Why ROTC Should Not Be Mandatory in Senior High School

The Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) is a group of college- and university-based officer-training programs for training commissioned officers of the United States Armed Forces. In the work "Senior High School: Why ROTC Should Not Be Mandatory Essay" we will talk about military training for students in High School.

The NSTP Law requires first year college students to complete one component of NSTP whether it may be Civic Welfare Training Service (CWTS), Literacy Training Service (LTS), or Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC), as a requirement for graduation. Although it can be manageable, I find it very hassle to participate in this mandatory requirement especially the ROTC program. Somebody may be fond of it but not everyone would like to be militarized. Now, the implementation of mandatory ROTC in senior high school is being entertained by the government. It all started because of one of the statements in the SONA of the current president Duterte stating that the ROTC program should be strengthen. There are some points that I would like to emphasize as to why it should not be implemented in senior high school.

In ROTC, there is always a commanding officer needed to give orders to the cadets. There are rankings of cadets and several positions are assigned. It is not unusual to have a strict or an opportunist officer in change. They sometimes abuse their authority and tend to carry this attitude even when not during the said program. Also, officers may sometimes go overboard when commanding. It discourages the lower rank cadets when they are being embarrassed in terms of physical capabilities.

In this connection, opportunist officers use their authority or rank to belittle their subordinates and may end up physically abusing them. It encourages violence and dominance over other students in any aspects. According to a news article in Rappler, there is case in a school in Dumangas, Iloilo where a ROTC cadet was allegedly killed by a fellow student. This student was branded as the ROTC commander of the victim. According to the investigation, the victim suspected that this ROTC commander stole his wallet. The report said that the victim was hit by a metal pipe on his head. Although the Armed Forces of the Philippines said this has no relation with the ROTC program, I argue that this program promotes bossism. It is not advisable to let minor students of high school be exposed to this.

In terms of artillery and manpower, Philippines is surely behind compared to other Asian countries such as Japan, North and South Korea, and China. The mandatory ROTC program gives the idea to the students that there will be an upcoming war. It instills the thought to the minor students to prepare to fight another country when in fact we are not at war. These young students don’t need to be bothered or be under the pressure of becoming the country’s first baseline of defense in case of war. It removes the right of the students who have the free will to choose not to join the military. Students should be able to choose if they want to serve in the army or not.

As I have stated before, I find it very hassle and conflicting for a college student’s schedule to be participating on a ROTC program. But I am much more against in the implementation of this program in Grades 11 and 12. It is more suitable to let a more mature youth handle and be faced with this obligatory service. Again, students should have a say to what they want to and to not be forced in choosing to participate in a ROTC program. Anyone can show patriotism in many other ways. Being obligated to serve in the army in case of war do not really define your love for the country and the government should be aware of that. True love is not enforced.

16 December 2021
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