JROTC

New club emerges at PHS
The new JROTC program will begin soon, and is currently having interest meetings.
The new JROTC program will begin soon, and is currently having interest meetings.
Nalani Jordan

According to defense.gov, “The Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) program prepares high school students for leadership roles while making them aware of their rights, responsibilities and privileges as American citizens.” 

To clarify, the JROTC club is not just for people who want to pursue a career in the military. Anyone with the slightest interest in the club is encouraged to join. As an added bonus, it looks very good on college applications. 

Mr. Tim Heine, a former 4-year Marine and 17-year Army veteran, retired Army Sgt. First Class, commander of American Legion Hughes-Pittinger Post 26, and current paraeducator at PHS, is slated to be the adult sponsor of the newly formed club. 

“It is a program that is put together to help students in high school learn some leadership traits [and] communication skills,” Mr. Heine said. “That will help them as they go on into college, or into the workforce, whatever they plan to do.”

It is a program that is put together to help students in high school learn some leadership traits [and] communication skills. That will help them as they go on into college, or into the workforce, whatever they plan to do.

— Mr. Tim Heine

The club will generally be held in room 1062, and the students will take advantage of the outdoor space once the weather complies. 

When there are enough members, students will form squads that have the potential to compete against each other. Activities like flag football, ultimate frisbee, drill and ceremony, color guard, an occasional run, and helping the community were mentioned in an informative meeting as options. The club is student-run, leaving other options open. 

Abigail LeBlanc, a senior, is the Battalion Commander of the club and the student who really put in the effort to get the club started. Previously from Las Vegas, Nevada, she had participated in a full-fledged JROTC program before and thought that it could make a great addition to PHS. 

“My first day walking through Powell High School, I looked into the commons, and I realized that everyone was sitting in their cliques,” LeBlanc said. “Throughout the next week, I kinda realized that nobody socializes outside of those cliques. And then I realized, hey, this JROTC program might be a great way to bring Powell High School together and create a sense of unity.”

My first day walking through Powell High School, I looked into the commons, and I realized that everyone was sitting in their cliques. Throughout the next week, I kinda realized that nobody socializes outside of those cliques. And then I realized, hey, this JROTC program might be a great way to bring Powell High School together and create a sense of unity.

— senior Abigail LeBlanc

It is a long and hard process to get a club started. A substantial amount of paperwork and the approval of the board was only part of the process. After nearly a year and a half, the fruits of LeBlanc’s labor are coming into bloom, but where does the club go from here? 

“I’ve talked to administration, and they’ve said that based on the outcome and interest of the Army JROTC club, it could be turned into a program where you could get credit for it-either being a CTE class or a PE class,” LeBlanc said. “But I believe we’re going to have to have 10 to 25% of the student body actually enrolled in the class, which is a little bit of an undertaking… I hope that the underclassmen and those that are interested… will be able to take this through next year, and hopefully become a program [in the future].”

Both Mr. Heine and LeBlanc would love to talk to anyone with interest, and students are also invited to show up and try it out once the club begins having meetings. 

“Try it out,” Heine said. “Come out and see what we do.”

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