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APSU's Army ROTC honored as top program in the nation

November 5, 2001

Austin Peay State University's Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) will be recognized as the No. 1 ROTC program in the nation at the 2nd Region Commander's Conference later this month in Nashville.

This honor, according to ROTC Lt. Col. Patrick O'Hara, professor of military science, is based on overall recruiting, training and commissioning.

Only 270 college units exists nationwide, according to the Oct. 30, 2001 edition of "The Chronicle of Higher Education."Most colleges and universities dismantled their ROTC programs decades ago.

One example is Harvard University, which discontinued ROTC during antiwar protests in the 1960s. The 43 Harvard students now enrolled in ROTC programs travel to the nearby Massachusetts Institute of Technology for drills.

This fall there are 75 cadets in APSU's Army ROTC program, with 75 percent male, 25 percent female. According to O'Hara, 46 are attending APSU on various U.S. Army scholarships. O'Hara said, "I will have them at an entry-level management leadership position as an Army second lieutenant. As such, they will have a starting income around $33,000 a year."

"Army ROTC is the best leadership development course in the world," O'Hara said. "In recruitment, my key selling point is 'No resume required after graduation.'"

BG-Ret. Wendell Gilbert, Tennessee commissioner of veterans affairs and newly appointed head of the state's homeland security, said, "Austin Peay has a top-notch ROTC program with a long history of successful officer training.

"Because the program is well established and has a stellar reputation, it is positioned to handle an influx of young people who now want to serve their country, in part because of the tremendous resurgence of patriotism and new appreciation of our military."

For more information about APSU's Army ROTC, telephone the ROTC Office at 6155, or visit the Web site at