MCJROTC Accomplishes One for the Books

Pamela Hernandez, Reporter

On September 11th, 2020 Selma High School’s MCJROTC program received the prestigious Marine Corps Reserve Association award. This award is given to recognize outstanding MCJROTC programs across the United States and overseas, and is one of the most prestigious awards given out to these programs. 

MCJROTC, which stands for Marine Corps Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps, is a program at Selma High school that teaches students the need and application of national security. The purpose of this program is to show how to become responsible citizens and to build leadership skills. 

“ROTC develops an understanding of leadership skills and the benefits of strong moral character, which promotes the students an understanding of the need and application of national security,” stated General Sergeant Romero, the SHS teacher who heads the ROTC programs.

ROTC creates within students a sense of pride and personal discipline, and responsibility to understand and respect constitutional authority as the foundation of a democratic society. These skills came into play and proved important when being received this award. The Marine Corps Reserve Association Award recognizes out of all the regions which region has the most Outstand program. What is needed for this specific award is having all seven areas on how to receive it. 

“a) Student enrollment, b) Cadet Citizenship, consisting of Student Activities/Clubs/Leadership, Community Services, and Public Affairs, c) Scholastic Achievements consisting of Academic Awards and Scholarships/Enlistments, d) MCJROTC unit activities consisting of Competitions, Program of Instruction events (POI), and National Level competitions” declared by Sargent Romero.

The move not only allowed Romero to bring his knowledge to the Selma High ROTC program, but allowed the program students to flourish. For this certain award only one school is able to receive it and Selma High was that school. 

“This is the first time [they’ve been] recognized as the Most Outstanding Program in the region,” stated General Sergeant Romero. “I was very happy for the cadets and the high school.” Sergeant Romero has taught the MCJROTC program for over 17 years, eleven of those years being at Selma High.

 “It has been the best move I have made,” states General Sergeant Romero. 

Emmalie Salazar is the Cadet Corps Commander of the MCJROTC program. Before her high school years, Emmalie looked up to her sister who was a part of this program and decided to follow her footsteps. Now, MCJROTC is not just a program to her, it’s a passion.

“The program means alot to me, all the people that are in the program are called cadets, and they aren’t just cadets to me but they are like my little sisters and brothers,” explained Salazar. Being a part of this award, Emmalie felt very accomplished. Their hard work and dedication paid off by meeting their ultimate goal.

 “This award means to us as a whole is that it’s a really big accomplishment to us,” exclaimed Salazar, It shows that all of our hard work throughout the year with drill, marksmanship, leadership, character, logistics, actually mean something to us in the future.” 

Winning the Marine Corps Reserve award is the highest award an MCJROTC unit can receive. Selma High’s MCJROTC students winning it displays their dedicated and driven mindsets.