Oxford Marine Corps JROTC

Published 5:43 pm Saturday, May 20, 2023

By Gene Hays
MSgt, USMC (Ret)

On Oct. 13, 1963, President John F. Kennedy signed Public Law 88-647, the ROTC Vitalization Act of 1964. It required the services to increase the number of JROTC units and to achieve a more homogeneous geographical distribution of units across the nation.

Of the 1,200 units authorized, 275 were allocated to the Secretary of the Air Force, 650 to the Secretary of the Army, and 275 to the Secretary of the Navy, of which 52 were made available to the Marine Corps.

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The most recent expansion of the JROTC program occurred on Aug. 24, 1992, when Congress expanded the program to 3,500 units, resulting in the Marine Corps reaching a total allocation of 260 units.

This dramatic raise was a direct result of General Colin Powell successfully lobbying for the expansion. General Powell believed that the lack of opportunities for teenagers in economically disadvantaged areas and pride restored in our American military, warranted expansion of the program.

The program aims at developing informed and responsible citizens. The more you learn in the MCJROTC, the more likely you are to be able to function effectively in a career in the
community and in family life.

MCJROTC helps build character. Cadets learn about ethics, leadership, followership, desirable traits, and self-discipline. If they do well in the MCJROTC, they will be likely to succeed in leadership roles later in life.

The program is designed to teach Cadets about the elements and requirements for national security. If they master this knowledge, they will be better equipped to make informed and intelligent decisions.

Vital issues will face them and their community, state, and nation in the future. National security requirements should not be subject to the emotions or uninformed judgements of citizens.

They must become knowledgeable concerning current events and issues which have a direct effect on our nation and, in turn, us. MCJROTC strives to enlighten Cadets to possible career and educational choices.

MCJROTC is a program in which discipline is stressed. A good leader is one who has self-
control and will remain calm and competent in difficult situations. Thus, self-discipline is required.

Respect for authority is of the utmost importance in any organization and in life, in general. Cadets must learn to respect their peers, superiors, and subordinates. Lack of respect breeds unrest and dissatisfaction. The MCJROTC will give Cadets the experience in recognizing authority and gaining the respect of others.

A Marine Corps JROTC unit’s Color Guard is often a very active representative of the unit at public events. Whether it’s presenting the American Flag at high school basketball or football games, National Honor Society events, or school board meetings, the MCJROTC Color Guard stands ready to serve its host school. In the community, MCJROTC Color Guards perform at parades, ceremonies, and sporting events.

Marine Corps Junior ROTC Cadets across the nation dedicate countless hours to the close-
order drill. It is written into the MCJROTC curriculum as a means of instilling discipline and esprit de corps and continues to be one of the finest methods for developing confidence and leadership abilities of Cadets.

Being in drill requires lots of practice and dedication, and it pays off when cadets come home after a competition and see all the trophies they won. Also, being in drill helps Cadets to rank up much higher and much faster than all the other cadets. Units compete at local, state, regional and national Drill Team competitions throughout the year.

Marksmanship is an integral part of the MCJROTC curriculum. With an emphasis on safety, the MCJROTC Marksmanship curriculum allows cadets to develop pride and a sense of accomplishment as they become more proficient with their marksmanship skills.
Cadets will shoot the Daisy 853CM, an air rifle specifically designed exclusively for MCJROTC. Cadets will qualify and compete using the Three-Position Air Rifle Shooting standards. Three-Position Air Rifle Shooting is the most popular and fastest growing form of shooting sports competition for youth of high school age or younger.

The Willie Morris Jones Detachment #1431, Marine Corps League, Department of Mississippi, supports the Oxford High School Marine Corps JROTC in all aspects of their training, competition, and awards.

Parents: if you would like your son or daughter to join next year’s class of the Oxford High
School MCJROTC, or would like more information, please contact Gene Hays,