MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, known as Skyhawk Battalion, will remain open, following recent notification from the United States Army. The UT Martin ROTC program was one of 13 student programs notified in fall 2013 of possible closure in 2015.
“UT Martin has a storied history of graduating outstanding Army officers, and with a current enrollment of 80-plus Army ROTC cadets, UT Martin will continue to be a training ground for talented, well-prepared officers,” said Dr. Tom Rakes, UT Martin chancellor. “We are grateful to all of our servicemen and women and particularly those from the ranks of our long-standing Skyhawk Army ROTC cadre.”
An ROTC unit was first established at the university in 1952, followed by the start of a four-year ROTC program in 1964. The program has commissioned 671 cadets as second lieutenants in the regular Army, U.S. Army Reserve and Tennessee Army National Guard since its beginnings.
The UT Martin military science program, of which ROTC is a part, includes Bethel University in McKenzie; Freed-Hardeman University in Henderson; and Jackson State Community College, Lane College and Union University in Jackson. A recent agreement also adds Murray State University in Murray, Ky., to the program, strengthening the relationship between these institutions and allowing Skyhawk Battalion to recruit the best and brightest cadets from these areas.
The UT Martin program will also welcome a new professor of military science in the coming months. Lt. Col. Lowell E. Howard Jr. will join the university faculty this summer. He follows Lt. Col. Michael W. Johnson, who has led the battalion since 2012.
“ROTC has a long tradition at UT Martin, and we're proud have them as part of the College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences,” said Dr. Todd Winters, dean. “Military training and agriculture
education were original parts of the land-grant mission, therefore it makes sense that (the Department of Military Science and Leadership) is part of the College (of Agriculture and Applied Sciences). The addition of Murray State as one of our affiliates will ensure that ROTC at UT Martin will remain a fixture on campus for a long time.”
The UT Office of Government Relations and Advocacy facilitated interactions through the military command structure to appeal the original closure decision. This assistance, combined with the support and encouragement of high-ranking program alumni, played a valuable role in safeguarding the future of the Skyhawk Battalion. Among those were retired Marine Corps Lt. Gen. John Castellaw and retired Army Lt. Gen. Dennis Cavin, both UT Martin graduates.
“Having served for 30 years as a regular and reserve officer in the U.S. Air Force, I could not be more pleased with the confirmation we will retain our military leadership program,” said Dr. Jerald Ogg, UT Martin provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs. “Our ROTC battalion has a long history of training outstanding officers, and continuing that tradition of leadership preparation is good for both our students and the nation they wish to serve.”
“UT Martin is fortunate to have extended support from the Department of the Army to ensure the Skyhawk pipeline of outstanding officers is not only flowing but expanding,” said Rakes. The program will be re-evaluated in January 2016, but university officials believe the program’s annual mission level can be met or exceeded.
For more information on the military science program or the Skyhawk ROTC Battalion, contact the Department of Military Science and Leadership at 731-881-7682 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MARTIN, Tenn., May 22, 2015 – UT MARTIN ROTC PROGRAM CONTINUES WITH NEW AGREEMENT – The UT Martin Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, known as Skyhawk Battalion, will remain open, following recent notification from the United States Army. The UT Martin ROTC program was one of 13 student programs notified in fall 2013 of possible closure in 2015. Pictured are current UT Martin ROTC cadets Paul Jordan, of Dyersburg, and Mercee Eubank, of Greenfield.