Unclear future for ROTC program

Grant Rayfield

This year at Issaquah Salmon Days, Liberty’s ROTC program hosted the flag ceremony alone. The Issaquah High School ROTC program previously shared this role with Liberty, but this responsibility fell entirely onto Liberty’s shoulders when Issaquah’s ROTC program was cut last year. Enrollment in ROTC had dropped over the past few years, leading to a loss of support from their military sponsor group.

“If you don’t have ten percent of the school’s enrollment… [or] at least one hundred people in your unit, they’re going to close your unit,” ROTC leader Vica Hoffman said.

Issaquah’s ROTC program is not the only one at risk; many other school’s programs, Liberty’s included, are also suffering from a lack of enrollment.

“Everyone’s nervous about making all the numbers [of students enrolled],” Hoffman said.

Liberty’s ROTC has put in a lot of effort in the hopes of increasing its enrollment lately, including Basic Leadership Training, a boot camp for the new cadets run by the juniors and seniors in the program.

“Next year there will be a program,” Hoffman said.

But just like any other elective, club, or extracurricular program, there is a risk that it may be cut in the future if the schedule is changed to six periods.