MOAA Junior ROTC (JROTC)/ROTC medals are used to recognize an outstanding cadet or midshipman in his or her next-to-last year in the program who has demonstrated exceptional potential for military leadership (exceptional academic achievement in the case of the Marine Corps JROTC [MCJROTC] program.) The medal cannot be used for any other purpose. All military services officially have approved the medal for presentation.
The presentation of an MOAA ROTC/JROTC medal and certificate (there are distinct certificates for the ROTC and JROTC award) is an excellent way for chapters to gain exposure in their community and, at the same time, foster a positive military recognition among the youth of the community. Accordingly, it has always been the desire of national MOAA that the medals are awarded by a local chapter and not the national organization. The program, however, is entirely voluntary, and no chapter is obligated to give awards.
The typical award consists of a red, white, and blue ribbon 13/8 inches wide with a bronze disc pendant 15/8 inches in diameter and a matching service ribbon (these items are in a presentation case) and also a certificate of presentation and folder.
To be eligible for an award, a candidate must
- be in the next-to-last year of an ROTC or JROTC program;
- be in good academic standing;
- be of high moral character;
- demonstrate a high degree of loyalty to the unit, school, and country; and
- demonstrate exceptional potential for military leadership.
Eligibility requirements for MCJROTC are a little different. A candidate must
- be in the upper 10 percent of his or her high school class;
- have an A average in MCJROTC academic subjects;
- be assigned to a cadet “officer” billet; and
- be nominated in the junior year.
No more than one award may be presented each year in any one JROTC or ROTC unit; no individual is eligible to receive the award more than once. The recipient is to be selected by the individual’s unit commander, who will coordinate the selection and presentation with the local MOAA chapter.
A MOAA chapter sponsoring one or more schools can obtain medals and certificates by purchasing them online through the MOAA Store. It is recommended that each chapter only purchase the number of medals actually needed for a given year. For inventory purposes, chapters are asked not to stockpile the medals.
In the event there is no MOAA chapter in the vicinity of a ROTC/JROTC unit, or the nearest chapter is not able to sponsor the award, a unit commander may purchase a medal and certificate from national MOAA through the MOAA Store. If a local chapter does not sponsor the award, the unit commander can designate a person, preferably a member of MOAA from the local area, to make the presentation.