For many of us, the ROTC comes to mind each time we see the color guard at various local events, including parades.
But the Reserve Officers Training Course is much more than just that, according to Chief Warrant Officer Colemon.
“The program is about building confidence in today’s youth to help each of them make the right decisions and to step out from the crowd.”
The concept of ROTC in the United States began with the Morrill Act of 1862.
Part of the federal government’s requirement for these schools was that they include military tactics within their curriculum, forming what became known as ROTC.
The ROTC at Newton High School is a disciplined and organized group of young men and women each having their own reasons for joining.
Michael Harris (cadet captain) joined for self-discipline and training to prepare for a career in the Marines.
(Cadet first lieutenant) Cassie Schell admits there are more guys than girls involved but she enjoys ROTC because everyone is treated equally regardless of gender.
“It’s unity that’s built; it’s not an individual thing here,” Schell said. “It’s all about teamwork.”
Today, at Newton High School, the room is full of eager young individuals whose presence is positive and respectful, each standing in unison, working together for higher goals, finding a way to make a positive difference in today’s world.
So the next time you encounter the ROTC (color guard) at an event, walk over and shake the hand of a student who’s on the right path to a better future.