Army JROTC Program Sparks Interest Among RHS Students, Community
The 2022-2023 U.S. Army JROTC pilot program at Ritenour High School is forming community partnerships for apprenticeships, scholarships and medals for cadets.
The pilot program began this year with 25 students. A formal Army JROTC program will begin at the start of the 2023-2024 school year with approximately 60 students.
RHS first applied for the Army JROTC program back in 2016 and received letters of support from the Ritenour Board of Education, administrators and Missouri senators. In 2020, the high school received news that military funding became available to start a new program.
RHS Principal Dr. Jana Haywood said the JROTC program is providing students with additional opportunities to build their future.
“This opportunity really will be a game changer for our students, providing them with some wonderful new leadership opportunities, a direct pathway to enter the military, and potential for college scholarships,” said Dr. Haywood. “We already have had many students express interest in this program. I know this will give our students one more opportunity to build a strong future.”
This year leaders of the JROTC program established partnerships to set up future apprenticeship opportunities and scholarships.
Boeing’s Veterans Apprenticeship Program will introduce rising 10th-12th grade JROTC cadets to working in the fields of supplier management, engineering and manufacturing.
The Gateway Global Apprenticeship Program will introduce cadets ages 16 and older with opportunities to work in a STEM-based workforce in Geospatial Intelligence and Geographic Information Systems.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars VFW Post 3944 is introducing a scholarship program for cadets.
“We are elated by the community encouraging us to assist and support the JROTC program,” said Tonia Jennings, senior Army JROTC instructor at Ritenour High School. “We are exhilarated and motivated to lead these brilliant students to advance in citizenship, leadership and decision-making.”
Two organizations presented two RHS cadets this spring with medals.
Junior Leslie Campos received a bronze medal from the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) for loyalty, patriotism and upholding the importance of the JROTC program.
Junior Billy Hall received a medal from the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) for demonstrating exceptional potential for military leadership.