Camdenton was actually accepted into the program back in 2009 after the board approved and successfully submitted an application. However, the school district was placed on a waiting list behind some 225 other high schools around the country.

The Camdenton School District Board of Education recently recommitted to establishing a United States Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) program, an initiative originally approved in 2009.

According to Superintendent Dr. Tim Hadfield, Camdenton was actually accepted into the program back in December of 2009 after the board approved and successfully submitted an application. However, the school district was placed on a waiting list behind some 225 other high schools around the country.

“Between 2009 and present, the military has faced some reductions and we never got the official, ‘you can now offer these classes,’” Hadfield said. “The board just recently recommitted their efforts to try and get a program in our school district in the near future.”

According to the U.S. Army JROTC website, more than 310,000 high schools participate in the program annually while enrolled in over 1,700 secondary educational programs. There are currently 4,000 Army instructors who teach the cadets.

Hadfield said if Camdenton can establish the program, they would join other school districts in the state including Waynesville, Nixa, Joplin and Ozark to name a few. Missouri falls under the JROTC’s 3rd Brigade which encompasses neighboring states including Illinois, Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska.

“What the purpose of JROTC, basically, is to instill into kids some ideals of citizenship and patriotism. It can be for students interested in joining the military after high school or during it, we have had some students enlist in the military,” Hadfield said. “We’ve heard really great things — what it can bring to our school district and our students.”

According to the website, students enrolled in the program undergo course work that involves leadership training, military history and life in the armed forces, marksmanship and logistics, technology, health, wellness and physical education.

However, it will not just be for students who plan to join some branch of the military after high school or college. Hadfield said students of any background or interest can join, so long as they’re willing to commit to the rigorous requirements.

Ultimately, the goal is to provide students with another structured career exploration route.