Building Confidence, Leaders & More
They don’t waste time in the Midlothian School District. Case in point, the new Army Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (AJROTC).
The program is new to the district this year for students in grades 9-12. The participants are already experiencing success in competition.
MISD AJROTC program is open to students at both Midlothian High School and Heritage. There are currently 75 students involved, 47 male and 28 female.
As to why this is the right time to start the new AJROTC program, Lieutenant Colonel George Bolton, who leads the program, said, “It is always the right time to start any program dedicated to building our youth into leaders.
“In addition to building strong self-discipline skills and leadership skills, these students are having small victories in their lives that are leading to overall successes due to their involvement in this program. Students who were terrified to speak publicly are now comfortable with public speaking. Those who were introverted are now outgoing and have high confidence. Some students have achieved weight loss goals as an added benefit as they have worked hard to achieve their goals in JROTC.”
Learning Hard Work Pays Off
Many see JROTC as a bridge for students interested in military service – which it is.
However, it is so much more, Bolton said.
“In addition to being a stepping stone for students wishing to enter a military career, this program develops leaders of good character which is important in any career field. JROTC builds life skills that our students can apply to any facet of life,” he said.
The program has already entered two competitions in its short existence and has had what Bolton called amazing success.
“The students had faith in the training process and trusted it. They went to competitions and applied that training and as a result they found huge success,” he said.
In their first competition, a raider event, they ran 2.5 miles and endured four challenges. Raider competitions take place outdoors and involve a series of challenges, usually individual strength, distance team running, first aid and some form of rope bridge/construction crossing.
- Overall first place: Midlothian Team No. 2.
- Overall second place: Midlothian Team No. 1.
- Marksmanship first place: Midlothian Team No. 1.
- Marksmanship second place: Midlothian Team No. 2.
- Individual Marksmen first place: Cadet Laneair.
- Individual Marksmen fourth place: Cadet Murray.
They swept their second competition as well which was an Orienteering Team event. A JROTC orienteering team is built to help strengthen stamina and the ability to read a map. Teams of four must get to certain points in the right order as fast as they can to place in competition.
Midlothian placed first-fifth in all categories they competed in.
“Students in JROTC are learning that hard work pays off. Students dedicate a lot of time to this program and have found a sense of team and belonging,” Bolton said. “Midlothian ISD is thrilled to offer this program. The district is thankful to the large community support that has helped this program become so successful so quickly.”