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Northeast's J-ROTC students learn a whole lot about leadership | Junior Journalist

Northeast High School's J-ROTC program offers lessons in leadership, citizenship and a whole lot more.

MACON, Ga. — At Northeast High School in Bibb County, students in the J-ROTC program learn a lot more than traditional subjects. It's about leadership.

All five branches of the U.S. military – Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard, Marines and Army – run a version of their program for high school students.

It's called J-ROTC – or Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps – and it's the largest youth training and development program in the country.

While these students are in uniform like members of the military, they are also gaining skills for any career path.

“I think its opened my perspective to a lot of the experiences of high school itself,” Cadet Major Kiya Williams. “It’s just made me more well-rounded in general.”

Not only does it build skills, but team building as well. Students in the program also encourage others to be a part of it.

“I would tell them to join. It's a fun program,” Cadet Lt. Col. Kadmiel Mensah said. “I would say it's the best program in the school. Because I've had experience with other programs and this program's more organized and we get stuff done.”

Instructor Lt. Col. Greg Brown says there are so many benefits to the program.

“What we do is we wanna make students better citizens,” Brown said. “So we work very hard to get those kids to understand the importance of doing what they're supposed to do in the classroom, which also prepares them for what they need to do when they become adults as well.”

He became an instructor 7 years ago, and he says that education calls to him.   

“I spent 31 years in the service. I knew that I wanted to get into education,” Brown said. “So I was working towards that with my degrees while I was there. And I was excited to have an opportunity to come here in Macon and work with Junior ROTC kids.”

There are more than 1,700 army JROTC programs in the United States serving more than 500,000 students.


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