JROTCWestside High SchoolJunior Reserve Officer Training Corps Anderson, SC
Established at Westside High School in 1979. The program is offered as an elective for all four grade levels - freshman through senior. Students/Cadets meet for class every other school day and wear their Army uniform one day a week. JROTC is designed to teach high school students the value of citizenship, leadership, service to the community, personal responsibility, and a sense of accomplishment, while instilling in them self-esteem, teamwork, and self-discipline. Its focus is reflected in its mission statement, "To motivate young people to be better citizens." It prepares high school students for responsibility in leadership roles while making them aware of their rights, responsibilities, and privileges as American citizens. The program is a stimulus for promoting graduation from high school, and it provides instruction and rewarding opportunities that will benefit the student, community, and nation. It is designed for students of all abilities. In 1996, General Colin Powell thought so highly of the national JROTC program that he sought and received President Clinton and Congress’ support to greatly expand the program.
JROTC is an elective class and, if taken for one year, will fulfill a student’s requirement for a physical education class. The JROTC class covers the purpose of JROTC, proper courtesies for the National Flag, leadership, learning different types of study skills, communication skills, personality development, appreciating diversity, conflict resolution and community service. The Army does not use the program as a recruiting tool, but is fulfilling national law; the JROTC program is one of the Army’s contributions to assisting America’s youth to become better citizens. The program produces successful students and productive adults, while fostering in school a more constructive and disciplined learning environment. The majority of students take one or two years of JROTC. A JROTC student is not in the Army, does not learn Army skills, and has no obligation to the Army.
Co-curricular activities include the Raider Team, Drill Team, Rifle Team, Color Guards and Summer Camps. Leadership development for cadets comes from the opportunity to be a member of the student chain of command. Students are chosen for these positions based on their motivation and performance in the program.
Throughout the years the Westside program has continually been awarded the “Honor Unit with Distinction.” This honor is awarded based on several factors, one of which is the high amount of community support activities the cadets provide to the Anderson area.
The success of the program is due to the dedication of the students/cadets, who devote time and enthusiasm to the program, Anderson School District 5, and the Anderson community for their outstanding support of the program.