ROTC closure to be appealed

ROTC closure to be appealed

Squad leader Williams overviews the squad mission during the FTX lane on Saturday, March 2 at Camp Shelby in Hattiesburg.  Jamie Gominger/Printz Archives

Squad leader Williams overviews the squad mission during the FTX lane on Saturday, March 2 at Camp Shelby in Hattiesburg.
Jamie Gominger/Printz Archives

Administrators at The University of Southern Mississippi received notice that Southern Miss’ Reserve Officer Training Corp (ROTC) program would be one of 13 programs nationwide to close, effective after the 2014-2015 school year.

The notice, which came from officials at the Department of the Army, indicated the decision was reached “after careful consideration of how to best accomplish its mission with a reduction of resources.”

According to The Wall Street Journal, the program closures are due to low production of officers. Each ROTC program is expected to produce an average of 15 officers annually. The Army will now focus on emerging programs in larger cities.

University administrators and ROTC officials have already taken steps to appeal the decision.

“We intend to participate in any appeals process that may be available to us,” University President Rodney Bennett said in a statement. “We are disappointed with this decision because we know our Army ROTC students to be bright, engaged and patriotic citizens.”

“The university’s ROTC program has a long history of demonstrating excellence while producing military leaders for our country, including 16 general officers from our 1,555 graduates,” he added.

Southern Miss’ ROTC program is one of six statewide. There are currently 87 cadets in the program with five scheduled to be commissioned as lieutenants in December. Twelve cadets are projected for commission in May 2014.

For more information on the ROTC program, visit www.usm.edu/army-rotc.

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