University fights back after government cuts ROTC program - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

University fights back after government cuts ROTC program

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During its 63 years at TTU the ROTC program has graduated more than 1,600 officers, seven generals, one 4-star general and an admiral. During its 63 years at TTU the ROTC program has graduated more than 1,600 officers, seven generals, one 4-star general and an admiral.
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COOKEVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

It's a popular way to pay for college and serve our country, but three Tennessee universities are about to lose their ROTC programs leaving students in the lurch.

The military says the cuts will actually help expand recruitment in other states.

Tennessee Tech University freshman Alexa Hancock knows two things about her future:
she's going to be a nurse and serve her country.

"It all fit together, for me, the puzzle pieces were all there," said Hancock.

But tonight her country has put her in an awful position: give up your university or your dream?

 "I got a phone call that said, 'They're cutting the ROTC program and we need to know what you are going to do?' What am I doing? This was my plan for my career," said Hancock.

The Pentagon is cutting low-performing ROTC programs including TTU's.

Without the program's scholarships, stipends, and housing assistance many students have no choice but to move on.

"It's very, very difficult to live on your own," said Hancock.

During its 63 years at TTU the ROTC program has graduated more than 1,600 officers, seven generals, one 4-star general and an admiral.

In his blog, the university president Phil Oldham said "it's just not right!"

He also told Channel 4 they had no warning.

"All the indicators we had were that we were in good shape. We were meeting their expectations, meeting the mission," said Oldham. 

The eagles aren't letting their cadets go without a fight. The university recently launched a task force, a social media campaign, and they're now sending letters to lawmakers and
to the secretary of the army.

In a statement, Karl Schneider, the acting assistant secretary of the Army for Manpower and
Reserve Affairs, said, "These closures are necessary changes that allow for more efficient use of available resources within the command, while maintaining a presence in all 50 states."

That doesn't answer Hancock's questions.

"If I can't go to a nursing school here, where should I go? What's going to look good on an application and how am I going to be able to serve my country along with that?" said Hancock.

The military said this is not a cost-cutting move. They actually plan to expand ROTC programs, but in more urban areas. One of the goals, they said, is to increase diversity among its ranking officers. Currently, only a quarter are minorities.

Freshman and sophomores are the ones affected. Juniors and seniors will be allowed to finish the program.  

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