CPS Military Academies offer a unique high school option for highly motivated students, providing an academically rigorous curriculum with a focus on leadership and citizenship. Through mentoring, extracurricular activities, and a rigorous academic program, the JROTC program instills confidence for young men and women, a sense of belonging and purpose, access to a range of non-classroom activities and leadership skills that help students reach their full potential.
JROTC is supported by the Department of Defense (Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force). Each CPS military academy focuses on one branch of the military. The experienced teaching staff at each military academy is joined by a small team of retired military personnel who are branch-certified instructors, and who help to foster student success.
The Department of Defense established JROTC programs in 1916. Chicago Public Schools has offered JROTC programs since 1917.
CPS Department of JROTC Mission Statement
To be the national model of Junior ROTC programs by developing responsible cadet-leaders of character through high-quality instruction and enrichment opportunities that enable the development of the life skills, aspiration, and expectation to be college and career-ready.
Military Academies (6)
A CPS Military Academy/Service Leadership Academy is a college-prep high school with a full JROTC-program. The Military Academies are not “boot camps.” Students who enjoy a structured, academically challenging environment and want to work in collaborative teams are encouraged to apply.
Students are able to take Honors, AP, IB and Dual Enrollment/Dual Credit and general education courses in addition to their required JROTC Leadership courses.
Students wear uniforms based on the kind of Service Leadership Academy they attend (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines). All uniforms and shoes are provided by the Service Leadership Academy and the school pays for a certain number of dry-cleanings and alterations annually.
Students are offered a variety of leadership and service opportunities throughout the year (including summer opportunities) as well as participating in student clubs, programs, athletic teams and more!
- Air Force Academy High School
- Carver Military Academy
- Chicago Military Academy - Bronzeville
- Marine Leadership Academy (7-12)
- Phoenix Military Academy
- Rickover Naval Academy
Military Academy within a High School (1)
Traditional JROTC Programs (37)
The traditional JROTC program is housed within one of the 37 participating high schools and is a voluntary program. Students and parents/guardians who are interested in application/enrollment procedures can speak to their school counselor or the JROTC Senior Military Instructor within the participating high schools. Because this is a four-year program, interested students should make inquiries as eighth graders or as rising ninth graders.
Each year, students take two semesters of JROTC Leadership Courses: Leadership, Education & Training (LET) courses in grades 9-12. JROTC LET courses meet CPS’ physical education and health requirement. More importantly, the courses also help students develop leadership skills, sportsmanship, and self-awareness.
Early College and Career Credential (ECCC)
Students who complete all four years of JROTC and complete LET III & LET IV with a “C” or better earn the CPS ECCC Credential.
Each school’s JROTC program has a group of student leaders called Battalions. Leadership roles within the battalions include Lieutenant Colonels, Majors, Captains, Executive Officers, and Company Commanders. Battalions receive training from their peers each summer to plan for the year of activities. Battalions organize a variety of in and out-of-school activities including service learning projects and organize extra-curricular activities and outreach programs.