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San Marcos Academy

San Marcos Academy – Junior ROTC

Leadership Camp 2017
Leadership Camp  

The SMA JROTC Department will be conducting its 2017 Leadership Camp March 29 through April 2.

This five-day course is offered to current JROTC cadets as well as those interested in participating in JROTC next year.

The application and fee are due by March 22.

Click here to download the Leadership Camp Invitation and Application Packet

Call the JROTC Office at 512-753-8071 for any questions about Leadership Camp.
SMA Junior ROTC Mascot
San Marcos Academy is a co-educational, college prep school for grades 7 through 12. Founded in 1907, it is one of the oldest boarding schools in Texas. SMA has a strong military connection which dates back to the World War I era, when the school was granted a Junior ROTC unit. The Academy requires all American high school boys to participate in the Junior ROTC program during their first semester of attendance. Other than this requirement, participation in Junior ROTC is voluntary for both boys and girls. The San Marcos Academy Junior ROTC program is affiliated with the United States Army and is designated as an Honor Unit with Distinction.

History of Army Junior ROTC

The United States Army Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps, Junior ROTC, came into being with the passage of the National Defense Act of 1916. Junior ROTC is a continuing success story. From a modest beginning of 6 units in 1916, Junior ROTC has expanded to 1645 schools today and to every state in the nation as well as to American schools overseas. Cadet enrollment has grown to 281,000 cadets with 4,000 professional instructors in the classrooms. Comprised solely of active duty Army retirees, the Junior ROTC instructors serve as mentors developing the outstanding young citizens.

Purpose of Junior ROTC

The purpose of the Army Junior Junior ROTC is to teach students character education, academic achievement, wellness, leadership, and diversity. It is a cooperative effort between the Army and the high schools to produce successful students and citizens, while fostering in each school a more constructive and disciplined learning environment.

Goals of Junior ROTC

  • To develop students who act with integrity and personal accountability as they lead others to succeed in a diverse and global workforce
  • To encourage students to engage with civic and social concerns in the community, government, and society
  • To graduate young men and women who are prepared to excel in post-secondary options and career pathways
  • To teach young men and women to make sound decisions that promote positive social, emotional and physical health
  • To instill an understanding of the military’s role in our history so as to promote value of the role of the military and other service organizations

San Marcos Junior ROTC Bear Battalion

San Marcos Academy launched its program of military training in 1917. The United States granted the Academy a Junior Unit of the Reserve Officers Training Corps that year. Immediately, the uniform and the discipline of military life became part of the life of the students of San Marcos Academy, instilling self-discipline, patriotism, leadership, and responsibility.

The Academy's Junior ROTC Program has been designated an &ldquo:Honor Unit With Distinction” by Headquarters, Fourth Region, U.S. Army ROTC Cadet Command, Fort Lewis, Washington. This designation is the highest rating available to a Junior ROTC unit and represents the top Junior ROTC programs within the United States. The Academy's military program has been approved by the United States Attorney General for students of foreign countries.

In 2004, San Marcos Academy altered the scope of its military program, which for the previous 87 years had required mandatory participation by all male students in the Corps of Cadets. Today participation in the Corps of Cadets, including enrollment in the Junior ROTC class, is required for high school boys who are U.S. citizens in their first semester only. Membership in the Corps of Cadets is available on a voluntary basis to other high school students, including females and international students, who choose to participate.

Those students participating in the Corps of Cadets are issued a military uniform as well as BDU/ACU uniform to wear on designated Mondays. Cadets also are required to participate in a Leadership Lab on Monday afternoons from 3:50-4:50 p.m.

Traditions of the Junior ROTC Bear Battalion

Dining Out: The Junior ROTC Dining Out is an annual formal event for the Bear Battalion. It gives our young people the opportunity to enjoy and appropriately interact with their peers in a formal setting. The Dining Out is a long-standing military tradition which is intended to enhance the camaraderie among a unit's members. Attendance at the Dining Out is mandatory for all Junior ROTC cadets.

The Dining Out begins with a receiving line and includes all members of the Corps and their invited guests only. Each year, a distinguished speaker is selected to address those in attendance at the banquet.

Parent Day Promotion Ceremonies: During the Fall and Spring Parent Days, the Bear Battalion presents a modified military review and promotion ceremony. Parents and family members are invited to view these ceremonies, which are followed by company-level promotion ceremonies.

Final Review: A graduation-week tradition for the Corps is the Final Review, held the night before Commencement. All cadets perform a full military review with a designated reviewer of the troops. Awards are also presented to deserving cadets. At the end of the review, the senior cadets fall out and form a line on the field while the underclassmen take their places of leadership and march by the seniors. At the end of the night, the senior cadets toss their caps into the air, symbolizing the end of their Junior ROTC experience.

For more information about the Academy's Junior ROTC program, contact the Senior Army Instructor, LTC (R) Pat Leslie, at

2801 Ranch Road 12 | San Marcos, Texas, 78666 |Tel: 512.353.2400