With the recent government shutdown, there have been problems within the Junior Reserves Officer Training Corps program due to the lack of federal funding. This has caused issues with acquiring and maintaining uniforms.
The program is one that is not talked about a lot throughout the community. The JROTC program is a federally-funded program with the mission to instill leadership, discipline and dedication to our nation through the armed forces.
“Part of our money comes from the federal government in terms of taking care of our uniforms, cleaning them, pressing them, getting new ones,” Col. Kevin Black said.
With the government currently prioritizing other issues and lacking organization, the funds have been delayed which has consequences for the uniforms.
“Well there is always a problem with size availability so even when the money is there sometimes there’s a backorder on certain sizes,” Black said.
While there are issues that JROTC cannot control, they are taking further steps into trying to help the situation.
“I have been doing some of the laundry at home at my house, trying to wash shirts, things like that. There’s some things that can’t be done, since they have to be dry cleaned but that is one thing that we are doing, just doing it on our own,” Black said.
JROTC recently participated in a competition Feb. 17 in Loveland, Colorado.
“The uniforms that we normally wear are not affected by the government shutdown but they’re just not ready in terms of alterations. This is an early competition so they’ll just wear the uniforms that we have for normal class time and so we’re okay. [It] won’t affect us,” Black said.
While the earlier tournaments will not be as affected by the scenario, unless the government starts to become more efficient, the effects will be apparent later on. Overall, the students are really the ones that could be affected here.
“Luckily most of the uniform fittings are done in the first semester, so the only students that it has really affected would be the students that joined the second semester. So it has only been a dozen or so students that are affected by it and I think most of the other students haven’t even noticed it,” Black said.