Written By: Maria Emmons
“The mission of the JROTC program is to motivate students to be better citizens and in consort of that we also focus on leadership training and character development,”said Col. Reinhart, the Senior Army instructor for the JROTC program at Atholton.
Col. Reinhart also noted that, “We [Atholton JROTC] really are a program that many others look to and admire.”
Recently, the program has won several awards, including a first place award in the DC BOB Drill Competition, and winning a H.U.D award again. Not only has JROTC been successful in awards, but they have a well respected program that students are satisfied with.
Students and instructors value the program highly and view it as successful and helpful in their own lives.
Sophomore Supply Sergeant Cianna Oatts explained how JROTC has helped her with her mental health and the class prioritizes mental health. Cianna said, “They teach a lot about mental health that a lot of other classes won’t teach you. I’ve learned and other people have learned.” Cianna went on to say that JROTC teaches their students about anger management, self-care and overall well-being.
JROTC also teaches students many life skills that can help them after they graduate and continue their lives after high school. Sophomore, Let one private, Om Kanthan explained that JROTC expects a lot from students because the instructors “know how much potential they all have” and he has learned to be part of a community and a leader.
Atholton’s JROTC is a very large program. Col. Reinhart stated that “Our program, in the base numbers, is bigger than most programs, most other programs are about 120 students, our program has 220 in this program, it’s about 15% of the student body.” Atholton’s program is comparably larger to many other schools.
Recently Atholton JROTC has won the DC BOB Drill Competition where they place 1st overall and yet another H.U.D award that Om Kanthan noted that students put “110%” into competitions in JROTC. The Atholton team, being color guard and drill team are on a tryout basis. The colorguard manages the American and other flags in an organized fashion and the drill team comes up with routines with marching, both armed and unarmed, for competitions.
Atholton JROTC has always been very respected and accomplished and they plan to continue to teach students to be productive members of society, emotional intelligence, leadership, and to be part of a community. Atholton plans to continue to participate in competitions and bounce back after covid-19 and participate in hands-on activities with students.
“Stomp, Stomp, Stomp” The repetitive beat of the hefty boots thumps in his head. “Stomp, Stomp, Stomp.” He is participating in the big competition for the drill team. He luggs around with his heavy weapon seemingly holding the weight of the world. He pulls it off flawlessly. Over the staticy speakers of the auditorium it is announced, “Congratulations to Atholton’s drill team who place first overall.”
“At the end of the day, you really are a part of a family, like a really big family, the sergeants there care about you a lot, you can go to them about almost anything.”