Jasiel Tapia, Writer

Independence High School NJROTC has a phenomenal program that selects kids that show dedication and commitment to the class. A few are chosen from each class period and are put to the task to demonstrate their capabilities.

Officer’s Candidate School (OCS) is meant to determine the future leaders for NJROTC. OCS consists of multiple exercises to improve teamwork, commitment and leadership. It is ran by former graduates of the OCS program itself.

Former graduate Natalie Miller, rank E-7, assistant for color guard and suicide awareness, said, “It’s a program that helps you develop skills you never knew you had.” Miller has dedicated herself to the NJROTC class and continues to devote time to the program for improvement. Miller was motivated by OCS and was also surprised on how easily bonds were created. The type of skills that she developed during OCS helped MIller qualify for jobs within the program.

Being a Graduate from OCS moves students to the top of their class. Not only does the student become a higher rank, but they find it less challenging to get a position on staff.

Gaby Flores, Public Affairs Officer, explained that OCS “represents something greater than yourself.” Flores is also a former graduate. She’s proven strong dedication to NJROTC and will continue until her senior year. OCS was a game changer for her as it gave her leadership skills. These skills paid off for her when she was selected to be T.A as a sophomore. Flores had potential and was given a stepping stool by taking OCS.    

Jesus Ruiz, current OCS candidate, said, ‘’I’m happy they gave me the chance to become an officer and be on staff.’’ Ruiz will continue his dedication to NJROTC until his senior year. He also said that he hopes to get “more grit and more discipline” out of OCS. Ruiz being a freshman meant alot, it allowed him to understand how leadership and dedication is an important skill .  

OCS will continue to improve students and create leaders on campus. Independence High School takes pride in JROTC.