What is portrayed by the Pentagon as a character building and good citizenship program designed to instill leadership qualities in young people, now is being funded to expand from 3500 nation-wide units to over 6000. JROTC corps are constructed increasingly of ethnic minority and black youth disadvantaged with a lack of opportunities to jump start their lives. This is not an organic development. Those poorer youth lacking in programs designed to prepare them for college are specifically profiled and targeted for JROTC programs. In Chicago that targeting has gone a step further in configuring actual public schools as military academies complete with military school uniforms, protocols and curriculum.


Queens Junior ROTC cadets get two years for disturbing hazing

June 28, 2019 / Susan Edelman and Sara Dorn /  New York Post - The Queens Junior ROTC cadets who tormented their younger peers in a disturbing hazing ritual — and branded one student’s butt with a clothes iron — have been sentenced to two years in prison, officials said.

The students, whose names were not released because of their age, will serve time at the New Jersey Training School for juvenile offenders in Monroe Township, Burlington County prosecutors announced Friday.

“Assaulting another person is a crime, plain and simple, and no less so when it occurs via some perverse tradition of hazing as a so-called rite of passage in a youth organization,” spokesman Joel Bewley said in a statement.



Today’s Education Battles: Lessons From A Campaign That Saved JROTC In The Public Schools

Dec 1, 2020 / Michael Bernick / Forbes - For more than a year, our group, “Choice for Students” rallied community support, contacted board members, made arguments.  A few elected officials stood up in support of JROTC: Senator Feinstein, then-Mayor Gavin Newsom, former Mayor Willie Brown Jr, and Assemblywoman Fiona Ma. But nearly all of the Democratic Party establishment was opposed, or unwilling to commit. We were urged by Democratic Party officials to compromise, perhaps to eliminate the uniforms or program name or ties to the military, to “be reasonable”. The “Choice for Students” committee, led by our chairs Quincy Yu, Nelson Lum and Robert Powell, unanimously voted not to alter the effective JROTC design.



Huntsville gay rights group accuses Grissom High JROTC instructor of bullying 15-year-old

Jan 14, 2019 / Crystal Bonvillian  / Advance Local Alabama -  A Grissom High School student's family and Huntsville area advocates for gay and lesbian teens are seeking accountability from the school system following an April incident in which a JROTC instructor told students that homosexuality is a sin.


The instructor is accused of bullying the 15-year-old girl and a fellow student by talking about his Biblical views on homosexuality in the classroom -- after both girls asked him to stop. James Robinson, executive director of GLBT Advocacy & Youth Services, said the girl and her mother contacted him for help shortly after the April 12 incident.



The Military Invasion of My High School - The role of JROTC

Fall 2014 / Sylvia McGauley / Rethinking Schools - JROTC is not about education. But by housing recruiters and JROTC in public schools and offering them carte blanche privileges, we provide them a cloak of legitimacy. Militarism was one of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “giant triplets” of societal destruction (along with racism and extreme materialism), yet today it appears as a legitimate component of the educational system—most often at underfunded schools.

At our school, JROTC is an actual school within a school, one that offers four levels of classes for which students earn full credits. It meets state requirements for career training. At RHS and many other schools, it is accepted as a substitute for physical education. Our JROTC instructors have also given make-up credit for writing and study skills classes, using online programs in the main JROTC classroom. The RHS program is directed by Brian James, a retired colonel from the Oregon Army National Guard, who tells me he looks forward to being able to offer health, history, and government credits as well.



A society that teaches violence is a violent society. We need to get the JROTC out of our schools.

8/13/19 / Jonah Walters  / Jacobin - A smattering of information has been revealed about Connor Betts, the misogynist twenty-four-year-old who killed nine people and injured twenty-seven in Dayton earlier this month.

One of them was that he was in the Bellbrook High School Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) program, according to a classmate. We know little about Betts’s time in the program, the training he received, or what impact it had on him. But it’s worth mentioning that we have thousands of kids in America getting military training at school.



A webinar series on how to address the challenge of countering military recruitment in schools during the pandemic.

We are a group of activists representing various organizations that are part of NNOMY (National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth). We have been meeting to address the challenge of doing counter recruitment work during a pandemic. Based on our discussions we decided to offer three workshops.


12/05/2020:  - remote learning platform workshop
Watch the Video from December HERE


1/10/2021:  - getting into the classroom workshop
Watch the Video from January HERE


NEXT Webinar: Counter Military Recruiting
During a Pandemic - Social Media

Saturday, February 6 2021
12 Noon Pacific, 2 PM Central, 3 PM Eastern
Length: 2 hours
Advance registration required*
Registration link:

Join on your computer or mobile app

Join the meeting

Or call in (audio only)

+1 312-702-0492,,287998487#   United States, Chicago

Phone Conference ID: 287 998 487#

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The 3rd series of workshops will focus on social media. The first session will take place Saturday, February 6, 2021, at 12 Noon Pacific (2 PM Central, 3 PM Eastern). This will focus on how the military is using social media to recruit and what platforms are popular among our target demographic. At least one additional session will take place at a future date which will be a “class project”; building a social media campaign on a particular topic.



Martin Luther King's Legacy - Peace Pill

Today on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we invite you to watch our video in which we look critically on the US Military's constant attempts to pay homage to MLK Jr.'s legacy, while conveniently forgetting his consistent rejection of militarism and warmongering.