San Marcos Academy – Junior ROTC
San Marcos Academy 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 upper 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 more than 1600 schools today and to every state
in the nation as well as to American schools overseas. 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 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 “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.
Today participation in the Corps of Cadets, including enrollment in the Junior ROTC class, is required for
upper school boys who are U.S. citizens for one semester. Membership in the Corps of Cadets is available
on a voluntary basis to all upper 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.
- Military Awards Program: : At the end of the school year, a Military Awards Program is held
to recognize cadets for their achievements in the Corps of Cadets. This program is usually held
during graduation weekend.
Bear Battalion Teams
- Color Guard: The Color Guard consists of four members: an American Flag, Texas Flag, and
two guards. Our team presents or posts colors at different events such as football games, school
and community ceremonies, etc.
- Marksmanship Team: Cadets practice at the Rifle Range at Davidson Hall. The group will
compete at some meets during the year.
- Sabre Guard: This team is called upon to provide a formal introduction for participants
during special events. The Guard practices the week before they are scheduled for performance.
- Drill Team: The Armed Drill Team is an extremely disciplined group of dedicated cadets who
practice and perform silent rifle routines. The Armed Drill Team routines consist of a number of
uniform Manual of Arms moves and difficult spins that show the skill and strength of each cadet.
The team members use demilitarized Springfield rifles without slings that weigh 8.5 lbs.
- Physical Training (PT) Team: The PT Team competes at area meets, which are based on
performing push-ups, sit-ups and an 800 meter run. The team members train in order to achieve
high levels of physical fitness.
For more information about the Academy's Junior ROTC program, contact the Senior Army Instructor, LTC (R) Lenny Cianciotto, at