Morehead State University received official notification from the U. S. Department of the Army on Wednesday, Oct. 2, that the University’s ROTC program is one of 13 nationally that will close.
MSU’s ROTC program also serves as the host program for the University of Pikeville ROTC affiliate, which also will close. The Department of Defense plans to phase out the ROTC program during the next two years. Juniors and seniors will be allowed to complete the ROTC program at MSU. Freshmen and sophomores will be given the opportunity to transfer to other institutions offering ROTC.
MSU’s Eagle Battalion was activated January 1, 1968, during the height of the Vietnam War when other colleges and universities were discussing closing their military programs. The University’s program has continually grown during the past nearly five decades with more than 600 officers being commissioned.
The quality of MSU’s program is nationally known with a number of cadets highly ranked according to the “National Order of Merit” list. For example, in 2006-07, MSU Cadet Shannon Niki Martin was ranked third out of 3,806 cadets from 272 universities across the nation. In 2010-11, MSU Cadet Commander Wesley Tudor was ranked number one out of 5,342 cadets from 272 universities across the nation.
“I am deeply disappointed in this decision. By nearly all objective measures, MSU’s program performs at a very high level. ROTC is an integral part of our University culture, and we’ll do all in our power to reverse this decision,” said Wayne D. Andrews, MSU president.
Dr. Andrews has contacted members of Kentucky’s congressional delegation, the Governor’s office, and members of the General Assembly to enlist their support.