NJROTC is an extracurricular activity – it is not the military


Leaders want to see the program grow

By Carolyn Harmon - [email protected]



Courtesy photo Students have to pass certain standards to be on the GHS NJROTC Color Guard. If they perform well, they are able to sign up for events.


Courtesy photos

Courtesy photo “Kids who join NJROTC, do not have to join the military,” GHS Naval Science Instructor Chief Petty Officer Stephen Eldred said. “We are somewhat rigid military, but we are not strictly brainwashing kids military-wise.”


Courtesy photos

By Carolyn Harmon

[email protected]

GREENVILLE — Junior Greenville High School (GHS) student Cadet Chief Petty Officer Kelly Louk is a Female Supply Officer in the Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC) Program.

She has been in the program for three years. At first, Louk was reluctant to join, she said.

“I thought you had to join the military,” Louk said. “And there weren’t a lot of girls in the program.

Throughout my years, I have enjoyed it and I have learned a lot. It teaches you leadership, they give good training and it gives me confidence. Standing in front of people with that uniform on, I am a different

person in a way. People think highly of me and it makes me think highly of myself. I see how much I’ve changed. People think it’s a boy-type thing to do, but there is plenty of room for us.”

According to GHS Naval Science Instructor Chief Petty Officer Stephen Eldred, GHS NJROTC is comprised of about 25 percent girls.

“I would really like to see our female population increase,” he said. “We have some outstanding females. The navy requires us to teach equal opportunity, anti-bullying and sexual harassment courses. We don’t segregate or treat anyone different for any reason.”

Another misconception, according to Chief Eldred, is that joining the NJROTC means people have to join the military.

“They don’t have to join the military,” he said. “We are somewhat rigid military, but we are not strictly brainwashing kids military-wise.”

NJROTC is an extracurricular, U.S. Navy Lt. Richard Kuehner (Ret.) said.

“The whole point of NJROTC is just to make better citizens – to make students more aware of what is out there,” he said. “It teaches them about history, manners and good citizenship. That is our whole point. They can get a benefit from us with no requirement to join the military, whatsoever.”

According to Eldred, the kids are taught military knowledge, discipline and a lot of respect. Through that they learn self – reliance, independence and building their character.

“Who are you when nobody else is around?” Chief Eldred asks them. “It helps the kids think the right way and do the right things.”

In order to maintain the NJROTC program, the U.S. Navy requires the school to have 10 percent of the school’s population in the program. Recruitment is very important and Eldred is motivated, as the program offers a wealth of opportunities and activities. One of those activities is Drill Team.

Drill Teams are offered both armed and unarmed, where cadets invent their own routines. The Color Guard is another activity. Students have to pass certain standards to be on the Color Guard. If they perform well, they are able to sign up for events. Last year the Color Guard participated in local Memorial Day events at Pleasant Hill, Ansonia and Abbottsville. It has also presented colors to the Columbus Bluejackets, the Dayton Dragons and the Cincinnati Reds.

Another activity offered is orienteering. Students are given maps with indicators on them, where flags and markers are out in the woods. The compass is used with the map to find those flags and indicators. The goal is to find the most indicators the fastest. A whistle is used if a person gets lost.

In addition, a Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) is available for students to join. The Civilian Marksmanship Team competes using pneumatic air rifles to shoot .175 caliber pellets. In November, the team went to CMP Headquarters, in Port Clinton, Ohio to compete. American shooter Ginny Thrasher won the first gold medal of the Rio Olympics, in August of 2016, pulling off an upset in the women’s 10-meter air rifle event. She was a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) champion at West Virginia University, competing in her first Olympics.

Other NJROTC activities include an Athletic Team, an Academic Team and orientation trips to places such as, Paris Island and Fort Campbell, in Kentucky. It also offers built-in tutors for students to help each other within the unit. All students fit in somewhere into NJROTC, Chief Eldred said.

Cadet Seaman Erik Menger is a freshmen Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (NJROTC) student at Greenville High School (GHS). The program has taught him to help out other students, completing his homework on time and learning and earning respect.

“They expect a lot more out of us cadets than they do out of anyone else in the hallways,” he said of his NJROTC instructors. “In turn, we learn to expect more out of ourselves.”

The writer may be reached at 937-569-4354. Join the conversation and get updates on Facebook search Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.

Courtesy photo Students have to pass certain standards to be on the GHS NJROTC Color Guard. If they perform well, they are able to sign up for events.
http://dailyadvocate.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/web1_ROTC1PRINT-2.jpgCourtesy photo Students have to pass certain standards to be on the GHS NJROTC Color Guard. If they perform well, they are able to sign up for events. Courtesy photos

Courtesy photo “Kids who join NJROTC, do not have to join the military,” GHS Naval Science Instructor Chief Petty Officer Stephen Eldred said. “We are somewhat rigid military, but we are not strictly brainwashing kids military-wise.”
http://dailyadvocate.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/web1_ROTCPRINT-2.jpgCourtesy photo “Kids who join NJROTC, do not have to join the military,” GHS Naval Science Instructor Chief Petty Officer Stephen Eldred said. “We are somewhat rigid military, but we are not strictly brainwashing kids military-wise.” Courtesy photos
Leaders want to see the program grow

By Carolyn Harmon

[email protected]

The writer may be reached at 937-569-4354. Join the conversation and get updates on Facebook search Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.

The writer may be reached at 937-569-4354. Join the conversation and get updates on Facebook search Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.

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