32 CFR 542.5 - Policies.
(a) The Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps and the National Defense Cadet Corps programs are designed for physically fit citizens attending participating schools. They provide meaningful leadership instruction of benefit to the student and of value to the Armed Forces. The programs provide unique educational opportunities for young citizens through their participation in a Federally-sponsored course while pursuing a normal civilian education. Students will acquire:
(1) An understanding of the fundamental concept of leadership, military art and science,
(2) An introduction to related professional knowledge, and
(3) An appreciation of requirements for national security. The dual roles of citizen/soldier and soldier/citizen are studied.
(b) Participants in either of the programs will acquire relevant knowledge and develop personally. Schools conducting these programs will offer their students the challenge of intellectual inquiry under the direction of instructors who are experienced leaders. (JROTC instructors are active duty or retired members of the US Army. NDCC schools may employ retired or Reserve members.) These programs provide an atmosphere designed to develop the qualities of leadership. Through classroom and other activities, the students will acquire the knowledge, self-discipline, patriotism, sense of responsibility, and responsiveness to constituted authority which will better prepare them for the future. These programs will enable cadets to better serve their country as leaders, as citizens, and in military service should they enter it.
(c) The programs were set up as part of the National Defense Act of 1916. The principle of maintaining national programs of training for the young citizens attending school was validated during congressional hearings preceding passage of the ROTC Vitalization Act of 1964. The JROTC and NDCC are not, of themselves, officer-producing programs but should create favorable attitudes and impressions toward the Services and toward careers in the Armed Forces. JROTC/NDCC cadets may qualify for an advantageous position in the Senior ROTC and for a higher pay grade upon enlistment in a Regular or Reserve component of the Armed Forces.
(d) Participation in JROTC/NDCC does not obligate the student to perform military or any other Federal service. Although all qualified students of JROTC/NDCC host schools are encouraged to take part in these programs, they are not required by Federal law to do so. State, community, or school authorities decree whether students must be in the programs.