The Washoe County School District

Jr ROTC Program

Committed to teaching structure, teamwork and
personal responsibility

By LTC Scott Maryott, (USA/Ret)

As students head back to school, every high schooler looks for a place where they feel comfortable, a place where they can hang out with friends and have fun. Whether it be a sports team, the band, the drama department, or some other extracurricular activity, all students look for a place where they feel accepted and appreciated. Our school district has a unique option called JROTC that provides a caring, disciplined environment where every student is treated with dignity and respect.  As LTC Nicole Gardner, the senior JROTC teacher at Reno HS puts it, “Our JROTC program is such an amazing experience for students because they not only earn several credits, but it’s truly a family environment.”

The Cadet Brigade Commander (the senior cadet in our school district), Shelby Burton from Wooster High School puts it another way: “JROTC has taught me multiple leadership techniques as well as helped me gain the confidence to voice my opinions, speak publicly, and not be afraid to make mistakes as well as how to learn from them.”

JROTC is a program offered at all 11 comprehensive WCSD high schools and involves more than 2,000 students (60 percent male, 40 percent female). Our school district has eight Army programs, two Navy programs (Reed & Damonte Ranch), and one Air Force program (North Valleys). Our JROTC program educates students on character, student achievement, wellness, leadership, and diversity. JROTC is a cooperative effort between the Department of Defense, Department of Education and the Washoe County School District that aims to produce successful students and citizens, while fostering in each school a more constructive and disciplined learning environment.

Our students who stay in the program for four years earn credits in physical education, health, arts and humanities/CTE, and honors. With the school district’s support, our JROTC programs achieve these outcomes by using a world-class 21st Century, technology driven, student-centered curriculum. The curriculum is based on the principles of performance-based, learner-centered education and promotes development of core abilities: capacity for life-long learning, communication, responsibility for actions and choices, good citizenship, respectful treatment of others, and critical thinking techniques.

The curriculum is facilitated and taught by retired military personnel. These veterans are employed by the schools to teach and mentor, and are role models for our young people. JROTC teacher qualifications are based on military experience, maturity, stability, and leadership acquired over 20 years of service to our nation. The success of JROTC rests largely on the effectiveness of these teachers. As a result all teachers work together as professional colleagues to ensure the success of each cadet within the program. The accomplishment of the JROTC mission is essential in the development of a successful and productive citizen.

One of the highlights of JROTC is service to others. Last year our cadets gave back more than 50,000 hours of community service. As LTC Gardner explains, “The kids love to give back to their community and they love to do it with their friends.  It’s just wonderful to watch them pick a project, work as a team and successfully complete something so positive.”

Cadet COL Burton adds, “JROTC spends a great amount of time and effort each year to help the community by organizing events such as the Elks Club Food Drive, the WCSD Run for Education, and collecting money for various charities. Community service is one of my favorite parts of the JROTC experience.”

In addition, historically JROTC students graduate at a higher level, have a lower drop-out rate, and have fewer discipline issues then non-JROTC students. There are some common misconceptions, but JROTC does not recruit for the military and does not teach tactics. JROTC is committed to helping everyone to be successful as we lead our students on their college and career pathway.

JROTC is more than an extracurricular activity; it is a family at school. LTC Gardner puts it this way, “Some students are completely all-in, and participate in every event the program has planned, and some students like to come down to the classroom during lunch and eat with friends.  Either way, it’s a great environment for students to grow and learn.”

Cadet COL Burton explains, “Joining JROTC is a benefit to all students because it teaches them structure, teamwork, responsibility for their actions, respect for their nation, and confidence in challenging situations. And just as important, it is fun.”

LTC Scott Maryott retired from the Army with 24 years of service, teaching History at the United States Military Academy at West Point, deploying with TF 1-160thSOAR during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, and serving as the Professor of Military Science at the University of Nevada. He is currently the Director of Jr. ROTC programs for the Washoe County School District.

Missing in Action:  PsyWar Against the Irhabi

By Col.  Michael Haas, USAF, ret.

Special Analysis for the National Security Forum

It’s been a few years since communist psychological warfare pasted many of us with the unpleasant sounding ‘Running Dog Lackeys of the Imperial War Machine.’ But as crude and even amusing as it sometimes struck the Western mind, give the devil his due:  The communists were masters at psychological warfare (PsyWar).  The undeniable fact remains that for several decades they successfully propelled onto the world stage an empty, vicious ideology that cost untold millions their lives.   Sound familiar to anything you’ve read or seen on television lately?

In reading the current multitude of public policy recommendations for the West’s war against Islamic extremism (correction:  Recommendations as to how the West might begin responding effectively to Islamic terrorism’s long-declared war against the West), one notes the overwhelming consensus for improved Intelligence-gathering in a number of functional areas (e.g. HUMINT).

While the need for such is glaring, conspicuously missing from the public dialogue is serious discussion pertaining to the psychological warfare that underlies the entire premise of terrorism.  It’s hardly ‘just’ ISIS’ these days.  Noted American counter-terrorism expert Brian Jenkins (Senior Advisor to the RAND president) for example, underscores this point succinctly in stating, “Terrorism is theater.  The true target is the audience watching.”

Indeed, terrorism is psychological warfare; the pursuit of political violence in which it’s not the body-count that counts, but rather the media disseminated psychological impact on the target audience.  What better proof of this assertion than the apathetic public reaction to recent claims the West’s ‘broad alliance’ against ISIS has killed thousands of Islamic State fighters in the last few months (zzzzzzzzz) vs. . . . the Islamic State’s effective PsyWar dissemination of its horrifying, video-taped atrocities?

And, of all people, the Americans–the very capitalists who created the potent, multi-billion dollars per year ‘Madison Avenue’ advertising machine—are failing so badly in publicly disseminating the Western response to Islamic terrorism.  It began at the beginning, with the most fundamental PsyWar blunder imaginable:  Our government leaders and media outlets responding to terror attacks by letting the terrorists themselves set the PsyWar agenda with their self-chosen use of the term ‘jihadist‘ to justify their barbarity.


It is as if in 1942 Roosevelt and Churchill agreed to call war against Japan a campaign against the Japanese propaganda labeled ‘Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.’  Tokyo would have loved that!


Does it not reinforce the terrorists’ own propaganda every single time our government and media outlets align themselves with the Al Qaeda-ISIS media agenda e.g., using ‘jihadi’ as the term-of-choice?  In fact, Irhab and Irhabi are amongst the correct Arabic language terms for terrorism and terrorists.  So what does one suppose the 1 billion-plus Muslim audience in the global theater is thinking when US and European leaders continue supporting the terrorists’ own propaganda?

Easy enough to complain, but what might be done here?

One good first step was offered to us from recently retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.  The former Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency only stated the obvious when briefing congress: “You cannot defeat an enemy you do not admit exists” (referring to President Barrack Obama’s unsettling refusal to publicly use the term ‘Islamic terrorism’).  A punch to the mouth normally focuses one’s attention on the attacker’s identity, but for some inexplicable reason it simply didn’t happen with the Obama Administration.

Another suggestion:  Start tomorrow by naming our foes for who and what they are—Irhabis—whose barbarism warrants their ruthless eradication at every and all opportunity.  And yet do so while recognizing at the same time this is primarily a psychological war for the minds of the audience, not one whose outcome will be determined by fighting with bombs and bullets.  It is this step in particular, arguably the most important step of all, where America continues to fail.

Even before this summer’s sharp escalation in the air campaign against ISIS, America was spending some $11 million dollars per-day to bomb the terrorists.  Who can forget the DOD-provided, TV news imagery of ISIS Toyota pickup trucks destroyed by . . .  million dollar missiles fired from multi-million-dollar aircraft?

Not so well known is the paltry 2016 Budget Request–$2 million dollars-per-day—submitted by the US Broadcasting Board of Governors (Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberty, etc.).  These are the media organs responsible for broadcasting American values to the rest of the world, and that two million dollars is thus to be spread across the entire planet, not just the Middle East.  One might suppose the pen would prove mightier than the sword in psychological warfare, but years into this war the U.S. still puts its bucks on the bombs.

Finally, this author suggests we reinstitute the term ‘psychological warfare’ at the national level, as ‘PsyWar’ itself symbolizes our clear recognition of the existential threat posed by the war lapping at our doorsteps.  In the U.S. this term long ago morphed into ‘Psychological Operations’ and of late the even more politically correct, ‘Information Operations.’  Let’s get this back on the right track, right now. 

The supreme art of war is to subdue your enemy without fighting—Sun Tzu

During his Army-Air Force career, Col. Haas served in a number of Special Operations, Psychological Operations, and Intelligence units and agencies.  He has published extensively in these fields.  His military and commercial background includes travel to the Middle East, Persian Gulf, and Southwest Asia regions.

Save the Date for this Extraordinary Forum!

Key Global Crises 

Facing the New President


Rae Huffstutler               LTG Marty Brandtner

Former Executive Director, the CIA           Former J3, Director of Operations, the JCS

The Ramada, Thursday, September 8, 2016, 9:00 a.m.

This extraordinary session will bring together two of the leading experts in the field of intelligence, analysis and political-military operations.  We will ask Rae Huffstutler to provide an assessment of key crisis areas that the new President will confront, and General Brandtner will analyze and recommend  political strategies and military operations to address these challenges.

No need to RSVP at this time.  The full announcements will be forthcoming about a week before this event.

This is the final announcement for this most timely presentation on….

Israel Under Constant Siege

The Israeli Strategy for Defeating Its Regional Adversaries



(Colonel, Israeli Defense Forces, Ret)

The Ramada, Thursday, August 25, 2016, 9:00 a.m.

Israel faces an array of serious threats to its existence, from hostile neighboring states to ideologically-oriented militant groups.  The IDF strategy for protecting Israel anticipates dealing with a number of armed conflicts with both nation-state and “substate” actors.  Colonel Elam Kott will describe the threat environment as perceived in Tel Aviv and lay out the IDF strategy for both maintaining deterrence against hostile neighbors and actions to be taken in the case of full scale wars.

Consider these facts: Israel is surrounded by mostly Arab countries who outnumber her in size by 650 to 1, and 56 to 1 in terms of population.  Israel is surrounded by Arab countries who, while having serious differences among themselves, agree that Israel is their implacable adversary.  This includes Shia entities such as Iran, with its impressive missile arsenal and the militant Hezbollah terrorist army based in southern Lebanon (see the AIPAC article and maps below).

Elam Kott is a retired Colonel who served in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and continues to serve in a reserve status.  In his 25 years of duty in the IDF, COL Kott held many command positions and served as the deputy spokesperson for the IDF in his last active duty assignment.

Please join us for what will be a very interesting discussion. A full breakfast will be served ($15 Members, $25 Non-Members, and $10 for students with ID and military personnel in uniform; free for WWII Veterans). We recommend that you arrive by 8:30 to enjoy some breakfast, coffee and conversation.

You are encouraged to RSVP by clicking HERE. You may also RSVP by e-mailing Just a reminder, after the forum, we will be accepting new and renewal membership applications for the July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017 period. Forms will be available at the forum, though you can also access the application form by clicking HERE. For your convenience, we accept cash, check and credit card payments for both the breakfast and membership fees.


Israel in the Middle East

Israel is surrounded by mostly Arab neighbors who outnumber her in size by 650 to 1 in terms of land and 56 to 1 in terms of population. Click the map below to learn more about the countries and territories that surround the tiny Jewish state.

Map 1

Iranian Missile Threat

Iran’s leaders have threatened Israel’s destruction. See a map of the their missile capabilities against Israel, the Middle East and Eastern Europe.

Map 2

Hezbollah Rocket Arsenal

Hezbollah is an Iranian-backed terrorist army based in Southern Lebanon. See a map of their missile and rocket capabilities against Israel.

Map 3

Dear National Security Forum Members and Supporters,

Before our next NSF meeting on the 25th, we would like to take the opportunity to send out a reminder to anyone who has yet to send their NSF membership in for the 2016-2017 period.

There are four easy ways to pay your membership:

  1.  You can pay online, using PayPal, by clicking this link;
  2. You can print the membership form, fill it out, and mail it to the National Security Forum with your selected form of payment;
  3. You can print the attached membership form, fill it out and bring it with you to a NSF breakfast; or
  4. We will have forms available following each membership breakfast, and you can fill out a form and pay at that time.

If you have any questions about membership, please send us an e-mail at

Thank you!