DPS JROTC to honor fallen soldiers for Veterans Day

Cadets comprise nearly one-fifth of district’s high school population; they will honor U.S. 102nd Colored Troops buried at Elmwood Historic Cemetery after the Civil War

More than 700 Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps students from 22 Detroit Public Schools high schools will pay tribute to the members of the U.S. 102nd Colored Troops who are buried at Elmwood Historic Cemetery in a Veterans Day ceremony at 10 a.m. Friday November 11.

Since 1920, Detroit Public Schools has a strong tradition of military participation among its high school students. The current Corps of Cadets consists of 3,735 students in 22 high schools, which is 17 percent of the district’s high school student population. DPS hosts 19 Army programs, two Air Force programs and one Navy program, the most in Michigan.

Participants will include Senators Debbie Stabenow, Hansen Clarke and Maureen Stapleton, Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh and other dignitaries as well as representatives from more than 20 military and veterans organizations, including Tuskegee Airmen, Detroit Veterans of Desert Storm and a 102nd re-enactment group.

The ceremony will honor 20 African American and Native American troops who were buried at Elmwood after the Civil War.

JROTC students in DPS have a higher average graduation rate than students in their home schools. They also have higher grade point averages, ACT and SAT scores and far lower rates of suspension and dropping out. They are under no obligation to join the military. JROTC simply uses proven military skills to help students develop and improve self-discipline, confidence, and pride in ways not usually offered in school.

Under the guidance of retired military personnel, DPS JROTC cadets receive classroom instruction in leadership, effective communication, conflict management, physical fitness and more. Their classes are combined with service learning projects and other activities geared at preparing students for college.

JROTC cadets are very active in their schools and communities, providing services such as Color Guard detail, drill teams, escorts for visiting dignitaries, and ushers for college and career fairs, concerts, dances, and other school and community activities. Cadets also participate in youth literacy programs, Red-Cross Blood Drives, and Toys for Tots.

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