Army JROTC is a program that is offered in many High Schools and some Middle Schools throughout the United States.
JROTC stands for Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps.
The objectives behind this program that was established back in 1916 and expanded in 1964 are:
- to develop patriotism
- to develop basic military skills
- to develop a responsiveness to authority
- to develop team building skills
- to improve communication ability
- to increase respect of the role of United States Armed Forces
- to develop an appreciation for physical fitness
Just because a student takes JROTC does not mean they must become a member of the United States Armed Forces, but by taking the program for 3 or 4 years, the individual will gain the ability to attain a higher rank in the U.S. military if they do decide to join.
The structure of leadership within the Army JROTC is set up similar to the regular United States Army.
Each class is considered a Company.
All classes in one school coming together are considered a Battalion, and when multiple Battalions are within a large event, it becomes a Brigade.
In today’s post, I am going to explain the Chain of Command and leadership in he Army JROTC programs.
Army JROTC Chain Of Command
Just as in the United States Army, Army JROTC programs follow a Chain Of Command structure.
Information flows down and up through the Chain Of Command.
The Army JROTC Chain Of Command is:
- Senior Army Instructor
- Army Instructor
- Battalion Commander
- Executive Officer
- Command Sergeant Major
- Company Commander
- Platoon Leader
- Platoon Sergeant
- Squad Leader
- Individual Cadets
We will look at these positions as well as other leadership positions in the Army JROTC.
Other posts you may enjoy:
- Advice for Retired Army Officers: What to Do When You Miss Military Life
- Army JROTC: What it is and How it Works
- ROTC Battalion Commander: Professor of Military Science
- The Types of Army ROTC Scholarships: What You Should Know
- U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC): 10 Cool Facts
Senior Army Instructor
The Senior Army Instructor (SAI) is a retired commissioned officer that retired in the rank of Captain up to Colonel or a Warrant Officer.
The SAI oversees all operations of the Army JROTC at that particular school.
He/she would be like a principle of a school.
This person is the primary person instructing cadets how the Army system works.
The Army Instructor is a retired non-commissioned officer that retired within the rank of Staff Sergeant up to Command Sergeant Major.
These are the two primary instructors but in some cases, there may be other instructors in some programs.
This cadet leadership position holds the most responsibility.
The rank of this cadet would be Lieutenant Colonel.
The instructors will choose the cadet based on both academic abilities and leadership abilities.
This position entails having common sense in problem solving which affects the complete corps.
He/she works directly with instructors to manage a great JROTC program.
Battalion Executive Officer
This cadet supervises and directs Battalion staff to make sure that the Commander’s desires are achieved.
The rank for this position is Major, and the Battalion XO will take command if the Battalion Commander is absent.
Some of the main duties of the Battalion Executive Officer are:
- Organization of Battalion staff
- Inspection of Battalion staff work
- Acting troop commander during ceremonies
- Perform other duties ordered by Battalion Commander or Instructors
Battalion Command Sergeant Major
This is the senior enlisted cadet and assists the Battalion Commander.
He/she supervises other non-commissioned officers of both the Battalions and Companies.
Some of the main duties of the Command Sergeant Major are:
- Assist NCOs and the Battalion XO with administrative duties
- Assumes command of the Battalion if all officers are absent
- Advises Battalion Commander on all matters pertaining to enlisted cadets
- Presides over NCO promotion boards
- Supervises the color guard and all matters relating to the flag
- Perform other duties ordered by Battalion Commander, Battalion XO or Instructors
Company Commanders are the ones who get stuff done.
The rank of Company Commanders is Captain.
The Company Commander must have initiative and drive, plus be an outstanding leader.
Company Commanders do not wait to be told what to do, they do what they believe is best for the company.
The Company Commander must keep the Battalion Commander informed and he/she is responsible for everything the Company does or doesn’t do.
The main duties of the Company Commander are:
- Command the company at all formations
- Takes interest in all cadets and makes them a part of the team
- Makes sure all company members understand the Chain of Command
- Conducts inspections and corrections
- Checks in with instructors daily
- Executes all orders of Battalion Commander even if in disagreement
Platoon Leaders have an excellent position to lead and train cadets.
Platoon Leaders hold the rank of 2nd Lieutenant.
They are role models the cadets look up to.
The main duties of Platoon Leaders are:
- Keeps the Company Commander aware of Platoon status
- Provides assistance and counseling to Platoon members
- Conducts Platoon inspections
- Supervises and conducts Platoon drills
- Enforces orders from superiors
- Knows all cadet regulations and sets high standards for self
The rank of the Platoon Sergeant is Staff Sergeant.
Platoon Sergeants help to supervise Squad leaders, and assists the Platoon Leader in platoon training.
The Platoon Sergeant also takes control of the platoon if the Platoon Leader is absent.
Squad Leaders set the example as NCOs.
They know the names and personal information of all cadets in their squad.
Squad leaders perform inspections and assist team leaders in every way possible.
That is the Chain of Command
But that does not consist of the complete leadership in Army JROTC.
Here are other leaders you need to be familiar with:
Battalion Adjutant (S-1)
This is the administrative assistant to the Battalion Commander.
Some of their duties are:
- Assisting in Battalion alignment during formations
- Makes recommendations to improve morale
- Plans special ceremonies
- Submits incident reports to Instructors, Battalion Commander and Battalion XO
- Prepares and publishes orders
- Maintains all merit and demerit records
- Performs other duties ordered by Instructors, Battalion Commander or Battalion XO
Battalion Security Officer (S-2)
Assists the Battalion Commander on unit security.
Some of the duties are:
- Weapon inspections
- Make inspections of supply and equipment along with corrections
- Reports incidents that may affect the units good order
Battalion Training and Operations Officer (S-3)
Just as it says, this individual is in charge of training.
The main duties of the S-3 are:
- Prepare training schedules
- Inspect cadet training for compliance
- Designate cadet training instructors
- Organize events such as parades and reviews
- Other duties as ordered by Instructors, Battalion Commander or Battalion XO
Battalion Supply Officer
This individual is responsible for all government property.
Some of their main duties are:
- Create and maintain JROTC records for clothing and equipment
- The collection and disposal of salvage goods
- Conduct inventories
- Issue clothing, insignia and other supplies
- Maintain cleaning supplies
- Maintain security of supply areas
- Other duties as assigned by instructors, Battalion Commander or Battalion XO
Those are the primary leader positions in JROTC, but in some cases there are special staff officer positions that may include:
- Special Projects Officer
- Battalion Communications Officer
- Battalion Ordnance Officer
- Battalion Information Officer
Also there are normally team leaders that include:
- Color Guard Commander
- Rifle Team Captain
- Drill Team Captain
Personally, I believe JROTC is a great program to instill pride, patriotism and a sense of responsibility in young people in the United States.
I know there are many people who are against military programs in our schools, but would these people rather see the gangs and drugs overtake the learning centers?
JROTC programs have been proven to keep children on a path that steers clear of gangs, drugs and other bad effects on our next generations.
JROTC is not used as a means to recruit into the Army.
The figures show that only about 30% of JROTC cadets actually enlist or join the Army or other military branch.
But the odds of any JROTC cadet getting into serious trouble from gang or drug activity is quite low.
What do you think about JROTC?
Were, or are you a JROTC cadet?
Please tell us about your JROTC experience.
Here is a very good video about how JROTC instills academic and leadership success in our nation’s young people.