COL (Ret) Harry Houchens
Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Organized under the authority of the 1916 National Defense Act the Rutherford County High Schools' Junior Reserve Officer's Training Corps (JROTC) program was first established in 1967 at Central High School. In the thirty-three years since, with 735 cadets currently enrolled the program has expanded into all six-area high schools. Beginning in August 2003 JROTC will also be offered at Seigel High School.
The mission of the JROTC program is the "Motivate Young People to be Better American Citizens." The JROTC program prepares a student for life, not for the military. A JROTC cadet is under no obligation to join the military. The interest of the JROTC program is simply to give a student the opportunity to develop and improve him or herself. To accomplish this task the program uses military skills to teach self-discipline, selflessness, confidence, teamwork and pride in a job well done. The JROTC is a credited course given during the regular school hours. It teaches a broad spectrum of subjects, including American Military History, government, verbal and written communication, current events, financial planning and wellness. In addition, the program offers extracurricular activities like drilling team, color guard, air rifle team, and adventuring team. Credit substitution allowed for Life Time Wellness, US. Government, and Financial Planning. Students taking JROTC for two to three years receive Life Time Wellness, US. Government, and Finanacial Planing substitutions.
Perhaps the most important unusual part of the JROTC program is the fact that it does not just teach; it also trains. It trains students in personal skills like studying effectively, taking test, developing winning habits, job interviewing, overcoming fears of failure, and setting goals for themselves. The course also trains cadets in leadership skills like motivating others, making decisions, planning, working as a team member, and problem solving.
The instructors are retired active duty Army officers and non-commissioned officers who are certified by the U.S. Army to teach JROTC. They are employed by the Rutherford County School Board and are full time members of the high school faculty.