MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. – In March, more than 150 Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps JROTC cadets and their instructors from across Alabama gathered at Maxwell for the first time and to learn and discuss how JROTC participation is now being recognized by the Alabama Department of Education as a college and career readiness program.
This statewide education credential is being awarded under Alabama's career and technical education program based on a student's completion of at least three years of high school.
CTE is a blend of academic, career specific, general workplace and life skills aimed at leading participants to education and employment opportunities.
All 110 JROTC programs in Alabama are aligned with the government and public administration cluster in CTE.
"I think that the reason participation in JROTC is being recognized now is because, over time, school faculty and administrators have come to realize the positive impact JROTC can have in the life of a young person," said Col. Cameron Gilbert, director of Air Force JROTC. "The primary mission of JROTC is to develop positive characteristics in students so they can be productive citizens when they leave school, no matter what career choices they make."
If a cadet successfully participates in any JROTC program in Alabama for three or more years, they would be considered "career ready." A "career ready" cadet, according to Gilbert, is expected to possess the tools necessary to successfully enter the workforce or continue to college.
Gilbert said that the JROTC program is especially beneficial for those pursuing military careers.
"If a cadet decides to pursue a military career, experience in JROTC can be invaluable," said Gilbert. "Successful completion of JROTC allows many cadets to enter the service at a higher pay grade and assume greater responsibilities earlier than their peers who have no JROTC experience."