Kentucky’s Junior Guard Program

DrillMasterCommentary 6 Comments

If you are a member of the military drill world then you have most likely heard of JROTC (Junior Reserve Officer Training Program) which is in hundreds of high schools across the nation; ROTC, the senior program that is in hundreds of colleges and universities, is the senior partner. Each branch of the military has an ROTC program: Army, Marines, Navy and the Air Force. The Coast Guard has two JROTC-like programs with one in southern Florida and one in North Carolina. The Merchant Marines don’t have a program, but do have the Merchant Marine Academy.

Now, let me introduce you to a fairly new program that is only in the state of Kentucky: Jr. Guard. It’s the Army’s National Guard program for five Kentucky high schools. Make that four Kentucky high schools. The school board at Lincoln County High School has deemed it necessary to remove the program. Here is part of a message a Marine friend of mine received:

“Good evening Sgt., i was wondering if you could do me a favor? You see, this September, i will be enlisting in the Marine Corps. We had a program in my high school that was dropped because of budget cuts. The thing is, the school never payed us anything, they never did anything for us, we were funded through the national guard, and then the national guard stopped funding us, we paid out of our pockets. Then on the last day of school, they fired our instructor, SFC Eddie Jones and took the program out of high school. For me and other Jr Guardsmen, this was our life, most of us plan on joining the military here soon. We were using the program to prepare us, but they cut it out. and well, i was wondering, if you could like the page Help Save Jr Guard at LCHS and maybe say something about it? We would greatly appreciate it. Thank you for your time Sgt. Semper Fi

Please go here to “Like” the page and add your support.

Folks, we need to save student programs: band, JROTC, art, all of these types of classes that enrich the lives of the students beyond the measure of test scores. The types of classes/programs that help shape and build the character of the students taking part. Read here how the program has improved the students!!

Some information about this great program:

  • The JR. Guard program is a collaborative partnership between our Youth Service Center and the 1/623rd Kentucky Army National Guard. The program began in the 1995-96 school year with approximately 15 students. The idea was to target “at-risk” kids who were falling through the cracks of our educational system. Students are provided with a JR. ROTC-like opportunity that links our school and the military. Through this opportunity we hope to find a niche for those students who may not be able to find there way elsewhere in the school.
  • The students in the program are linked with National Guard who serve as mentors. These mentors meet with the students on a regular basis.
    -They participate in experiential activities that demonstrate the value of classroom learning with adult guardsmen.
  • The students are taught things like self-discipline, rappelling, marching, drill and ceremony, use of night vision goggles, map reading, marksmanship, military etiquette, first aid, physical fitness, and the list goes on and on.
  • The culmination of the year brings the students to our annual FTX (Field Training Exercise). At the FTX, students put into play, what they have been practicing all year long.
  • During the 1998-99 school year, the Kentucky School Boards Association, through their Public Education Achieves in Kentucky (PEAK) Award, recognized [the program’s innovative] design because it enhances student learning and promotes public education.
  • While the program initially targeted an “at-risk” population, the popularity of the program has grown so that there is a waiting list every year of the students and parents who want to participate in the program.
  • We have seen a reduction in disciplinary problems with these students and a dramatic improvement in student self-esteem and achievement.
  • Currently the program includes students in grades 6th-12th at participating schools. The schools that are participating are in 8 different school systems across the state of Kentucky

I found this info here.

Comments 6

  1. Pingback: Help The Mission High School Army JROTC Program Stay Alive | The DrillMaster

  2. I am trying to get a Jr. Guard program started in our school. WE need currilum for the instructors. Do you have something that you can send me. Are there certain procedures that we need to do. We’re just flying by the seat of our pants. My son was in the Army so I know what it can do for these students. Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated.

    1. Post
  3. Hi there, Sergeant.
    This may be silly, and just wishful thinking, but I am just praying that this message will be helpful in getting a Jr. Guard program set in my high school in Kentucky, Dayton high school.
    You see, I may be only 14 and a girl, but my dreams are to enlist as a Marine as soon as I graduate. And in preparing for this, my hopes were set for Junior Guard starting my freshman year that is coming up, to my Senior year. But, sadly, I moved last year from my old town, where the high school actually did have a Jr. Guard program there. But now I’ve been informed that Dayton does not have one. Which stinks, by the way.
    Again, it may be wishful thinking, but it sure is worth a shot… I was hoping that there could be a chance that you could get a Jr. Guard program set up there. This would be really great in my preparation for joining the Marines.

    And if you actually take this measly message into consideration…
    Here is some contact information for Dayton High School.
    Thanks. Seriously.

    * Dayton Independent School Distict200 Clay Street -Dayton, KY 41074

    Official website

    1. Post

      Hello Cassandra,

      I appreciate that you think so highly of me that I could get a Jr. Guard (JROTC-like) program started. I’d love to do it, as a matter of fact I’d love to have 100s more programs across the nation in every high school. We could give guidance to more high school students.

      I will write to the administration of your new high school. I don’t know what I can do, but I will try. In the meantime, is there a Young Marines, Civil Air Patrol, Sea Cadets or even an Army Cadets unit in your area? These units do not have anything to do with schools, but offer similar programs to JROTC and Jr. Guard.

      In any case, whatever happens, enjoy high school, study and enjoy the Marine Corps!


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