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    Military Focusing on JROTC Programs as Chances to Paint Picture of Service to Gen Z Dwindle

    Military Focusing on JROTC Programs as Chances to Paint Picture of Service to Gen Z Dwindle

    Rhea-Lee Thompson emigrated from Jamaica to the United States in 2019. She never thought about joining her adopted country's but became enamored with the idea of service once she saw her school's Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps, or JROTC.

    “JROTC has given me a home away from home and [helped me] grow as a person,” Thompson, 16, told Military.com in a classroom that serves as home for the military's footprint at Alexandria City High School.

    The room, in a school nestled in a wealthy northern Virginia suburb just outside of , D.C., is filled with trophies and other accolades from generations of students who were in the program. It's one of the only public schools in an area littered with exclusive private schools.

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    Thompson, who sees the military as a pathway to citizenship, has a decorated academic resume for a teenager. She's her JROTC class leader, or “battalion commander,” and her GPA is over 4.0. She hopes to move onto ROTC in college and become a medical officer.

    It's students like her whom the military hopes to convert from promising applicants to active-duty service members. JROTC is a program funded by the Pentagon designed to teach basic civics and leadership skills — all while subtly pitching military service to those students through trips to military bases, doing military-style physical challenges like…

    Continue Reading This Article At Military.com

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