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Big city JROTC a missed opportunity

Monday, June 20th, 2011

The New York Times has a terrific article about a high-performing Army Junior ROTC program in New York City:

Every year since, the Reserve Officers Training Corps program has grown. With 741 students, it is the largest of the 1,725 high school chapters in the country. Francis Lewis has more graduates at West Point—15—than any other school this year except for one near the academy that serves military families. In 17 years, no senior in the program has dropped out of school.

In my report, Underserved, I note that big-city JROTC programs like the one at Francis Lewis are a missed opportunity for the military:

New York City’s ROTC programs are missing out onanother prime recruiting opportunity—its seventeen Junior ROTC (JROTC) programs.


Yet senior ROTC allocations do not reflect wheremost of the city’s JROTC grads attend college—such as CUNY or a state university. (Nearly 70 percent of CUNY students attended a New York Citypublic high school, while SUNY captures 40 percent of all New York State high school graduates.) Instead, New York’s ROTC units are hosted at outer-borough Catholic schools unreflective of the local college population. As a result, dozens of potential officers already familiar with the military are lost every year.