In several of my college-related applications, it almost seems to me that my NJROTC experience proves much less acknowledged than I feel deserving. I am currently a Naval JROTC Battalion Commanding Officer. Based on my observations inside as well as outside my unit, an Junior ROTC unit Commanding Officer faces a greater number and greater variety of leadership situations, in such matters as motivating the team, planning, unraveling personnel issues, and helping with a team member’s personal problems, than does a class president or a sports team captain. (Not that a class president or a sports team captain does not face such issues.) I always thought my experience as an NJROTC Battalion CO would be a major boost in college applications. However, my encounters seem to show otherwise. Before I even started my college applications, I talked to a recent West Point graduate about my chances of making it to a Service Academy. When he asked about my leadership experience, I first named my NJROTC position as the Battalion Commanding Officer, assuming it would be a big hit. However, it wasn’t until I told him I was also a Captain of the Cross-Country Team did he say I have enough leadership experience on my résumé. At the interview for my Service Academy nomination, before my interviewers (Service Academy graduates who have retired as field-grade officers) called me into the room, I heard them discussing the strengths on my résumé. They pointed out to each other my academic standing, my position as Captain of the Cross-Country Team, and my LOA – but not a word about me being a Battalion Commanding Officer, not mentioning my finishing the NJROTC Leadership Academy ranking 1st out of over 130 select cadets from 5 states. A few weeks after that, at my AROTC Scholarship interview, I told the LTC who interviewed me about my leadership experience as the NJROTC Bn Commanding Officer and Cross-Country Team Captain. Then, on a form, the LTC wrote down my Cross-Country Team Captain position, and proceeded to ask me whether I held any position in a “student body, club, of any other organization.” I asked him, “Doesn’t me being the Battalion CO count? He said, “Well, I guess… Were you elected to this position?” Seeing a field-grade military officer sitting in front of me, I felt almost ridiculed by this question, but I explained to him in a natural tone I was “appointed” rather than “elected.” Then I was asked to clarify that my Senior Naval Science Instructor is a CDR, and my NSI a Senior Chief Petty Officer. It just seemed as if an elected position (like the President of the Class or of some Honor Society) would show more leadership ability to the interviewer than an appointed position. Wouldn’t he at least assume the NJROTC instructors, who are experienced military leaders, would appoint a cadet with strong leadership skills to lead the battalion? All the persons mentioned above are current or retired military officers, who understand it takes much to be the 1st in command of a military unit. If a military member does not adequately recognize the value of leadership experience in Junior ROTC, how would a civilian college admissions board member perceive its value? I am aware that "instructor-run, cadet-figurehead" JROTC units do exist, but aren't many of other school organizations or even sports teams much the same? I can’t help feeling that in college admissions, the value of JROTC leadership experience is underrated compared to positions in other organizations and on sports teams. My knowledge might be limited. My biggest question is: Why would people value leadership experience in school organizations, sports, or other things more than that in JROTC?