Coast Guard Expands National JROTC Program

The U.S. Coast Guard on Jan. 25 announced that it is establishing four new Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps units for the coming school year including, for the first time, one on the West Coast.

The four new units will increase the national total from six to 10. The new units are to be located at:

  • Mission Bay High School in San Diego
  • Aspira Business and Finance High School in Chicago
  • Saraland High School in Saraland, Ala.
  • Clinton High School in Clinton, Miss.

According to the Coast Guard, the addition of the four JROTC units is the largest expansion in the program’s history, and the first time the Coast Guard will establish more than two of the units in a single year.

The Coast Guard established the JROTC program in 1989 at the MAST Academy in Miami. The program currently includes about 500 cadets across six high schools in the states of Delaware, North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida.

“Adding these JROTC units in four additional states demonstrates the nationwide impact of our JROTC program,” said Rear Admiral Megan Dean, director of governmental and public affairs.

To participate in JROTC, students must be in grades 9-12, with some exceptions for eighth graders. They must be citizens, nationals of the U.S. or those lawfully admitted to the country for permanent residence. Cadets must maintain physical fitness, academic and personal conduct standards.

The National Defense Authorization Act 2023 provided specific direction for the program’s future—the Coast Guard must establish and maintain at all times a JROTC unit in every Coast Guard District by Dec. 31, 2025.

The six JROTC units are currently located in only two of the Coast Guard’s nine Districts, with this year’s expansion adding three for a total of five Districts with active units. More information about the JROTC program is available at