What do a football coach, astronaut, founder of Walmart and an Army four star general have in common?

(Sponsored Post) They are all graduates from Army ROTC (Reserve Officers’ Training Course). Lou Holtz, legendary football coach; Nancy Currie, space shuttle astronaut;  Sam Walton, founder of Walmart, and General (Retired) Colin Powell, are just a few of the great men and women that learned and developed their leadership skills from the Army ROTC program. Like many other ROTC graduates, their training gave them the skills to lead, manage, motivate their peers, and most importantly, foster teamwork – all the qualifications of successful leaders.

Army ROTC lays the groundwork for students to excel both personally and professionally by setting goals and guidelines that will take them to the next level of success – far enough to potentially create the fastest space shuttle or maybe the next great marketplace.

So what is Army ROTC?

Since its establishment in 1916, more than half a million men and women became officers through the Army ROTC program. Army ROTC is administered by the United States Army Cadet Command located at Fort Knox, Ky. The ROTC curriculum consists of a series of military science classes and hands-on leadership training experiences that provides students the necessary foundation to serve successfully in positions of responsibility – both in the Army and the civilian workforce. It can also provide benefits including full tuition, book and fees allowance, and a monthly stipend to qualified students. Just last year, the Army awarded approximately $294 million in scholarships to over 14,000 students across the nation – all studying a variety of specialized fields.

Today, with our host programs and partner schools we have Army ROTC at almost 1,000 campus locations across the country, as well as in Guam and Puerto Rico.

In addition to the Army college ROTC program, the Army offers Junior ROTC for high school students which teaches students to become better citizens. Currently, there are more than 320,000 cadets enrolled in over 1,730 JROTC programs at high school campuses in the U.S., American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and at selected American high schools overseas.

What’s next?

For many students, Army JROTC and ROTC programs provide the necessary structure to get them on the right path to leadership and life-long success.

As we work to prepare our future leaders to be the next great athlete, first astronaut to step foot on Mars, new innovator in e-commerce, or even a future Army general, we must provide our children and students with all of the resources available to lead them to success.

For more information on the Army ROTC program, visit www.goarmy.com/rotcinfo or text “rotcinfo” to GoArmy (462769).

Maj. Robert D. “Dean” Carter is the lead marketing officer for the United States Army Cadet Command. In his role he is responsible for synchronizing all recruiting, marketing and outreach events for the command designed to increase awareness of leadership training and opportunities provided by Army ROTC that will benefit a potential army officer in a successful army career and beyond to the civilian corporate community.

It’s PTA in Pop Culture Week!

“I just saw PTA referenced in “American Housewife” on ABC!”
“Did you know that movie “Bad Moms” was about the PTA?”
The Simpsons” rerun about the PTA was so funny!”

Does any of this sound familiar? I bet you’ve heard similar coffee-talk at your PTA meetings or while chatting with other parents. PTA pops up in all sorts of places!

A few months ago, National PTA’s Executive Director, Nathan Monell, found a PTA reference in a movie. I mentioned it at a meeting and people quickly began sharing their own “PTA finds.” Before I knew it, I had a monster list of PTA references in movies, music and television shows. And thus, PTA in Pop Culture Week (Dec. 18-Dec. 22) was born.

Before we dive into our favorite clips, let’s be clear—most references are not accurate reflections of the Parent Teacher Association. (Can you tell I’m sugar-coating here.) Most dramatizations of nutty bake sales, controlling moms and iron-fisted PTA councils are purely for entertainment purposes. They’re trying to make us laugh. And sometimes, they might even be taking a tiny dig. In the end, we can take it. We’re thick-skinned here. And the PTA can totally roll with the jokes. We love a good laugh too!

Let’s begin by going back in time to the “Harper Valley PTA.” It’s probably the most notable PTA reference in Pop Culture because not only does it span a few decades but it also spans a few mediums. It first hit the radio airwaves as a song in 1968 by Jeannie C. Riley. This country megahit was re-recorded by artists like Dolly Parton (1969), Billy Ray Cyrus (1996) and Martina McBride (2004). It’s a song about scandal, miniskirts and a really tough PTA!

Not only did it make a good song, it made a good movie. In 1978 Barbara Eden (“I Dream of Jeannie”) starred in the motion picture version of “Harper Valley PTA.” (FYI, if you have 90 minutes, we found the entire movie on YouTube.) And it didn’t end there. The movie was spun off into a TV sitcom in 1981. So who thinks it’s time for a “Harper Valley PTA” reboot in 2018?

Television has definitely embraced PTA throughout the years. There was “Everybody Loves Raymond” in the ‘90s when Debra decided to reveal her updated, edgier style at a PTA meeting. (Forward 1:00 into this clip for the funniest part.) In 1974, Carol Burnett channeled a diva-tempered PTA mom as she battled for a spot in the Annual PTA Show auditions. And then in 1957—before most of us were born—Uncle Bentley juggles a PTA meeting and a date with a Hollywood starlet in a “Bachelor Father.” (Skip to 12:00 to catch the PTA part!) Can you believe that reference is 60 years old?

It’s been a real blast producing PTA in Pop Culture Week. We hope you enjoy all our finds and we encourage you to share your own using #PTAPop on social media. And while it’s fun to see PTA pop up in movies, music and television, it’s even more satisfying to know that it’s the good work PTAs around the world do that’s truly what puts us in the spotlight. Enjoy PTA in Pop Culture Week and have a wonderful holiday season!

Scott Meeks is the Communications Manager for National PTA.

Nominate a PTA or PTA Advocate Today for the 2018 Advocacy Awards!

Shirley Igo was a model of public service and volunteerism throughout her life. She was an impassioned and compassionate leader, dedicated to moving PTA forward and committed to ensuring that others would follow. In honor of her legacy, the National PTA Shirley Igo Advocate of the Year Award is presented to an individual PTA member, who through their leadership and advocacy efforts, affected federal, state or local policy priorities within National PTA’s annual public policy agenda.

As the 2017 Shirley Igo Advocate of the Year Award winner, it was my honor to attend the 2017 National PTA Legislative Conference where I spent three days in our nation’s capital.

At the conference, I was able to hear from Washington, DC influencers and get face-to-face advocacy training from experts to make my voice heard more effectively back in my community. With other advocates of the New Jersey PTA, I also had the opportunity to speak with federal policymakers about issues facing our schools and families for National PTA’s Capitol Hill Day. I was very excited to discuss these issues with members of Congress and their staff and was honored to be a part of such an historic legacy of advocacy.

This past year as I have continued my advocacy efforts on behalf of PTA, I have met so many selfless individuals and PTA groups that set out each day to move PTA forward. They work on behalf of all our children and deserve to be acknowledged for their strong commitment to PTA.

If you know of an outstanding youth or individual PTA advocate, or know of a local unit or state level PTA that has done great advocacy work, nominate them to receive an award for their efforts from National PTA! Winners will be announced in January and will get the opportunity to receive their awards at the 2018 Legislative Conference in Washington, DC and have an incredible experience like I did.

As in previous years, advocates may self-nominate themselves in the youth and individual categories. Nominations must be for efforts made in the last year and are due by midnight on Dec. 18. For more information about the 2018 Advocacy Awards, visit PTA.org/AdvocacyAwards.

Apply today and join a legacy of PTA advocates who have changed the lives of millions of students and families.

Rose Acerra is the 2017 Shirley Igo Advocate of the Year Award winner and the president of New Jersey PTA.