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Jr. Reserve Officer Training Corps


The Goal of JROTC
"To motivate young people to become better citizens."

In order to accomplish this goal, JROTC combines both classroom instruction and extracurricular activities to promote an awareness of the rights, the responsibilities, and the privileges of citizenship. JROTC curriculum develops a student's sense of personal responsibility, life building skills, and opportunities of leadership. JROTC's extra curricular activities continue to enrich student's lives as they build life long connections and further their abilities.

JROTC Does Not Recruit For The Military
We believe that the choice to join the military is entirely up to the student and his or her guardians.

Here at JROTC, our focus is to prepare students for graduation and for plans that further their life goals beyond highschool. We develop young people and orient them positively in preparation for whatever role in life they may choose. It is in this sense that Junior ROTC is part of the Army’s service to the nation partially because the program is run by retired military personnel, but Junior ROTC does not recruit students for military service.

The Curriculum
The JROTC curriculum encompasses a broad spectrum of subjects, including:

  • Communication Skills
  • Leadership Skills
  • Physical Fitness
  • First Aid and Drug Abuse Prevention
  • History and Citizenship
  • Technological Awareness
  • Nutrition Choices
  • Financial Services
  • And MORE!

JROTC awards academic grades, but its true measure of success are the young people it motivates to stay in school and stay on track to graduate. This program aids to self esteem development and strives to help students avoid negative influences. Ribbons and Merits of excellence are also rewarded to students who achieve above and beyond expectations.

More Information:

  • Established by Congress in 1916, Army Junior ROTC has demonstrated over the decades positive results as it has lasted for almost a century. Principals, parents, and former cadets consistently endorse the positive impact that JROTC has on the school, the community and the cadets themselves.
  • JROTC was the first extracurricular activity to be established since the school was built back in the 1940's.
  • JROTC cadets generally graduate at a higher rank than a majority of the school.
  • JROTC endorses many teams such as Color Guard, Flag Drill team, Drum Corps, Exhibition Drill Team, Drill Platoon, Squad Drill and Raiders. Without JROTC, these programs would have never existed.


Senior Army Instructor:

Major (ret) Gerry Paratore



Major Gerry Paratore is the Senior Army Instructor for the JROTC program at Balboa High School and the adjunct Director for JROTC in the San Francisco Unified School District. Born and raised in California, Major Paratore enlisted in the Army in 1973 for the Warrant Officer Flight Training program. Upon graduation Warrant Office Paratore served 42 months in Coleman Barracks, Mannheim Germany with Hqs, 3rd Brigade 8th Infantry Division. Upon Return to the United States he attended Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia where he graduated as the honor graduate and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant.  He attended the Army Aviation Maintenance Officers Course and was assigned to the 155th Attach Helicopter Company in Ft. Ord, California. With the 155th Aviation Company he participated in the Operational Testing of the AH-64A at Fort Hunter Liggett. Major Paratore attended the Transportation Officers Advance course at Ft Eustis Virginia and then “Army Boot-Strap” program at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott Arizona to complete his BA degree. After graduation he was assigned to the Army Program Management Office (ARPRO) at the AH-64 manufacturing plant in Mesa Arizona. As an Acceptance Test Pilot and later as the Director of Flight Acceptance he worked closely with the government procurement office and the contractor to bring the AH-64A into the Army inventory. From Mesa, Arizona Major Paratore was assigned to 8th Battalion 158th Aviation Regiment at Hanau, Germany with duty at Wiesbaden Airbase. While assigned to Wiesbaden Major Paratore provided maintenance support to the 1st Military Intelligence Battalion OV-1 Mohawks and work with the Wiesbaden Military Community to establish the first AH-64 Aviation Intermediate Maintenance Unit (AVIM). Major Paratore also served as the Aviation Logistics office at V Corps, Frankfurt Germany during “Operation Desert Storm.” Major Paratore returned from Germany to be the Aviation Logistics officer, Fifth Army Presidio of San Francisco, responsible assessing operational and logistical readiness for Reserve and National Guard Aviation units across 9 western states.

In 1995 Major Paratore retired from active service after 22 years to embark on a career in education as the Senior Army Instructor at Balboa High School. In the ensuing 20 years he has played a part in preparing over 4000 students to be active citizens. During his time in the San Francisco Unified School District Major Paratore, the cadre and corps of cadet successfully fended off several attempts to eliminate JROTC from the District and was instrumental in a successful campaign to place a ballot measure before the citizens of San Francisco (Proposition V) stating in part; The citizens of San Francisco want and the School Board will maintain a JROTC program for the students in San Francisco. During the past several years he has been actively working with the School Board to address funding and man power issues that have plagued the district in order to fully staff all the JROTC programs. Major Paratore has earned teaching credentials for both JROTC and High School Physical Education from the California Teacher Credentialing Board and is currently 3 credits away from a Masters in Education.

Army Instructor

Sergeant First Class (ret) Poutoa Fuega