The following are frequently asked questions by new or prospective cadets and their parents. Please read through each section to find out more about our unit and its operations.
What is NJROTC?
NJROTC is a Citizenship Development and youth education program sponsored by the Naval Service Training Command. The purpose is to bring out the best in every student. It is available for students in grades 9 through 12. Only a select few schools are fortunate enough to have such a program, and we are proud to be one of them. We are a unit dedicated to teaching cadets that "all doors in life can be opened with good manners and a smile." Our mission is to prepare the youth of today for the challenges of tomorrow by teaching them leadership, teamwork, and follower-ship, as well as the management skills needed for success.
Our NJROTC unit has been recognized for its excellence annually for the past 20 years by being designated a "Distinguished Unit with Academic Honors". This distinction is a reflection of the hard work of the cadets, our Naval Science instructors, our wonderful booster club, the school, the administrators, and the townspeople.
WHAT IS TAUGHT IN CLASS?
The things taught in class are broad and varied, designed to provide students with the tools needed for success. The foundation is laid during the first year when students learn to be solid citizens and do cool stuff like learning teamwork while marching, learning exacting attention to detail during marksmanship training, and learning social etiquette in preparation for the annual ball.
Cadets in Year 1 (NS1) learn military ranks, time and protocol as well as military history, survival training, physical fitness, first aide, and basic leadership and follower-ship skills.
Cadets in Year 2 (NS2) learn land navigation, seamanship and navigation, take the CT boating safety course, study maritime geography and meteorology, and learn some advanced leadership and communication skills.
Cadets in Year 3 (NS3) learn aviation fundamentals and actually go flying after using a flight simulator in class. They also learn advanced citizenship and leadership skills, intro to naval engineering, and learn to lead and manage events.
Cadets in Year 4 (NS4) take charge of the unit and plan our numerous events and activities. They also serve in leadership positions and are responsible for the cadets assigned to them. They also learn many life skills like personal financial management, car buying, how to transition successfully from high school, public speaking, ethics, and advanced project management.
Throughout the course, cadets are graded on their uniform appearance, manners, and bearing. All cadets participate in marching drill, ballroom dancing, etiquette classes, and marksmanship training each year, with increased expectations each year.
WILL I BE IN THE ARMED FORCES OR WILL I HAVE TO GO INTO THE SERVICE?
Of course NOT! There is absolutely no obligation of any kind, and most students have no interest in going into the military after graduation. For those who are interested, however, there are some very real benefits, like going in at a higher pay grade if you complete NJROTC or having more opportunities to go to the service academies or to college ROTC programs.
WHAT ABOUT THE INSTRUCTORS, ARE THEY IN THE ARMED FORCES?
No. NJROTC Instructors are retired military officers and senior non-commissioned officers. They are not recruiters. They are high school faculty members and employees of the high school like all other teachers, but are certified by the U.S. Navy to teach NJROTC.
WHAT DOES THE COURSE COST?
There are no special costs associated with this course. The military or the school covers course materials, uniforms, supplies, equipment, and most other costs. Personal items such as notebooks, undergarments, and such things as meals on field trips are not covered. Fundraising projects are scheduled as needed to raise funds for special equipment, projects and field trips.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS I CAN GAIN FROM THE COURSE?
Aside from normal benefits of a good high school course, there are some very real benefits for those who want to take advantage of them.
All the military services give up to two or three pay grades (two-three ranks) advanced standing for people who desire to enlist after having successfully completed Naval JROTC courses in high school.
Many colleges give advanced standing and credit for completion of the NJROTC program to students who are enrolled in college ROTC.
For those who are interested in fully paid college scholarships and those seeking Service Academy appointments, NJROTC instructors are normally successful in helping high school students obtain ROTC scholarships and service academy appointments worth hundreds of thousands of dollars are available. These are competitively awarded to qualified high school students annually.
WHAT KIND OF CREDIT CAN I GET FOR NJROTC?
The course carries full elective credit toward graduation, just like all the other academic courses. In addition, NJROTC may be substituted for a stem credit or may be taken as an additional elective in conjunction with a stem class to meet graduation requirements.
DO I WEAR A UNIFORM?
Two Navy uniforms are issued to each cadet without cost and are worn on the school’s designated uniform day. It is an honor to wear the uniform and that honor is not treated lightly. These uniforms belong to the U.S. Navy and must be taken care of and returned upon completion of the semester.
DO BOYS HAVE TO GET A SHORT HAIRCUT?
Boys’ hair must be neatly trimmed and meet minimum standards to not bring discredit upon the uniform; however, it need not be “white-walled” or “high and tight”. Some of the extra-curricular teams may have their own stricter requirements for competitions, but participation on those teams, and meeting their own stricter requirements for competitions, are optional.
CAN I STILL GO OUT FOR BAND AND VARSITY SPORTS?
Certainly, NJROTC students are active in every phase of the school from varsity football to band, and student government. Whenever possible, NJROTC extra-curricular group practices are scheduled so as not to conflict with other practices and meetings. It is highly encouraged that NJROTC students participate in other activities because doing so adds credit to the student's college application and resume.
HOW MUCH TIME DOES JROTC TAKE?
You can spend as much or as little time in NJROTC as you want. You must go to class just like other courses, but activities like the drill team, color guard, and marksmanship teams are optional. They are there for you if your grades allow you and you want to participate. Certainly, the more involved you are, the more benefit you are likely to get from the course.
TELL ME ABOUT SOME OF THE ACTIVITIES AVAILABLE TO JROTC STUDENTS.
The NJROTC unit supports a wide range of activities, with the exact number depending on the interests of the students. There are too many possible activities to cover in detail in one short fact sheet. Mentioned above are things like competition drill teams, armed drill teams, basic drill teams, academic teams, orienteering teams, marksmanship teams, drone teams, and color guard. There are summer camps; leadership camps; social activities; an annual formal military ball; field orientation trips, and field meets which are not only interesting but fun as well.
WHAT WILL MY FRIENDS SAY WHEN I WEAR THE UNIFORM IN SCHOOL?
It is human nature to notice something new about a person you know and this certainly applies to NJROTC students. NJROTC is a popular and respected organization in the school, so the minor “self-consciousness” caused by wearing something different is seldom a problem for long.
WHAT KIND OF RECOGNITION CAN I GET FOR MY PARTICIPATION IN NJROTC?
There are a large number of awards that are given for participation and achievement in NJROTC. Some are given by the unit, some by the school, and others by local civic and patriotic groups. Many of these lead to building your resume’ for college and career readiness.
WHAT ABOUT THE LEADERSHIP TRAINING?
NJROTC is the only formal course of instruction that has formal instruction in leadership. The course also encourages practical application by giving the students the opportunity to run their extra-curricular groups and manage many aspects of the NJROTC program.
I’M GOING TO COLLEGE. IS THIS GOOD PREPARATION?
NJROTC course material is academically sound and enhances the college preparatory curriculum. We teach good study habits, test preparation techniques, and build up the NJROTC students’ level of self-confidence and pride. Many of the things we teach are leadership, management, personal skill development, character development, and other soft skills that will help you throughout your life. Bethel NJROTC has a strong reputation for academic excellence, and numerous cadets have gone on to attend Ivy League colleges and universities, service academies, and prestigious college ROTC programs.