NJROTC stands for Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps. It is a program that teaches discipline and courage. Rex Foster, Independence High School NJROTC Commander, said, “I think the program is a valuable part of the education here at Independence. I believe it teaches honor, courage, and commitment. I think it also brings a sense of pride.” 


Many students enjoy the class and appreciate how the program has made their high school experience better. Senior Hailey Sthilaire, who started ROTC this semester, said “I think that it has improved my respect, responsibility, and time management”. 

Becoming a better person does take time, and NJROTC can help with that. Foster says, “Teaching NJROTC has made me a better person, and more understanding of the challenges faced by young people today. I have learned to be more understanding yet maintain standards.” 

Uniforms are required for NJROTC. They are worn every Wednesday at Independence High School. The students wear them to “show pride, discipline, and attention to detail”. They are also worn to represent service to the community and country.

In response to the weekly mandatory uniform subject, some students feel it has “improved their morning routine and organization skills”. The uniform has a positive impact on the students work ethic. 

Improving social skills and becoming more adaptable when participating in unfamiliar environments in another benefit of being in NJROTC. Many of the students have made new friends in different groups due to the club. Some  that they “talk with outside of the classroom.” 

Sophomore Megan Marrufo joined ROTC this year because one of her coaches had told her about it, and she found it interesting. Since joining ROTC, she said that might consider joining a branch of the military, but she is not sure since it is not something she 100 percent wants to do as a career plan. 

Marrufo explained “I get to learn many new skills that will help me a lot in the future, and I could use it to help teach some of my family as well.”  After joining ROTC, Marrufo said it has helped her be more responsible and helped her be more of a leader. ROTC comes with lots of benefits, such as more opportunities to be more involved and social with people. Another benefit she mentioned is that  if she ever does decide to join a branch of service after high school, it gives her an advantage and can help her join. 

When asked about the drills they perform, Marrufo said,  “The drills are not hard to keep up with as long as you listen and watch, and we practice the drills everyday to get used to them.”  As for uniform Wednesday, she said that she does not fully enjoy it because “the pants are kind of itchy and the shoes can be uncomfortable, but making sure to iron the uniform and shine the shoes gives me a sense of responsibility and good time management.” So far during ROTC,  she said she has met many incredible new people and friends. She has even met one of her closest friends in ROTC. She said, “I am very happy with the way it is going”. 

 Overall ROTC is a great way to meet new people and explore new interests and opportunities. For any students interested in joining NJROTC, they just need to talk to their counselor.