“In order to be effective, leadership must be nurtured and matured through instruction and hands-on application.”
Written By: Admiral Farragut Academy Naval Science Instructor 1stSgt David Worthy, United States Marine Corps
The importance of leadership fundamentals
Believe it or not, our youth of today are already leading! Whether it’s leading a group of friends on an athletic field or siblings at home, leadership is inherent in everyone. However, in order to be effective, leadership must be nurtured and matured through instruction and hands-on application.
One of the major reasons leadership education is so dynamic is because it helps young men and women see and apply their potential. It gives them the opportunity to work within a secure “test tube” where success or mistakes can be made, explained, and learned from.
Leadership impacts decision-making
Let’s be honest, the average high school student is making adult choices much earlier in life — from whether to use alcohol or drugs to what college to attend or career to pursue. While some of these decisions will affect them immediately, most will affect them for the rest of their lives.
Through leadership education, students first lead themselves, and then their peers. This is no small task, but the dynamics of leadership education provide a place to try out their ideas and strategies without fear. Their ideas can be “acid-tested” for validity, thus sharpening their awareness and strengthening their development.
Practicing leadership in a safe environment
Student leaders can forge their experimental leadership in a safe environment while honing their skills in such a way that they are prepared for the next level of their education and life. They gain the tools and skills that make them effective in college, which often follows them into the military or business world.
Look at some of the world’s foremost thinkers and leaders today. They are vibrant, intelligent individuals who know how impactful their leadership can be to the classroom, college dorm, or entire organization. If you track their steps and ask them, you will find that leadership education was the major reason for their success.
JROTC builds leadership
It stands to reason that youth who’ve had leadership education are more attuned to their personal and professional responsibilities. They make good citizens, and they require extraordinarily little guidance in their day-to-day routines of study and life management.
The Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (JROTC) program is a leadership-based program that supports all facets of the student’s life, from academics to athletics. Leadership skills are transferable; If a student can lead themself in getting out of bed and preparing for their day, they can also lead their peers in making quality choices.
Students, parents, coaches, and administrators must select and invest in leadership education because, in today’s changing climate, it is a premium. Colleges, universities, and organizations look for students with leadership education.
Leadership education is life-changing
Leadership education serves us all. It provides the decision-making and life skills a young person going into adulthood needs. It serves our schools, colleges, and organizations by presenting strong minds that will make a positive mark on our world. It ensures that we will have quality leaders for generations to come, making our world an even better place.
I am a product of the JROTC program. Without this program, I may very well have been just another student who fell through the cracks. However, because of the JROTC program, I was set on a course that ensured success in every area of my life. The practical skills that I discovered through the JROTC program continue with me today.