JROTC/Sea Cadets vs Varsity Sports


5-Year Member
Aug 5, 2015
Son is taking very tough academic load all AP-Pre/AP classes. Participates sports and he will move up to JV as a 10th grader then move to varsity as an 11th and 12th grader in football. He will run varsity track and runs AAU track as well as a freshman. His school has JROTC but he did not take it this year, there is not enough room in his schedule to participate in sports and JROTC. If he did take JROTC he would have to attend summer school just to make up for the missed 7th period. ROTC and athletics in Texas is considered a PE course. So JROTC is not an option to keep up with his rigorous academic STEM endorsement.

JV/Varsity athletics is very time consuming with games and practices after school as well as the team community service projects. He is very active in church youth.

There is a CAP and a Sea Cadet unit in our area that may be an option for other ECA.

How much consideration is weighed on varsity sports involvement vs. CAP/Sea Cadets/JROTC?

I pulled the class 2021 profile and only 17% participated in Sea Cadets/CAP/JROTC.

We have always been told USNA/USMA/USAFA all want past athletes.

Any input on ECA such as Demolays and Fellowship of Christian Athletes is appreciated as well.

To participate on a level athletically to be an impact player there seems to be no time for CAP/Sea Cadets and keep up the academic rigors needed to meet the academy's academic requirements.
The best advice I can give is to let your son do the things that he is passionate about and do them well. It sounds like sports and classes keep him busy. We are in Texas as well and an extra Non AP/Pre-AP course will hurt his application in terms of class rank more than JROTC will help. Do not look at this as having to check every box exercise.

ECAs are similar. It is more important to do a few well and demonstrate that he is a leader than having a listing of 20 that he showed up to.
Thanks for all the replies. I saw where it was over 90% who were varsity athletes for the class of 2021.

I was really concerned that my son was missing out if he did not participate in sea cadets or CAP.

I won’t worry too much now. I think he will concentrate on mastering academics and varsity athletics.
The best advice I can give is to let your son do the things that he is passionate about and do them well.
+1 ...This applies to all candidates ....No one should be going through motions to check the block. I see that OP was already in football/track, but no mention of a connection to Sea Cadets /CAP. Sea Cadets/CAP are good programs if available, but I can count on one hand the candidates that I have seen admitted in 15+ years as a BGO. Also, these programs don't give necessarily give you a leg up with Plebe Summer or Plebe Year --trust me,the detailers can pick out those that have some type of head start and make sure they have the same stress level.
As an aside, I did both CAP and Boy Scouts (long ago)....I am sure Eagle Scout and various leadership positions in Boy Scouts carried more weight than all of my CAP activities.
Old Navy BGO,

I am a three season varsity athlete (2 season captain) and a PO2 in the United States Naval Sea Cadet Corps. My Sea Cadet Unit (H.R Dickson | NH) is very understanding in working with me to balance varsity athletics and my duties as a cadet. Its an exceptional program and it has taught me a lot about self discipline and leadership. It lays a great foundation to work off of so when your son takes on even more challenging leadership positions at school and within your community, he will be well prepared.