By Alexis Arroyo ’21, Gregorio Chavez ’21, Miguel Cordero ’21, Edgar Corrales ’21, Emily Gonzalez ’21, Jarissa Paredes ’21
Freshmen are learning expectations in MCJROTC this fall at Pritzker in order to succeed in their elective. MCJROTC stands for Marine Corps Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps.
In MCJROTC there are many things that take place. Upon entering the classroom, cadets are expected to shake Gunnery Sergeant Alvarez’s hand and proceed to enter. After entering the classroom, cadets remain standing by ranks until Gunnery Sergeant Alvarez gives the instruction to sit down, when seated, they work on their agenda.
During class, students are expected to learn how to be more persuasive and act mature. The expectations are not as difficult as some students make it sound. As freshman Tatiana Gonzalez said, “You need to get out of the habit of being lazy.” ROTC is not just about work outs, Ranks-all-the-time, lifting, and running. Hygiene and grooming are also expectations set on the students which teach cadets, like Gonzalez said, not to be lazy and be on top of their game. In ROTC men must have their hair no longer than a size three and woman must wear buns on specific class days. Nails must be trimmed and facial hair is strongly discouraged.
Some activities that cadets do in class consists of team building and physical training, also known as P.T for short. With that being said when an activity is not done to the best of their ability they are told to “get on their face,” as Alvarez would say, then students would proceed to do mountain climbers. The elective makes them better as Michelle Lucario, a freshman, said “It helps you because it creates discipline that can be taken to another level, to another class”. Cadets are also expected to study their ranks and practice what they have learned. Lucario said, “what is learned in class can be a great tool in life.” MCJROTC is not all about the military, in fact according to, Jonathan Gutierrez, a Junior-Ex- MCJROTC member said “Parents thought that MCJROTC was all about going to war and cadets being drafted to war.” That is not true, MCJROTC expectations help you physically, mentally, and spiritually in life as Gutierrez learned from experience.
Some students believe that MCJROTC and its punishments towards the expectations are brutal and difficult to adjust to. This freshman student, Jose Colon III believes otherwise, “I think it’s just right, I think it’s a good punishment. But as we get older, we’re gonna be stronger, so he might change it.” He, as in Gunnery Sergeant Alvarez. Freshmen expect MCJROTC to be very strict and difficult but many cadets change their minds when they see what they got into, there will always remain a small portion of freshmen that will continue to believe it is too overwhelming. “Everyone is treated equal” as freshman Adrianna Martinez stated. Everyone is given the same level of discipline, some cadets simply choose to make it easier on themselves by adapting and doing as instructed, Martinez sees this to be the best way to succeed as an MCJROTC cadet.
In this discipline based elective there are ranks that cadets are able to be promoted to. As of now, only a few have been promoted from private to private first class as Gonzalez, Martinez, and Julissa Villalobos have been promoted to this higher rank. If you have the ability to be in MCJROTC you’ll have many opportunities in life, not just academically but with your personal life as well. MCJROTC is a job with high expectations that you could do for the rest of your life. Besides being given different uniforms for different activities, in MCJROTC students can become a leader, but before they become a leader students have to understand the basic commands. During training they try to improve your breathing, build more strength, and improve movement for the muscles as well as improving your sense of well-being.