Service to Others: JROTC’s Journey of Patriotism and Personal Growth

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Rediscovering America: My Moral Awakening through JROTC

From the second I took my first breath, I inherited a treasure with immeasurable worth. So many have fought and labored to protect the beauty of America and its values, to ensure that the bloodshed of her sons and daughters would not be in vain, and to honor the dream of her forefathers. I find it unfortunate that the heirs to this legacy of freedom and opportunity so often take it for granted. Millions would give anything just to bask in the splendor of our nation for even a moment juxtaposed to the lifetime that I have seemingly squandered.

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I am sorry for the many years that I spent with lackluster views of my country. Through intense moral reflection, history lessons, and exposure to leadership, JROTC has taught me to honor my birthright as an American citizen and to champion its glory amongst my peers and generations to come.   

When I joined JROTC, I knew it would challenge me physically and remove me from the comfort zone that I had protected dearly. However, I had never thought it would cause me to grow morally. I was already considered to be a wholesome person; fresh off of a local character award, I assumed that I had things figured out. Three years later, I realized that this could not have been further from the truth. Adolescence is a period of sheer internal conflict. Even when you are trained in righteousness, you have experiences that test the core of who you are. JROTC has been an anchor. Equipping me with introspection has taught me that perfection is a fleeting idealism, but excellence can be an everyday achievement. I have learned the importance of accountability and humbling myself. I am now at peace with the fact that others will have views that will conflict with mine, and even if I do not agree with their beliefs, I must respect their constitutional freedom. Moving forward, these keys will enable me to reject mediocrity and live in harmony with my fellow Americans, as it will take unity and discipline to secure a bright and flourishing future.   Many view history as just long lectures of names and dates.

JROTC, Service to Others: Igniting a Legacy of Leadership and National Pride

JROTC enlightened me that those names were human beings who have greatly affected or sacrificed for this nation. Those dates are acknowledgments of innovation, course-altering decisions, victories, and tragic defeats- the culmination of who we are as a people and country. Without honoring the past, we would not have a proper understanding of our identity. It is a citizen’s duty to have a deep knowledge of the inner workings of their country and to apply the lessons of their predecessors to their lives in order to avoid repeating unnecessary mistakes and to truly reap the benefits of the land. This epiphany would not have occurred if it were not for the zeal of my JROTC instructors, which sparked a passion for my country and intent to fulfill my civic duty. JROTC was the first organization to invest in me. When every other extracurricular activity doubted my abilities as a ninth grader, my senior cadets and instructors saw the potential and nurtured it. I could not comprehend why anyone would label me a leader when I was a timid cadet, but I did not take it for granted. I studied and applied every leadership principle and trait that I could trace, and I also studied great American leaders and thinkers. A quote that resonated with me is, “America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination, and an unbelievable determination to do the job at hand.” President Truman’s words made me feel that my voice was important and that if I was ever going to prove myself, I would have to embody the spirit of belief. This change in attitude paid off because I quickly climbed rank and position. Now that I have more authority, I use my platform to encourage younger cadets and invest in their future. My hope is that after being under my leadership, they, too, will develop pride in themselves and this great nation that will last a lifetime.   


  1. Leadership Education: The JROTC Experience” by Daniel J. Watola and Laura L. Lamb.
  2. “The Army and its Air Corps: Army Policy toward Aviation 1919-1941” by James P. Tate.
  3. “JROTC and the Youth Military Service Organizations: An Exploration of their Role and Impact”.
  4. U.S. Army Cadet Command’s “JROTC Program of Accreditation (JPA)”.
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Service to Others: JROTC's Journey of Patriotism and Personal Growth. (2023, Aug 26). Retrieved from