JROTC Essay on Leadership

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There are research studies that have been conducted on JROTC. Most of these have been based - on outcome studies that have focused on the effects of participation in an Army JROTC program. One of the first of these studies was conducted in Pennsylvania's public secondary schools in 1973 by Seiberling. He investigated the effectiveness of JROTC (Air Force, Army, and Navy) in relationship to three desired to-learn outcomes: leadership, citizenship, and self-reliance. He used the Gordon Personal Profile to measure leadership, the Pennsylvania Student Questionnaire (Secondary), Section F-Citizenship to measure citizenship, and the Self-Concept as a Learner Scale to measure self-reliance. In a comparison of 97 JROTC cadet seniors with 97senior non-JROTC seniors matched on sex and Intelligent Quotient (IQ) scores, Seiverling found no significant differences at the .05 level between the mean scores

of JROTC cadets versus non-JROTC seniors on any of the three desired to learn outcomes. Since that time, there have been at least two studies similar to that of Seiberling. Hawkins (1988) compared 83 senior-level Army JROTC Cadets with 92senior level students who were not exposed to nor taught JROTC courses in seven public secondary schools located in Central Virginia. Each cadet had received JROTC courses for at least two years. Although Hawkins used the same measure of citizenship as Seiverling, he used Stogdill's Leader Behavior Description Questionnaire Form XII to measure leadership and used the California Test of Personality, Section A, Self-Reliance to measure self-reliance.

The collective mean scores revealed that JROTC cadets scored higher than non-JROTC students in all three variables of interest, but none were significant at the .05 level. In the second of these similar studies, Roberts (1991/1992) compared 59 Army JROTC Seniors with 59 non-JROTC students at six different high schools in Nevada. In contrast to the cadets in Hawkins' study, the cadets in Roberts' study had been enrolled in JROTC for a minimum of four years. Roberts used the same measures of citizenship and self-reliance as Hawkins but substituted the Leader Behavior Description Questionnaire (40 Item Short Form) to measure leadership. He found significant differences in mean scores between JROTC and non-JROTC students at the .05 level on each of the desired learning outcomes. JROTC students scored significantly higher than their non-JROTC counterparts. Bachmann (1994) and Rivas (1995) found that JROTC participation may significantly increase self-esteem scores for some students. Bachmann analyzed the effects of participation in an Army JROTC program on leadership behavior and self-esteem for 94 high school juniors in three separate secondary schools located in California.

There were 47 students in each group from a comparable demographic sample in California. The JROTC cadets had been in the program for at least two years. Bachmann utilized the same questionnaire as Roberts to measure leadership, the Self-Esteem Inventory to measure self-esteem, and designed a Student Demographic Questionnaire which surveyed gender, ethnicity, and academic achievement. Results indicated that the mean scores for JROTC students on leadership and self-esteem were significantly higher than for students not exposed to the JROTC program. Bachmann found differences within gender. Male JROTC students scored significantly higher than non-JROTC males on their mean scores for leadership, but no significant difference was found in their mean scores for self-esteem. However, female JROTC students scored significantly higher than their non-JROTC counterparts on mean scores in self-esteem, but no significant difference was found in their mean scores for leadership. Similarly, Rivas (1995) measured self-esteem and learning skills development in JROTC students. Learning skills were defined as planning and time management, organizational skills, and goal setting.

The target population was 117male and female students attending four separate high schools in Illinois and Michigan. Rivas surveyed only first-year JROTC cadets at the two high schools in Michigan and surveyed advanced third-year and fourth-year JROTC cadets at the two schools in Illinois. Using a pretest/post-test design, he administered the Coopersmith's Self-Esteem Inventory Adult Form to measure self-esteem, and an original instrument to measure learning skills development. Results showed that students in the first-year JROTC program scored significantly lower than the students in third-year and fourth-year JROTC on self-esteem and learning skills. At the six-month posttest, results indicated that measures of self-esteem increased for all students, but only the first-year cadets showed gains in learning skills. It should be noted that Rivas does not specify the grade level of each first-year cadet. It is possible that these results could be confounded by students' grade levels. In contrast to Bachmann (1994), Rivas found no gender bias in his results, suggesting that both males and females may benefit equally from JROTC.

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In another study, Boykins (1992/1993) researched the relationship between leadership, academic achievement, empowerment, and participation in JROTC for black male students. Boykins interviewed 14 black students, three JROTC instructors, and five teachers at one public high school in Arizona. Although he found no statistically significant differences in academic achievement between their Grade Point Average (GPA)before they entered the JROTC program and their GPA at the time of the study, he did find evidence to support that black male JROTC students felt empowered. Although Boykins acknowledged that the teachers did not appear very familiar with the program, their responses about the benefits to students were positive. Probably the most relevant study for the purposes of the present research was conducted by Harriill (1984). He investigated the attitudes of high school principals located in the Third ROTC Region towards the official objectives of Army JROTC. He obtained data from 160 high school principals from Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.

The survey instrument consisted of seven statements concerning the mission of Army JROTC, nine statements concerning beliefs about JROTC, and a free response portion for additional comments. Results indicated that principals were in general agreement with the seven Army JROTC objectives as both ideals and current practices in their schools. Principals also indicated a favorable attitude towards other aspects of the program including the development of self-discipline, improvement of self-concept, provision of a source of identification, growth of patriotism, and leadership ability. They viewed JROTC as a bridge between the school and the community. Based on these limited findings, there is some suggestion that students might benefit through JROTC participation in at least two ways: empowerment and self-esteem. Although results from research findings are contradictory, it is possible that participants may also benefit from leadership, citizenship, and self-reliance. In addition, high school principals have indicated a favorable attitude toward JROTC programs, thus suggesting that JROTC may produce positive benefits to students, the high school environment, and the local community. Controversy Regarding JROTC In a speech on August 24, 1992, President George Bush proclaimed that JROTC is a great program that boosts high school completion rates, reduces drug use, raises self-esteem, and gets these kids firmly on the right track, (Coumbe &Harford, 1996). Other United States officials have echoed this positive regard. For example, in an open statement from the United States Department of Education dated August 28, 1991, many positive advantages to JROTC were outlined;

  1. The provision of positive role models at a critical time in an at-risk student's life. Become an active part of an organized unit may be the deciding factor to remaining in school;
  2. The opportunities to develop leadership potential and how to live and work cooperatively with others are attainable. Students who continue in advanced years of training themselves become role models for younger students;
  3. The high-performance expectations established in this program provide the disciplinary structure lacking in a student's home life, where he/she learns to appreciate the ethical values and principles that underlie good citizenship which include integrity, responsibility, and respect for constituted authority;
  4. Group participation in drill practices provides an opportunity for camaraderie as well as an emphasis on physical fitness in maintaining good health. Students learn to be well groomed and to follow instructions and commands;
  5. Along with other school programs on drug abuse, JROTC will reinforce the dangers of substance abuse in a group atmosphere which provides positive support in avoiding peer pressure;
  6. There is a definite correlation to social studies curricula as students are taught the skills of good citizenship and the historical significance of the military in American history. Students who learn discipline in this program often establish a positive tone in the total school population, thereby reducing the disciplinary problems in the classroom and on school grounds;
  7. The presence of a JROTC unit can become a source of pride for any community equal to sports teams, marching bands, etc., who get high exposure at parades and school functions;
  8. Classwork in JROTC also teaches logical thinking and communication skills;
  9. JROTC programs provide educational and vocational opportunities to at-risk students who question 'why should I stay in school? and
  10. One of the courses of study in the program is Marksmanship and Safety.

At a time when gun control is a popular topic, such a program is ideal for teaching students proper techniques of firearms and the dangers they represent(and students have great fun in this course and receive immediate feedback). Other similar claims of benefits to students have been made by military personnel through JROTC pamphlets and literature (Coumbe & Harford, 1996). Among these many benefits are self-discipline, confidence, organization, ethics, integrity, responsibility, good citizenship, and leadership training. Essential learning skills are also taught such as decision making, time management, planning and organizing, goal setting, and teamwork.

The program also helps cadets compete for Senior ROTC scholarships and appointments at military academies (Army Junior ROTC Program, 1996).JROTC is not without its opponents. Lutz and Bartlett (1995) researched JROTC programs at high schools around the country and examined claims by JROTC officials reviewed the program's outcomes and analyzed the curriculum and textbooks. Lutz and Bartlett take issue with the fact that the Department of Defense(DOD) does not conduct research studies to evaluate their claims about program effectiveness. For example, JROTC literature claims to: prevent dropouts; prepare minorities and low-income students for success, and benefit 'at-risk' students. However, these authors contend that neither the DOD nor any of the military branches collect data on dropout or graduation rates or minority and low-income adult job attainment. Additionally, the benefits to 'at-risk' students are questionable, given that the JROTC programs may refuse students with behavior problems or low achievement histories. Lutz and Bartlett also point out that the JROTC curriculum and textbooks are not normally scrutinized by the state or local school boards. In fact, they claim that the curriculum is rarely reviewed by any educational unit. In Virginia, each military branch develops its own curriculum and trains its own instructors. There is no one at the Virginia Department of Education who is designated to be in charge or oversee the JROTC program's implementation (Charles Finley, Virginia Department of Education, Department of Compliance, Specialist, Accreditation; personal communication, November 6, 1996). Lutz and Bartlett's (1995) book entitled Making Soldiers in the Public Schools has fueled a coalition movement against JROTC programs. This movement has tried to block the formation of new JROTC programs in the Nation's public schools. The coalition has many concerns. They believe that marksmanship training encourages violence, school board costs of maintaining a program are too high, JROTC's claims regarding dropout prevention have never been verified, not enough women are JROTC instructors, and retired gay and lesbian officers are excluded from becoming instructors (American Friends Service Committee, 1996).

The President of the United States, as well as the United States Department of Education, have endorsed JROTC. Along with military officials, they have claimed that JROTC offers many positive benefits to students who enroll in the program. However, due to the lack of available evidence, opponents of JROTC have formed coalitions to stop the expansion of JROTC in public schools. Because of their role in the schools, school counselors are in a position to perceive possible benefits to students from involvement with the JROTC program. School counselors may be able to contribute knowledge to help resolve the controversy which surrounds JROTC.

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JROTC Essay on Leadership. (2022, December 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 25, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/jrotc-essay-on-leadership/
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