Waltz, Houlahan Bill Protects JROTC Programs

Waltz, Houlahan Bill Protects JROTC Programs

Daniel Molina
Daniel Molina
|
April 12, 2024

Florida Rep. Mike Waltz (R) and Pennsylvania Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D) have introduced a bipartisan bill that would keep Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corp (JROTC) programs open. The bill would also ensure that the program grows nationwide.

U.S. Army enlistment data from FY 19-21 shows that 44% of Regular Army enlistments came from schools that had a Department of Defense JROTC program. Of these, 21% came from schools that had an Army JROTC program.

The U.S. Air Force reported that 22% of students that graduated high school with an AFJROTC experience go on to pursue active-duty Air Force service.

According to Section 2031 of Title 10, a JROTC program's minimum enrollment must be at least 10% of the total number of students that are enrolled at a school, or 100 students, whichever is less.

With the bipartisan bill, titled The Preserving JROTC Programs Act, it would reduce the minimum threshold of students to 50.

Rep. Waltz praised the successes of JROTC programs, noting in a statement that the programs "help promote civic participation amongst our youth and help address the recruitment shortfalls our military faces today."

Given that there are currently 3,499 JROTC programs across America, which is significantly below the limit that's Congressionally authorized, Rep. Waltz commented that the bipartisan legislation "would lower the threshold for the number of students needed to maintain a JROTC program at schools from 100 to 50 students, and therefore, increase the number of programs across the country. The more programs available to students, no matter their size, the better."

Rep. Houlahan also released a statement, warning that "when 23% of Air Force JROTC programs aren’t meeting cadet enrollment requirements, it’s pretty clear the status quo isn’t working."

"This bipartisan bill is a direct result of students, parents, educators, and our community leaders making their voices heard," she said. "It’s my sincere hope that the Air Force listens to our request and keeps this program and others open while Congress addresses additional ways to support cadets, instructors, and schools.”

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Daniel Molina

Daniel Molina

Daniel Molina is an award-winning senior reporter based in Miami. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Florida International University. His hobbies include reading, writing, and watching films.

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