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Congress established the Junior ROTC under the National Defense Act of 1916. Certain requirements as stipulated by Congress under U.S. Code: Title 10, Section 2031 must be satisfied in order to participate in a JROTC program.

The criteria for determining eligibility to participate in MCJROTC are:

1. High school enrollment
2. Citizenship
3. Physical fitness

High School Enrollment
In order to participate in MCJROTC, you must be enrolled in and attending a regular course of instruction in a high school where a MCJROTC unit is located. You may not attend one high school and participate in the MCJROTC program of another high school.

Students enrolled in the MCJROTC program must be in one of the following three citizenship categories:

1. Citizens of the United States
2. Nationals of the United States
3. Aliens lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence

A citizen is a person who is born in a country or who chooses to become a member of a country according to its laws. Citizens owe allegiance to their government, which in turn grants them rights and privileges of citizenship. Your rights as citizens are guaranteed under the Fourteenth Amendment, which clearly states that birth and naturalization are the two ways to become a citizen of the United States.
Technically, citizenship by birth is possible in one of two ways: jus soli, the “law of the soil,” meaning those who are born in the United States, or jus sanguinis, the “law of the blood.” For example, although many military family members are born outside the jurisdiction of the United States through the “law of the blood,” they are considered citizens.

Citizenship by naturalization occurs when an individual who was not born in the United States voluntarily chooses to become a citizen of the United States. Those who wish to become naturalized citizens must give up (renounce) their citizenship to their former country and swear an oath of allegiance to the Constitution and laws of the United States. “National” is applied to a person who is a citizen of a nation, but lives abroad. To be eligible for participation in the MCJROTC program, a student who falls into this category would have to be a national of the United States. An alien is a foreign-born resident who has not been naturalized and is still a subject or citizen of a foreign country. To meet the requirements for MCJROTC, aliens have to be lawfully admitted to the United States and applying for permanent residence.
These requirements for citizenship are in keeping with a primary purpose of MCJROTC. Remember, a purpose of JROTC as prescribed by Congress is to instill values of citizenship, service to the United States, personal responsibility, and a sense of accomplishment.

Physical Fitness
Participation in the MCJROTC also requires that students meet health and physical standards. The Semper Fit Fitness Program is the MCJROTC physical fitness program conducted throughout the school year. Cadets must have current school physical evaluations certifying that they are physically fit for participation in the program. The Semper Fit Fitness program focuses on more than just the physical fitness training aspect; it also provides wellness training to include good nutrition and stress reduction.
Are you interested in joining a Marine Corps JROTC unit? If so, then refer to the information links below for additional information about the Marine Corps JROTC program.

Still have questions? 
Click Here to learn the answers to some of our Frequently Asked Questions.
Click here to learn more about our Marine Corps JROTC cadets.
Click here to learn more about Marine Corps JROTC activities.
Click here to find a Marine Corps JROTC unit near you.