The Harding Junior Army ROTC cadets color guard presented the nation's colors at the 145th annual commencement held at the Marion Veterans Memorial Coliseum on May 21. It was a first for the JROTC corps, the only JROTC corps in Marion County, launched under the leadership of Lt. Col. John Espinosa at the start of the 2016-17 school year.
Marion Harding High School is the home of Marion County's only Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps.
The program serves as a pathway for students with hopes of joining the military after high school. Completing the program in high school lets them enter the military at a higher rank. They can also enter a senior ROTC program in college at a higher rank.
Students, however, do not have to commit to entering the military. The program also teaches citizenship, leadership and character traits that help students succeed in college and careers.
Other benefits for students include:
- Developing leadership potential while working cooperatively with others.
- Learning to think logically and communicate effectively with others, both in writing and orally.
- Becoming better citizens who understand their roles in their community and the importance of having strong ethics and values.
The community also benefits from the traits taught in a JROTC program as students are encouraged to volunteer in their community and work to make it a better place.