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Varsity Letter Program


Background. The Varsity Letter Program is intended to provide formal recognition of achievement within the Ponchatoula High School awards system. The MCJROTC Program is unique in that, unlike any athletic club program, it has many competitive teams within the basic organizational membership. Therefore, letters must be awarded on the basis of not only membership in the MCJROTC, but also on a degree of expertise achieved on at least one of the MCJROTC team. Additionally, while performance on a particular team  is of significant value in determining the earning of a MCJROTC letter, a solid academic performance is of equal importance.


Awards Program. The Varsity Awards Program is not intended to replace any other recognition program within the MCJROTC. A cadet’s dedication and superior performance may result in a number of forms of recognition. Promotions, ribbons, and medals are other ways of recognizing cadets for their involvement, participation, and performance. The Varsity Letter Program must stand-alone and should not be used in conjunction with any of the foregoing forms of recognition. Specifically, the awarding of a ribbon for a particular activity does not automatically result in earning a Letter in that same activity. As in any interscholastic program, the earning of the Letter identifies the individual as having shown a certain level of proficiency in that activity.


General Regulations. The following general regulations are intended to provide guidance in the administration of the MCJROTC Varsity Letter Program.

  1. Activities are determined to be Letter-earning if authorized by the Senior Marine Instructor and meet the following criteria:
    1. The activity is competitive and team-oriented.
    2. Team membership is open to all currently enrolled MCJROTC cadets. Team selection is based on demonstrated individual expertise, as determined by the MCJROTC Instructors and the Team Commander.
  2. The following MCJROTC activities are currently considered to be Letter-earning, subject to the criteria set forth in this instruction.
    1. Color Guard
    2. Drill Team (Armed and Unarmed)
    3. Physical Fitness Team
    4. Rifle Team – Not open to first year cadets until after marksmanship training.
    5. Academic Team and Tug-of-War Team. Due to the limited opportunities for competition with these teams, participation on them, in and of themselves does not constitute eligibility in the Varsity Letter Program. Cadets must letter in one of the above named teams in order to be awarded a patch for the Academic and Tug-of-War Teams.
  3. All cadets are encouraged to participate in the extra-curricular teams. Formal Team try-outs do not exist; however, cadets will be considered members of the team once they demonstrate the required skills AND can successfully perform in competitions.
  4. Each team will maintain attendance records to show each team member’s participation in the following:
    1. Routine required practices.
    2. General (non-competitive) performances.
    3. Award (competitive) performances.
  5. If a cadet possesses a Letter Jacket from another Ponchatoula High School activity, such as Band, Choir, Football, etc., that cadet may still earn the MCJROTC Letter-earning patch; however, the cadet will not be eligible for the Letter Jacket. The MCJROTC patch may be affixed to the cadet’s “other activity” letter jacket.


Individual Requirements. The following policies address those areas that affect each cadet’s individual eligibility for earning a Letter.

  1. A cadet may participate and qualify on more than one team in a school year.
  2. A cadet must be a member of a given team for at least two years to qualify for a Varsity Letter in that activity.
  3. A cadet must be enrolled in the MCJROTC for the entire school year in which the Letter is earned.
  4. A cadet must maintain a grade of “B” or higher in MCJROTC to qualify for any team Letter.
  5. A cadet must attend all required team practices. Excused absences are permitted only if requested ahead of time and approved by the team commander and instructor staff. Three unexcused absences from scheduled team practices shall be grounds for removal from the team and/or loss of eligibility to qualify for the Team Letter.
  6. A cadet must be a member of the team for the entire school year and participate in a minimum of 75% of all competitive performances, events, meets, and matches, as designated by the Senior Marine Instructor.
  7. A cadet who fails to report for a scheduled event without sufficient cause is subject to dismissal from the team and loss of Letter eligibility, regardless of all other eligibility requirements. Sufficient cause would include death in the family, serious illness, or other emergency determined by the instructor staff.
  8. Cadets are subject to the school’s “No pass – No play” policy, and will lose eligibility to participate and/or earn the Team Letter if academic standards are not met. Grades of all team members will be checked at the end of each semester to determine eligibility.


Team Competitive Requirements. Each team must compete in a minimum of three competitive events. The events must be interscholastic, inter-JROTC, or Junior Level competition. Competitive events may be in person or postal, such as postal rifle and academic matches.


Varsity Letter Jackets. Any cadet who earns a MCJROTC Varsity Letter under the criteria set forth in this instruction may purchase, at his/her own expense a MCJROTC Letter Jacket. The design and colors of such jackets will be standardized for the unit and approved by the Senior Marine Instructor. The unit, at no charge, will award MCJROTC Varsity Letter Jackets to those cadets who meet the following additional criteria:

A.     Must have been enrolled in MCJROTC for a minimum of three full years.

B.     Must have earned at least one MCJROTC Varsity Letter on the same team during each year of his/her enrollment. A total of three letters is required.

C.     Must have met the MCJROTC standards of conduct and personal appearance, and have maintained an “B” average in MCJROTC during his/her enrollment.

D.     Must have maintained a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of “2.0” or higher in all school subjects.


NOTE: A cadet can participate competitively on as many teams as he/she desires with the exception of the drill teams. A cadet can be on only one team – either Armed Drill Team or the Unarmed Drill Team