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The Student News Site of Fort Collins High School

Spilled Ink

The Student News Site of Fort Collins High School

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@fchsspilledink: The Lambkin cross country team raced at FCHS this morning against other local schools. Both the boys and girls placed third.

PSD launches JROTC program

Connor Clark
JROTC cadets present the colors at the Canvas Classic

Students urge each other on as they travel along a single rope bridge. They all have to get across together, as if they were crossing a river. This team building simulation is one of many they will do this year. 

These students are members of the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) program. This school year is the first time PSD has offered JROTC, a military affiliated program run by military personnel with backgrounds in active duty, reserve, and National Guard service. Each branch has their own JROTC; PSD offers Army JROTC. This opportunity is open to anyone in the district, with the potential for upperclassmen to gain leadership experience. 

“Traditionally the program should be matriculated from the freshman to the senior year,” Sergeant Scott Johns, JROTC instructor, said. “There’s a lot of student leadership involved as well, there’s a point where the students teach the younger students.” 

Since this is the first year of the program, students aren’t able to teach each other yet, but this model will be adopted in the future. 

Students in the program, called cadets, meet at Poudre High School every afternoon from 1:15-3:30, and PSD provides transportation. There are no prerequisites, and any high school student is eligible to join. FCHS, PHS, Fossil Ridge High School, Rocky Mountain High School, Timnath Middle-High School, Wellington Middle-High School, Poudre Community Academy, and Polaris are all currently represented, with a total of 16 cadets in the program.

“Our motto is to motivate young people to be better citizens, so we use civics, leadership, and health, and we’re just trying to build an all-around student who will be successful,” Johns said.

JROTC is dynamic and includes physical activities as well as traditional learning. A typical week will only have two days of heavy classroom instruction. The other days are spent on ceremony practice, and team building exercises. Cadets create electronic portfolios, documenting the knowledge and benefits they gain from their involvement.  

“On Wednesdays, traditionally we’re practicing what we call ‘drill and ceremony,’ that’s the marching; the color guard,” Johns said. Participants have the opportunity to perform these ceremonies at events, such as the Canvas Community Classic.

Being a member of the JROTC program can help students prepare to enlist in the military as military academies require recommendations, which JROTC can help students obtain. 

“If the student is interested in the military after high school, and they complete three years of the program, then they’ll get a bump in rank after they enlist in the military,” Johns explained.

However, joining the military directly after high school is not the goal for all students. JROTC offers benefits for students on any post secondary track. For those aiming to attend college, the senior ROTC program may be an option. 

Senior ROTC is a college scholarship program, and is a commitment to serve in the military or national guard after graduation.  PSD’s JROTC program has connections with CSU’s senior ROTC program, as well as supports in place to help students get ROTC scholarships. The skills developed through this program—teamwork, leadership, and civic engagement—are universally applicable.

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About the Contributors
Kate Glover
Kate Glover, Editor-in-chief
Kate is a sophomore at FCHS, and excited to step into the role of editor in chief. She is passionate about being a voice for the voiceless, not only as a member of Spilled Ink, but also through her positions on the PSD Student Advisory Council and Colorado Youth Advisory Council. Kate is also an assistant lead for theater publicity crew, a member of math and science honor societies, and a competitor for the speech and debate team. Outside of activities, she can be found baking, writing poetry, or thrifting with friends.    Favorite color: Green Favorite book: Truly Devious Favorite animal: Highland cow Favorite candy: Nerds, Krackle  Favorite TV show: Only Murders in the Building, The Rookie Favorite musician/band: The Score, Halsey Dream Job: Data journalist or data scientist
Connor Clark
Connor Clark, Staff Writer and Photographer
Connor Clark is a junior at Fort Collins High School and is a staff writer and photographer for Spilled Ink. He loves to work out, explore nature, and fly drones. He is often finding something to do and somewhere to go; always trying new ways to record the beautiful blue and green earth. In the future, he plans to join the police force as either a drone operator or a K9 handler.

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