Following recent notification from the United States Army, the University of Tennessee at Martin’s ROTC program will remain open, according to a news release.
Skyhawk Battalion was one of 13 student programs notified in 2013 of possible closure this year.
The university’s first ROTC unit was established in 1952. Since then, the program has commissioned 671 cadets as second lieutenants in the Army, U.S. Army Reserve and Tennessee Army National Guard.
“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.”
UT Martin’s military science program includes Bethel University, Freed-Hardeman University, Jackson State Community College, Lane College and Union University.
According to the release, the group recently added Murray State University of Murray, Kentucky, expanding the network of institutions from which Skyhawk Battalion can recruit cadets.
Lt. Col. Lowell E. Howard Jr. will join the university faculty this summer as a professor of military science, according to the release. He follows Lt. Col. Michael W. Johnson, who has led the battalion since 2012.
The UT Office of Government Relations and Advocacy facilitated interactions through the military command structure to appeal the closure decision. This assistance, combined with the support of high-ranking program alumni, played a valuable role in safeguarding the future of Skyhawk Battalion.
“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.”
Skyhawk Battalion is set to be re-evaluated in January 2016, but university officials believe the program’s annual mission level can be met or exceeded.Tags: rotc, UT Martin, utm