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Waltz, Houlahan Introduce Bill to Protect JROTC Programs

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  On Friday, U.S. Congressmen Mike Waltz (FL-06) and Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan (PA-06) introduced bipartisan legislation in the House to help keep more Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) programs open and grow the program nationwide.

“Our JROTC programs help promote civic participation amongst our youth and help address the recruitment shortfalls our military faces today,” said Waltz. “Currently, there are 3,499 JROTC programs operating across America, which is far below the Congressionally authorized limit. Our bill would lower the threshold for the number of students needed to maintain a JROTC program at schools from 100 to 50 students, and therefore, increase the number of programs across the country. The more programs available to students, no matter their size, the better. That’s why I am proud to work with my colleague, Congresswoman Houlahan, to protect and expand this important steppingstone for young Americans interested in serving our great nation.”

“When 23% of Air Force JROTC programs aren’t meeting cadet enrollment requirements, it’s pretty clear the status quo isn’t working,” said Houlahan. “As a veteran and former teacher, I was truly upset when I heard the news about the Phoenixville Air Force JROTC program closure. But as our representative in Congress, I was also resolved to do something about it. This bipartisan bill is a direct result of students, parents, educators, and our community leaders making their voices heard – I want to thank them for standing up for a program that deserves all of our support. I also want to thank my colleague Rep. Waltz for his leadership. It’s my sincere hope that the Air Force listens to our request and keeps this program and others open while Congress addresses additional ways to support cadets, instructors, and schools.”


According to U.S. Army enlistment data from FY19-21, 44% of Regular Army enlistments came from schools with a DoD JROTC program; of these, 21% came from schools with an Army JROTC program. According to the U.S. Air Force, approximately 22% of students graduating high school with AFJROTC experience choose to pursue active-duty Air Force service.

Section 2031 of Title 10 requires that a JROTC program’s minimum enrollment be at least 10% of the total number of students enrolled at a school, or 100 students, whichever is less.  The Preserving JROTC Programs Act would reduce the minimum threshold to 50 students.