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JROTC History (unofficial)


History of ROTC at LHS

     ROTC at Leavenworth High School has the distinction of being the oldest junior ROTC program in the Nation. The program dates back to 1897 when an officer from Fort Leavenworth presented military training at the high school five days a week for one hour each day. Broomsticks were used as drill rifles and students were taught close order drill in the hallways. On January 29, 1917, War Department Bulletin #6, named Leavenworth High School as an infantry unit of the Junior ROTC division.

     In 1912, an all female cadet company was formed. This was a very unusual unit as the woman's army corps had not yet come into existance. This is the earliest known all female unit in the nation. However, the unit lasted only three or four years. Today, over 40% of the cadets in the ROTC program are female.

     In 1961, an ROTC ranger platoon was organized. This is the first known Junior ROTC ranger program in the nation. The Ranger activities were rugged and strenuous. In 1990, the cadet ranger program was again implemented.

     Much has happened since our humble beginning in 1897, where a week long hike and the Cadet Hop were the main events. The special teams now include two Honor Guards; The Color Guard; A nationally ranked Rifle Team; A Drum and Bugle Corps; a Cadet Chorus; and the Cadet Rangers. Special events include the annual Veteran's Day Parade, the ROTC Assembly, the Officer's Dining In, Formal Retreat Ceremony, NRA State and Regional Rifle Matches; Pioneer Invitational Drill Meet, Military Ball and finally the Awards Night. From a part-time officer from Fort Leavenworth, we now have a professional staff of one officer and three senior enlisted instructors.