The Army Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) is an exciting program offered to high school students that teaches character education, student achievement, health and wellness, leadership and diversity.

In addition to promoting citizenship, JROTC also prepares students students for postsecondary options including college or the workforce. Through cadet-run programs and team competitions, students learn invaluable professional skills like leadership, teamwork, time-management, self-discipline and communication.

JROTC Teams »
Curriculum »

Special thanks to our generous 2019 Military Ball Sponsors:

  • Norwich University
  • Xcel Energy
  • Summit Midstream
  • Sons of the American Revolution
  • Mr. & Mrs. Bob Haines
  • Servitech
  • The Hanger Clinic
  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
  • Graf Engineering
  • DPS Pupil Assistance Fund
  • Daughters of 1812

DPS Teachers Recognized as Top Army JROTC Instructors

Two Denver Public School teachers were recently recognized as being the best in all of Army JROTC. In ceremonies at their schools presided by the Commander of 5th Brigade, United States Army Cadet Command, Major (R) Dennis Campbell from Thomas Jefferson H.S. received the Senior Army Instructor of the Year Award and First Sergeant (R) Paul Mahoney from John F. Kennedy H.S. was awarded the Army Instructor of the Year Award.



“Teamwork is one of the life lessons we learn in JROTC and being able to work with cadets from different schools was very powerful,”

Cadet Oscar Rodriguez from Lincoln High School, who served as team captain at the 2018 JROTC Fitness Nationals.

Why join JROTC?

Because of the self-discipline, leadership, time management and teamwork skills students learn in JROTC, studies have shown improved outcomes for students in success both in and upon graduation from high school!

Benefits include access to more scholarships, health benefits from physical fitness competitions and exercises, and skill development in areas like leadership, self-confidence, time management, teamwork, communications, personal fitness, career readiness with resume/interview lessons and self-discipline.

Which schools participate in JROTC?

DPS has 10 schools with JROTC programs:

West Early College
11th Battalion Logo

“JROTC has not only helped me plan for my future, but it has also taught me the value of being a responsible, strong leader,” - Ashley McCord, John F. Kennedy High School.

Students Celebrate Diversity and Leadership at 125th Military Banquet and Ball

More than 600 Denver JROTC students from 10 DPS schools attended the 125th annual Denver Military Banquet and Ball.


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Teams and Programs

Cadets have the option of joining a team to compete both in and out of state. Denver has some of the highest-ranked teams in the worldwide JROTC program! A detailed description of each team is available on our JROTC Teams page.

Color Guard
Air Rifle
Leadership & Academic Bowl

Success Factors

National Average for Schools National Average for JROTC Students
Attendance 90.29% 93.54%
Graduation 83% 93.98%
Unsatisfactory Behavior 5.2% 1.7%
Dropout Rate 8% Less than 1%
Grade Point Average (GPA) 2.72 2.91

*Research provided by the U.S. Army JROTC program,

If I participate in JROTC in high school, do I have to join the military when I graduate?

There is absolutely no obligation to join the military. JROTC is primarily a citizenship program– skills learned through JROTC help students earn college scholarships or get a job!

If a Cadet is interested in joining the military, those who eventually enlist in the Armed Forces often enter the services at a higher rank and pay than those who don’t participate in JROTC.

Who are “Cadets” in JROTC?

High school students enrolled in JROTC are called “Cadets.” Nationwide, there are approximately 314,000 Cadets enrolled in JROTC in over 1,700 high schools.

Who teaches the Cadets?

Retired U.S. Army instructors lead Cadets in classes and activities. There are more than 4,000 men and women who serve as JROTC instructors each year across the country!

Why should a student join JROTC?

There are many benefits to joining JROTC, such as:

  • Improved school performance: The self-discipline, leadership, time management and teamwork skills learned in JROTC can enhance a student’s performance in school.
  • Scholarships
  • Physical fitness
  • Skills: Significant improvements are typically made in the following areas:
    • Leadership
    • Self-Confidence
    • Time Management
    • Communications
    • Teamwork
    • Personal Finances
    • Career Readiness (resume/interviewing)
    • Concentration/Focus
    • Self-Discipline
  • Potentially higher enlisted rank if a cadet does enlist for the Armed Forces

What’s a JROTC class like?

It’s a high school class similar to any other class – students receive elective credits (typically Physical Education).

Do cadets wear uniforms?

Cadets are issued a military dress uniform at no cost. Cadets are required to wear the uniform at least once per week.

If I want to participate, do I have to start freshman year?

No. A high school student may enroll in JROTC anytime during high school – you do not have to do all four years!

Does it cost money to join JROTC?

No. All uniforms, textbooks and equipment are provided by the Army/school.

Does a student get academic credit for JROTC?

Yes. Students receive electives credit (typically Physical Education). Additionally, most programs offer an honors course.

Can a student earn college scholarships?

Yes. A variety of college ROTC scholarships are available. Participation in the JROTC program can also be valuable in earning non-ROTC scholarships.

How is JROTC a citizenship program? What does that mean?

JROTC is a congressionally-mandated program that’s one of the largest citizenship programs in the United States, serving as a character and leadership development program for our nation’s high school students. The program is jointly conducted through a partnership between the U.S. Department of Defense and our school district.

How do I get more information?

We invite you to reach out to your school’s JROTC program instructors and counselors for any questions regarding JROTC. Each of Denver’s JROTC programs has its own website where you can learn more:

“JROTC helps prepare students for life after high school in several ways, including its curriculum. Classes are taught in critical areas such as resume writing, money management, SAT/ACT prep and how to apply for scholarships,”

Lt. Col. Steve Osterholzer, DPS Director of Army Instruction