UT Martin ROTC program slated for closing in 2015
Contact 1: Bud Grimes
MARTIN, Tenn. — The University of Tennessee at Martin was notified this week that the school’s Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program is among 13 in the nation scheduled for closure in 2015. Dr. Tom Rakes, UT Martin chancellor, received a call Wednesday from the U.S. Army notifying the university of the closure.
Other Tennessee universities facing ROTC closures are East Tennessee State University in Johnson City and Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville. UT Martin’s verbal closure notification came without warning or consultation with university officials.
“We are disappointed to learn of the plans to discontinue Army ROTC at UT Martin,” Rakes said. “We serve a high number of capable, underrepresented students, and by discontinuing the ROTC program, our community and region will fall victim to budget cuts and decreasing opportunities for our young people.”
Rakes said he “anticipates appealing the decision through channels.” He added, “The program has exhibited outstanding performance involving competition among battalion groups within the region, as well as commissioning several hundred officers during the program’s existence.”
An ROTC unit was first established at the university in 1952, followed by the start of a four-year ROTC program in 1964. Since the program’s beginnings, 651 cadets have been commissioned as second lieutenants in the regular Army, the U.S. Army Reserve and the Tennessee Army National Guard.
The university’s military science program, of which ROTC is a part, includes Jackson State Community College, Lane College, Freed-Hardeman University, Bethel University and Union University. Enrollment for fall semester 2013 is 61 basic course cadets and 25 advanced course cadets.
If the closure plan proceeds, remaining ROTC students would be commissioned as part of the 2014-15 graduating class.
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