JROTC seniors receive military scholarships

John Richmeier
The Leavenworth Times
David Redding, Jacob Smith and Jonas Ross are among the seniors in the Junior ROTC program at Leavenworth High School who have received military college scholarships.

Updated at 11:15 a.m. March 9, 2021, for clarity and with additional information.

So far this year, three seniors in the Junior ROTC program at Leavenworth High School have been awarded ROTC college scholarships and one other cadet has been accepted to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York.

The JROTC program at Leavenworth High School has 253 students this year including 51 seniors.

Jacob Smith, a senior in the program who will be going to West Point after graduation, said students in JROTC develop strong bonds.

Smith serves as the commander of the program’s Pioneer Battalion.

Jonas Ross, a senior in the program, said JROTC provides students with leadership opportunities.

“We let (the students) run the program,” said Kenneth Scillieri.

Scillieri is a retired major who serves as the senior Army instructor for the JROTC program at Leavenworth High School.

The program boasts being the oldest Junior ROTC unit in the country.

The program officially started in 1917. But prior to the establishment of the JROTC unit, the high school had a military science and tactics program that dated back to 1897.

“There’s a lot of history that we have to keep in mind and honor,” Smith said.

Ross said he joined JROTC as a freshman because he wanted to go to the Air Force Academy, and he thought the program would be beneficial.

Now a senior, Ross has been awarded an Army ROTC college scholarship, and he plans to attend Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Arizona.

David Redding said one of the reasons he joined JROTC his freshman year was to make new friends.

Now a senior, he has been awarded an ROTC college scholarship and plans to attend Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas.

Following his military service, Redding wants to be a high school math teacher.

Scillieri said another senior in JROTC, Amelia Rieper, also has been awarded an ROTC college scholarship. She plans to attend Kansas State University.

And the list of ROTC scholarships for JROTC cadets may still grow this year.

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