Junior ROTC

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LTC Lenny Cianciotto
Senior Army Instructor

CSM Vincent McCormick
Army Instructor

San Marcos Academy has a strong military connection which dates back to the World War I era, when the school was granted a Junior ROTC unit. The Academy requires all American upper school boys to participate in the Junior ROTC program during their first semester of attendance. Other than this requirement, participation in Junior ROTC is voluntary for both boys and girls. The San Marcos Academy Junior ROTC program is affiliated with the United States Army and is designated as an Honor Unit with Distinction.

History of Army Junior ROTC
The United States Army Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, Junior ROTC, came into being with the passage of the National Defense Act of 1916. Junior ROTC is a continuing success story. From a modest beginning of 6 units in 1916, Junior ROTC has expanded to more than 1600 schools today and to every state in the nation as well as to American schools overseas. Comprised solely of active duty Army retirees, the Junior ROTC instructors serve as mentors developing the outstanding young citizens

Purpose of Junior ROTC
The purpose of the Army Junior ROTC is to teach students character education, academic achievement, wellness, leadership, and diversity. It is a cooperative effort between the Army and the high schools to produce successful students and citizens, while fostering in each school a more constructive and disciplined learning environment. For more information on the value of the Junior ROTC program, read the blog by LTC Lenny Cianciotto.

Goals of Junior ROTC

  • To develop students who act with integrity and personal accountability as they lead others to succeed in a diverse and global workforce
  • To encourage students to engage with civic and social concerns in the community, government, and society
  • To graduate young men and women who are prepared to excel in post-secondary options and career pathways
  • To teach young men and women to make sound decisions that promote positive social, emotional and physical health
  • To instill an understanding of the military’s role in our history so as to promote value of the role of the military and other service organizations

San Marcos Junior ROTC Bear Battalion
San Marcos Academy launched its program of military training in 1917. The United States granted the Academy a Junior Unit of the Reserve Officers Training Corps that year. Immediately, the uniform and the discipline of military life became part of the life of the students of San Marcos Academy, instilling self-discipline, patriotism, leadership, and responsibility.

The Academy’s Junior ROTC Program has been designated an “Honor Unit With Distinction” by Headquarters, Fourth Region, U.S. Army ROTC Cadet Command, Fort Lewis, Washington. This designation is the highest rating available to a Junior ROTC unit and represents the top Junior ROTC programs within the United States. The Academy’s military program has been approved by the United States Attorney General for students of foreign countries.

Today participation in the Corps of Cadets, including enrollment in the Junior ROTC class, is required for upper school boys who are U.S. citizens for one semester. Membership in the Corps of Cadets is available on a voluntary basis to all upper school students, including females and international students, who choose to participate.

Those students participating in the Corps of Cadets are issued a military uniform as well as BDU/ACU uniform to wear on designated Mondays. Cadets also are required to participate in a Leadership Lab on Monday afternoons from 3:50-4:50 p.m.

Traditions of the Junior ROTC Bear Battalion
Dining Out: The Junior ROTC Dining Out is an annual formal event for the Bear Battalion. It gives our young people the opportunity to enjoy and appropriately interact with their peers in a formal setting. The Dining Out is a long-standing military tradition which is intended to enhance the camaraderie among a unit’s members. Attendance at the Dining Out is mandatory for all Junior ROTC cadets.

The Dining Out begins with a receiving line and includes all members of the Corps and their invited guests only. Each year, a distinguished speaker is selected to address those in attendance at the banquet.

Parent Day Promotion Ceremonies: During the Fall and Spring Parent Days, the Bear Battalion presents a modified military review and promotion ceremony. Parents and family members are invited to view these ceremonies, which are followed by company-level promotion ceremonies.

Military Awards Program: : At the end of the school year, a Military Awards Program is held to recognize cadets for their achievements in the Corps of Cadets. This program is usually held during graduation weekend.

Bear Battalion Teams
Color Guard: The Color Guard consists of four members: an American Flag, Texas Flag, and two guards. Our team presents or posts colors at different events such as football games, school and community ceremonies, etc.

Marksmanship Team: Cadets practice at the Rifle Range at Davidson Hall. The group will compete at some meets during the year.

Sabre Guard: This team is called upon to provide a formal introduction for participants during special events. The Guard practices the week before they are scheduled for performance.

Physical Training (PT) Team: The PT Team competes at area meets, which are based on performing push-ups, sit-ups and an 800 meter run. The team members train in order to achieve high levels of physical fitness.

For more information about the Academy’s Junior ROTC program, contact the Senior Army Instructor, LTC (R) Lenny Cianciotto, at [email protected]