BISHOP ADVOCATES FOR CAIRO JUNIOR ROTC PROGRAM
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) released the following statement today regarding the Cairo High School Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps Program:
“I am very pleased to announce that Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus has informed me that the NJROTC Program at Cairo High School will be reinstated. After the decision was made last year to discontinue the program, this is wonderful and welcome news that the Department of Defense and the Department of the Navy have reevaluated their decision. I’m grateful that the Navy and the Department of Defense took the time to listen to our concerns and am excited for the future of the NJROTC Program at Cairo High School.”
So far, the Cairo NJROTC program is the only one of 29 programs across the country scheduled to be discontinued this year that will be reinstated. Last year, 19 programs were shut down and no new NJROTC programs have been established in recent years.
The Superintendent of Schools for Grady County, Tommy Pharis, was also pleased with the reversal of the decision. “The Junior ROTC program is an integral part of our high school,” he said. “Serving about 10% of the entire student body, it meets the needs of a lot of our students. I want to thank Congressman Bishop and his staff for going to bat for us and working so that we can keep this program.”
The Cairo NJROTC program had been discontinued due to low enrollment in the 2010-2011 academic term. Since then, however, the program has enrolled over 100 cadets, exceeding the program requirement set out in the United States Code and Department of Defense Directives. After the NJROTC program received a denial of their initial request for reinstatement, Congressman Bishop corresponded with top Department of Defense and Department of the Navy officials strongly encouraging them to reconsider the decision. After a series of meetings over several months time, Congressman Bishop received the welcome news.
Located at Cairo High School, Congressman Bishop notes that the program finds fertile ground for assisting the U.S. Armed Forces grow leadership out of rural Georgia for a future in leadership positions.
“Junior ROTC programs have historically served as highly effective community outreach tools for the Department of Defense,” said Congressman Bishop. “They have allowed the United States Armed Forces to reach segments of our nation’s population that would otherwise be closed off. Maintaining the NJROTC program at Cairo High School will allow the Navy to continue to develop its ongoing lineage of leaders as diverse as the population they are entrusted to lead.”