JROTC is known for its blood drives, Color Guard and physical competitions. But rather than competing in the physical side of JROTC, some students choose to participate in the lesser known intellectual aspect of the class–the academic team.
“It definitely doesn’t match what people think of when they think of JROTC,” former academic team captain Matthew Whittemore said. “It’s supposed to require having a brain and being able to think.”
There are two distinct groups within the academic team, each with their own competition. One is the leadership team, which focuses on JROTC-related material, such as army standards of leadership. The other group, the academic group, focuses on SAT and ACT exam prep in order to help students succeed on college entry exams.
“I learned so much stuff about leadership and experience,” leadership team member Kyle Cook said.
The team’s focus may be the academics, but it was also a place for JROTC students to make friends. Academic team member Jason George met Cook on the team and they have become friends through the bonding experiences the academic team provided.
“It was fun with my friends, but the actual tests were terrible,” Whittemore said.
The academic team only had to take tests that counted towards their score once every three months, and they spent the majority of their time practicing for those tests. Even though the academic team is a serious group, they also had time for fun and once had pizza as a team.
The academic team competed in several stages of the academic competition through online tests, but did not qualify for the state competition. Despite this, the students who participated each received a yellow arc with “academics” in all capital letters to recognize them for their participation.