The Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, or JROTC, is a federal program sponsored by the US Armed Forces in high schools and some middle schools across the nation and at US military bases globally. It currently teaches its lessons to more than half a million students in approximately 3,400 high schools nationwide.
In recent years, the military and its supporters have been promoting the idea of a significant increase in the number of high schools with JROTC—one proposal calls for expanding up to 6,000. Because of this, one nonprofit decided it was time to examine the textbooks used in JROTC classes to see what they are teaching.
The Project on Youth and Non-Military Opportunities, or Project YANO, is a counter-recruitment organization founded in 1984 and based in San Diego country. It released its findings in early July. Their reviewers have backgrounds in classroom teaching or education activists, or special knowledge of subjects JROTC claims to address, such as civil rights, violence prevention, leadership methods, and world history. Team members included current and retired high school teachers, military veterans, and a documentary film producer.
Guest – Rick Jahnkow, a co-founder and board member of Project YANO. Rick worked for 34 years as the organization’s full-time program coordinator. He has researched and organized around the issues of military recruiting, high school Jr. ROTC, and the general militarization of K-12 schools.