U.S. Army to shutdown ROTC program at Tennessee Tech
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -
Tennessee Tech University's Army ROTC program is one of 13 across the nation and three in Tennessee identified by the U.S. Department of Defense for closure.
TTU President Phil Oldham said the university received notification this week of the Army's intentions.
He said the move to close programs appears to be linked to budget decisions and the Army's desire to have more diverse ROTC participants.
"We don't understand why the Army would try to balance the budget on the backs of TTU students," Oldham said in a release, adding, "ROTC programs are lifelines to American kids from rural areas who are making extraordinary efforts to serve their country and earn an education."
East Tennessee State University and the University of Tennessee Martin also received notification.
The closure list is not linked to the current federal government shutdown.
Currently 69 cadets are enrolled through the ROTC program at TTU. Since the unit's inception in 1950, it has commissioned 1,662 officers.
Oldham said TTU plans to enlist support from Congressional leaders, alumni and others to work toward a reversal of the decision.