February 2021 Update: Council and chapter leaders received an emailed message from MOAA President and CEO Lt. Gen. Dana T. Atkins, USAF (Ret), regarding changes to the 2021 ROTC/JROTC awards program. Click here to read the message; scroll down for full program details.
The MOAA Junior ROTC (JROTC)/ROTC awards program recognizes 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 (Please note: The medal is not available at this time).
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.
Certificates and Awards
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 customize and print a certificate using the links above. 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.
First of all, thank you for your unrelenting dedication to our organization during the ongoing pandemic. I continue to be impressed by your creative ideas to remain connected to your members, the ease by which many of you have transitioned to virtual meetings, and, importantly, the impressive ways in which you continue to seamlessly serve your communities during these challenging times.
I know many of you have already started preparations to recognize students in your local area through the MOAA ROTC/JROTC Awards Program, an important honor for deserving young cadets, midshipmen, and their families, and one of the most visible ways for chapters to participate in their local communities.
Unfortunately, this year, due to supply chain challenges beyond our control, we are unable to provide medals or printed award certificates to chapters in time for Spring presentations. Instead, chapters should customize and print digital certificates for ROTC and JROTC presentation purposes. We fully expect to resolve the current situation and have an adequate supply of medals by early Fall. At that time, chapters will be able to order medals to award retroactively if desired, as well as place orders for the next school year.
Please be assured that the MOAA national staff explored and pursued every possibility to have medals available for you this school year and I regret we were unable to do so. I share in your disappointment. Thank you for your understanding and your dedication to the ROTC/JROTC Awards Program and to “Never Stop Serving.”
Lt. Gen. Dana T. Atkins, USAF (Ret)