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USM's ROTC program gets reprieve on shutdown

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant has persuaded the Army to delay its plans to include the University of Southern Mississippi on a list of collegiate Reserve Officer Training Corps programs targeted for closing over the next two years.

Southern Miss landed on the list of 13 programs targeted for closing after failing to meet ROTC enrollment and graduation levels.

Bryant declared in October that he “would not yield.”

He followed with a letter to Army Secretary John McHugh pointing out that more than half of the planned programs closures included Southern universities.

Southern Miss currently has 87 cadets participating in the ROTC program which dates back to 1950. Of that total, five are scheduled to be commissioned as lieutenants in December with another 12 projected for commission next May.

The Army has also agreed to put off the planned closure of ROTC programs at three Tennessee universities.

Republican U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker said Wednesday the delay will provide time to show the programs can meet the Army’s needs, the Associated Press reported.

The three Tennessee ROTC programs are located at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville and the University of Tennessee campus in Martin.



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