Rethink JROTC

To the Editor: Many superintendents and school board members and the military say Junior Reserve Officers Corps teaches “citizenship,” and “leadership.”

On the other hand, critics of JROTC point out that the shooter who killed 17 people in Parkland, Fla., was a “lieutenant” in JROTC and won medals in the Civilian Marksmanship Program which the NRA partly funds.

In 2014, an Oregon cadet killed a fellow student inside their school.

One Nashua school board member said a “marksmanship course could attract future cadets.”

Did such a course attract the Parkland killer who, when he was apprehended, was wearing his JROTC shirt?

The member said the Nashua unit has 96 members but to qualify as a JROTC unit, aren’t 100 students required?

How transparent and accountable are these military training and indoctrination programs?

How many citizens know that school districts help subsidize JROTC with thousands and thousands of dollars?

JROTC inculcates obedience to authority, conformity and utilizes textbooks that inhibit critical thinking especially as they pertain to analyzing the history of American militarism.

We need to re-think the impact of JROTC and militarism upon our young people. The Pentagon’s military recruiting budget in 2016 was $327 million dollars as the military uses that money to impress many idealistic and ambitious kids to enter military service. Author Ann Jones relates that “it should be no secret that the US has the biggest, most efficiently organized, most effective system for recruiting child soldiers in the world.”