The Army is ending 13 officer training programs nationwide, including the ROTC program at the University of Tennessee at Martin. The Army approved the closures after a comprehensive review of resources last month. The 13 programs are mostly in rural areas that are producing too few officers to justify their operation. Along with UT at Martin, Tennessee closures include Tennessee Tech University, East Tennessee State University. The only Kentucky program shuttered was at Morehead State University. Morehead Military Science Chairman Lt. Col. Robert Mason said the cuts may be aimed at changing the program's demographics.
“So I think what the Army is trying to do is get after recruiting and representation in the officer corps from more of the minority and urban based markets versus some of the more rural based areas that these 13 programs lie in, you know, Morehead being one of those programs," said Mason.
Mason said junior and senior-year cadets will be able to stay within the university programs until they graduate in May of 2015. But freshman and sophomore cadets will need to transfer to another university to continue with the ROTC program. Mason said the programs are set to end September 1st, 2015.
The full list of ROTC closings across the nation include:
- University of South Dakota
- Northern Michigan University
- North Dakota State University
- University of Wisconsin at La Crosse
- Arkansas State University
- University of Tennessee at Martin
- University of North Alabama
- Georgia Regents University (Augusta State)
- University of Southern Mississippi
- East Tennessee State University
- Morehead State University
- Tennessee Technological University
- University of California at Santa Barbara