JHS JROTC invites President and others to 100th Anniversary celebration

The Joplin High School JROTC will celebrate its 100th Anniversary with a parade, open house and formal dinner on Saturday March 30th, 2019. To help mark the occasion, the students have invited the entire chain of command, up to and including.. the Commander in Chief, President Trump. They have also invited all elected representatives of the Joplin area from the local to federal levels and military supporter Toby Keith.

Lt. Col. Joshua Reitz says the initial response from the President’s Office was negative, so the students suggested that they leverage social media to gain his attention. They created a video and posted it to their social media page.

The parade is free and will be from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in front of the High School. The open house will follow from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

The formal dinner requires tickets and is at 6:00 p.m. at the Joplin High School. You can get tickets here.

The Military Ball at the High School is reserved for students only (per the rules of the school district), but there will be an after party for the adults at the VFW Post 534.

The Joplin High School JROTC shared the following information as part of the event:

Some history:
The Joplin HS JROTC program is among the oldest in the nation – it may be the oldest /continuous/ program in existence.

In 1916, Congress passed the National Defense Act authorizing the JROTC program. On 28-Jan-1917, Ft. Leavenworth converted its long-standing (1897) HS military program into the first JROTC program in the nation. Shortly, after, due to the War, Ft. Leavenworth shuttered the program until November of 1919.

On 28-Nov-1918, the Army formally established the Joplin JROTC program, according to one unverified record at HQ, US Army Cadet Command.

Joplin School Board records from March 27, 1919 state that the Army formally approved our request to become a JROTC program. In an effort to be as accurate as possible, we are using the record we can verify as our anniversary date.

Regardless of which date on which you choose to hang your hat, the Joplin program has affected thousands of families and countless members of our community over the one-hundred years of its existence.

We encourage you to join us this coming Spring in celebrating this part of our community’s history.