WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn released the following statement today after the House passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which included an amendment that would allow 8th graders to participate in Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) programs nationwide.

“I’m pleased that my amendment to allow 8th graders to participate in JROTC programs all across the country was included in the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act. By allowing 8th graders to participate in this program, more students will have the opportunity to gain valuable leadership skills and training earlier in their education pursuit. I’m also proud to have co-sponsored an amendment with Congressman Joe Cunningham to establish a Coast Guard JROTC program at the new Lucy Beckham High School in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, which was included in today’s bill as well. JROTC programs not only help young people become better and more engaged students, but it also teaches them valuable life lessons.”