Jewish War Veterans Department of Illinois Begins Massive JROTC Program

By Dr. Jerry Field Post 710 Commander


Just three months ago, the Illinois JWV Posts assigned a small group of members to begin a massive program to undertake the management of the JWV JROTC program in Chicago.  The JROTC team consists of:  Dr. Jerry Field, Post 710 Cmdr. team leader; Robert F. Nussbaum, Dept. Cmdr.; Jeffery Sacks, Post 153 Cmdr.; Bruce Mayor, Post 54 Cmdr.:  and Howard Goldstein, Past Post 54 Cmdr.

Leading the group is Dr. Jerry Field, Commander, Chicago Lakeview Post 710 who had worked as a civilian resource for the JROTC and the Chicago Public Schools (CPS). He is familiar with the current Chicago JROTC command as well as the ROTC Chicago area Commander.

In just three weeks, the program was approved by Colonel Daniel Baggio, CPS commander of the 14 school unit with 11,000 JROTC cadets. All schools were contacted; more than a dozen schools welcomed the addition of the JWV program to their graduation ceremony and our participation in the JROTC Honors Award Program.  Most JROTC cadet units have their own graduation at a formal Military Ball.

One deserving cadet from each unit is awarded a Bronze Achievement Medal, the corresponding Bar Ribbon and two copies of the JWV certificate, one for the cadet to keep at home and another suitable for attaching to their college entrance applications.

At each Military Ball, a member of JWV Illinois is there to present the award. In detailing the parameters of the award, it is stressed that a Cadet does not have to be Jewish to merit the award. They are recommended by the Cadre Commander who forwards the pertinent information about the cadet, the unit and the Cadre Commander to Dr. Field.  This begins the process of printing the certificate and ordering the medal and ribbon.  The certificate, medal and bar ribbon are delivered to the JWV member who makes the presentation at the awards ceremony.

Six JROTC schools participated this year, and next year all 14 schools will participate in the program. The CPS System has one Navy, one Marine, ten Army units and two military academies.

JWV was instrumental in naming the Navy unit at Senn High School the Admiral Hyman Rickover Naval JROTC High School.

Illinois Commander Robert F. Nussbaum, said “this is another effort of behalf of the Illinois JWV to become more involved with our community, especially the military segment. We found that the program gives us an opportunity meet the parents of the Jewish cadets and ask them to join JWV. As a result of this opportunity, a couple of donors called Patrons joined JWV as they felt that the $50.00 annual membership dues was a good investment on behalf of their cadet.

The JROTC also participated in the annual dinner for the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) this year.

This is just one of several ways designed by our outreach committee to become more involved in our community.   In addition, the Department participates every year in several region-wide Jewish events.

Volume 72. Number 2. Summer 2018