ROTC/JROTC Recognition Program

Program and Contest Information

The SAR awards the ROTC Medal to foster the principle of the “citizen-soldier”, exemplified by the Minutemen of Revolutionary War days. This award is presented by a chapter, a state society, or the National Society to ROTC or JROTC cadets who are selected for having a high degree of merit with respect to leadership qualities, military bearing and general excellence. The recipients are selected by the Commanding Officer of the ROTC or JROTC unit, who should be given full latitude in making the selection.

The SAR ROTC Medal is approved by the United States Army, the United States Navy, the United States Marine Corps, and the United States Air Force. Each service has notified its ROTC and JROTC units of this approval and has authorized presentation to its cadets or midshipmen.

For ROTC or JROTC units with fewer than 500 cadets or midshipmen one medal will be awarded each year. For larger units, one medal may be presented for each 500 students enrolled in the unit. In cases where a school has more than one ROTC or JROTC unit, each unit is counted separately. It is desirable to have a medal and ribbon bar on display in a trophy case at each school where it is presented. This will serve as an incentive to the students and publicize the SAR ROTC program as well.

The ROTC medal is struck on a circular planchet. The obverse shows a Minuteman holding a rifle and standing next to a plow, with the Liberty Bell in the background. It is inscribed with the letters “ROTC”. The reverse is inscribed “Awarded for Leadership, Soldierly Bearing and Excellence to _____________.”

The medal is suspended from a ribbon of the SAR Colors. A ribbon bar in the SAR colors is included and a certificate is available as well.

The Silver ROTC Medal is presented only to students in a college or university ROTC unit. No recipient may receive it more than once. No miniature medal is available. The medal was authorized in 1933.

The Bronze JROTC Medal was authorized in 1965, and is presented only to students in secondary school JROTC. No recipient may receive it more than once. No miniature medal is available.

The Enhanced JROTC Program

In 1997, President General Carl Hoffmann of the SAR authorized the enhancement of the JROTC program. Each SAR chapter will now select an Outstanding JROTC Cadet and enter that cadet into their State Society’s Outstanding JROTC Cadet program. The winner of the State competition will be entered into the National Outstanding JROTC Recognition program. The winner of the national program will receive a special award at the SAR’s National Congress.

The National SAR award is to be presented to the Outstanding Cadet in their next to last year of JROTC (a Third Year Cadet [11th grade] in a four year program). For a two year JROTC program, a Second Year Cadet may be selected.

Whenever possible, presentation will be made by a member of the SAR at the unit’s Spring Awards program.

The enhanced JROTC program has several objectives:

To identify and recognize Outstanding JROTC Cadets at the Chapter, State Society, and National Society levels. The program has been designed to allow all candidates to be evaluated equally, regardless of the Military Service they represent.

To encourage SAR members to make a personal presentation of the JROTC medal to Outstanding JROTC student in the nation

To encourage SAR chapters to work with JROTC units to determine how best to encourage and recognize these outstanding student citizens and therefore support this exceptional national youth program.

Timetable for the Contest

At the beginning of the school year each Chapter should contact the Senior or District Instructor of the local JROTC unit(s). Throughout the year the chapter should remain in contact with the administrators of the school and the JROTC unit, providing support for other programs and discussing plans for this program. The chapter should have the school administration, along with the instructors of the JROTC unit, evaluate candidates based on the criteria listed below and select one nominee for each JROTC unit (battalion, squadron, etc.). If the chapter supports several JROTC units, it should run a local contest to select the best cadet, since only one cadet per chapter may advance to the state competition. The chapter contest must have only SAR members as judges, and all contests should be administered using the guidelines listed below.

All State Society Contests must be completed and the National Contest entry packet must be forwarded to the NSSAR Executive Director to be in his office No later than May 1 each year. As soon as the Outstanding Cadet in the Nation is selected the Chapter sponsoring that cadet will be contacted so that it can coordinate the Cadet’s travel to the NSSAR Annual Congress.

Piedmont Chapter Contests must submit contest entry packet on or before 31 December.

The cadet will be flown to the NSSAR Congress to attend, receive his / her award, and be recognized by the National Society Sons of the American Revolution. The award will be the National JROTC Medallion and a check for $1000.00.

An additional amount, not to exceed $1,000.00, of expense money will be provided to pay for the combined travel, taxi to and from the airport, hotel and related meals for both the Cadet and his / her chaperone. Expenses in excess of the $1,000.00 will be the responsibility of the Cadet.

Selection Process

Selection criteria (primarily left up to the Senior Military Science Instructor) should include merit in patriotism, leadership, military bearing, scholarship and general excellence.

An application (Nomination form with attachments) should be completed by the Senior Military Science Instructor and forwarded to the local SAR contact on all nominees. The Nomination form is available for download below.

For the State contest each cadet must submit an original essay on the topic “How JROTC has prepared me to be a better citizen of the United States”. The essay may be done on a computer, typewriter, or by hand (in ink). This essay will also be used in the National contest. The Piedmont Chapter requires this essay of its contestants.

Awards at the Various Levels:

Each cadet chosen to win the award at the JROTC unit level will receive the SAR JROTC (Bronze) Medal.

If there is a Chapter contest (because there are several units in the Chapter’s area), the Outstanding Cadet of the SAR Chapter may receive a bronze star to wear on the medal ribbon drape, a bronze frame for the ribbon bar, and a bronze presentation medallion on a neck ribbon. The local chapter may also provide a nominal monetary award.

The Outstanding Cadet of the SAR State Society may receive a silver star to wear on the medal ribbon drape, a silver frame for the ribbon bar, and a silver presentation medallion on a neck ribbon. The state society may also provide a monetary award.

The Outstanding Cadet in the Nation will receive a gold star for the medal ribbon drape, a gold frame for the SAR ribbon bar, and a gold presentation medallion on a neck ribbon. As stated above, the National Society will provide a cash award of one thousand dollars ($1,000) and up to one thousand dollars in travel expense funds.