FLORENCE – Francis Marion University is well on its way to becoming a host institution for the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program, offering students an opportunity to earn commissions on campus beginning this semester.
FMU students enrolled in the ROTC program are now working to become commissioned officers in the U.S. Army, Army Reserve and National Guard on the university campus instead of making the commute to the University of South Carolina, which currently serves as its host campus.
“There is a rich tradition of Army ROTC at Francis Marion, and we are excited that the program has been re-established on the campus,” said Darryl Bridges, FMU vice president for student affairs. “The program offers a great number of opportunities for student success while in college and beyond.”
FMU had an on-campus Army ROTC program from 1983 though 1998.The program was closed during the period the U.S. Army was downsizing in the 1990s. FMU commissioned more than 100 officers during its history, and the quality of second lieutenants from the program was consistently high.
The program resurfaced in April 2002 when the university, under the leadership of FMU President Fred Carter, entered a partnership agreement with the University of South Carolina and Morris College in Sumter to provide ROTC instruction and training for qualified FMU students on the USC campus.
That instruction continues with USC as the host site and the FMU campus is the place where a comprehensive curriculum of leadership and military courses and first hand experience is offered to those who enroll. Army ROTC is a two-year program for veterans and members of the Army Reserve and National Guard or four years for students with no prior military experience. It incorporates classroom and practical training in leadership, organization, planning, decision making and military skills. Two, three and four-year scholarships are available for qualified students.
Cpt. Chad Jones is the officer in charge with Lt. Michael Cason assisting in establishing the fundamentals of the on-campus program. Both are enthusiastic about the potential for the students at FMU to be able to earn their degrees and commissions on campus, serving both their state and country as commissioned officers.
“This is a great opportunity for students to establish leadership skills to use in military situations, and gain countless noble lessons to make them successful in all their life endeavors,” Jones said.
For more information, contact Cpt. Jones on campus at FMU at (843) 661-1836, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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