2020 JROTC Textbook Review Report
File format: PDF
Publisher: Project on Youth and Non-Military Opportunities (Project YANO)
Publication date: July 6, 2021
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The military-sponsored Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps program teaches its lessons to over 550,000 students in classrooms at approximately 3,400 high schools around the country (“Geographic and Demographic Representativeness of Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps,” Rand Corporation, 2017). (For information on funding of the program, see How JROTC Contributes to the School Funding Crisis.)
In recent years, the military and its supporters have been promoting the idea of a substantial increase in the number of high schools with JROTC—up to 6,000 in one proposal. In the context of this possible expansion of the program, Project YANO felt it was time to take a look at textbooks that are currently being used in JROTC classes. To accomplish this, a team of 15 volunteer reviewers was recruited. The reviewers have backgrounds in either classroom teaching or education activism, or special knowledge of subjects that JROTC claims to address in its curriculum (examples are U.S. and world history, geography, civil rights, violence prevention, sexual assault, leadership methods, etc.). The team included current and retired high school teachers, a documentary film producer, military veterans, and several educators with PhD credentials.
The bulk of this report consists of a compilation of selected excerpts from Army, Navy and Marine Corps JROTC textbooks, along with reviewer comments. Eleven textbooks were reviewed, three of which were being used by the Army in digital format for remote instruction during the pandemic-affected 2020-2021 school year.