JROTC Program Overview

The mission of JROTC is “to motivate young people to be better citizens.”  This is accomplished through a systematic progression of learning focused on citizenship, leadership, personal responsibility, and service to the school and community. 

The purpose of JROTC is to:

  • prepare high school students for responsible leadership roles
  • teach active participation by making them aware of their rights, responsibilities and privileges as Americans. 
  • enhance patriotism and encourage students to serve their country and community as informed, participating citizens, and as leaders within their chosen profession.  

There is absolutely no obligation associated with JROTC.


The JROTC curriculum is designed to develop student growth in the areas of leadership, personal responsibility, citizen and service. The instructors combine theory and practice to enhance the students’ experience. The coursework intentionally progresses through grades 9-12 so that students have the opportunity to model, lead, and teach their peers. This class meets every other day, pairing with Phy-Ed in 9th grade and Study Hall in grades 10-12.

JROTC is a four-year, coeducational program that is offered as an elective course each trimester. It is open to all students.  Students who enroll in JROTC will attend class three days each week.  9th graders will take the JROTC physical education class the remaining two days, while the upper classes take a study period on those days. Four years of JROTC will fulfill all health and physical education requirements.

To find out more about our course options and class details, download the JROTC curriculum. 

What We Are All About

The Junior Reserve Officers' Corps (JROTC) is a very important and unique part of Cretin-Derham Hall. The program had its beginnings in 1917 when Brother Justinus Elzear added JROTC to the school's curriculum. The tradition of excellence that began 91 years ago continues today as CDH enjoys an unprecedented 87th consecutive year as an Honor Unit with Distinction.

The purpose of JROTC is leadership development. The military model used in JROTC (drill and ceremonies, promotion system, awards program, organizational structure, and uniform) provides an effective framework for the study, application and evaluation of leadership.  Students study leadership in the classroom and apply this knowledge in a leadership laboratory each week. Not every student aspires to lead; however, every student can benefit from the study of leadership.
JROTC emphasizes personal appearance. The JROTC uniform is worn instead of the school uniform one day per week for leadership lab.  At the beginning of each school year students are issued a complete uniform at no cost (coat, trousers/slacks, shirt/blouse, shoes, socks, belt, uniform accessories, and hat).  Students who prefer the JROTC uniform to the school uniform may receive an additional uniform for a fee of $25.00. This enables them to wear the JROTC uniform up to five days each week.
As a member of the JROTC you join an organization with an established national reputation. It is the largest service organization at Cretin-Derham Hall. Typically, our students perform as many as 100 group service activities for the school and the community each year. The CDH JROTC hosts the largest comprehensive, joint service (Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine) competition in the Upper Midwest, known as the Upper Midwest JROTC Challenge.

Other activities sponsored by the JROTC include: 

  • Camp Ripley and Afton State Park encampments
  • the Dining-In and Military Ball
  • the Fall Review and Twilight Parade
  • the Camp Wilderness JROTC Cadet Leadership Challenge 

Official visitors routinely remark that the CDH JROTC Program is the most active they have seen.  Students are encouraged to customize the JROTC at CDH by selecting the activities that satisfy their individual needs and interests. Most activities are optional.

For additional information about the JROTC program you are invited to visit our office at Cretin-Derham Hall, or call 651-696-3350 or contact one of our faculty in the staff directory.