FLORENCE---Francis Marion University students will once again be able to earn commissions in the U.S. Army, Army Reserve and National Guard through the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC).
Fred Carter, president of FMU, said the university has 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.
“We are pleased to be able to once again establish an ROTC presence on the FMU campus,” said Carter. “This agreement will enable FMU students to become commissioned officers in the military.”
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.
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, according to Major Rick Wise, who was the officer in charge at FMU from 1993-1995.
Major Wise is currently assigned to the University of South Carolina Army ROTC program and is the officer in charge at Morris College. He is enthusiastic about the potential for the students at FMU to once again be able to earn their degrees and commissions, serving both their state and country as commissioned officers.
The partnership agreement will have FMU students in the junior and senior classes traveling to Morris College one or two days per week. Based on the number of interested cadets, freshmen and sophomores will attend class and lab one day per week on campus at FMU.
“This is a great opportunity for the Pee Dee area, and the opportunity to regain an on-campus ROTC program is based on student participation and commissioning FMU students as second lieutenants,” said Major Wise. “We need to get to a sustained level of 10 commissions per year, which FMU is very capable of doing.” Major Wise and his staff will be the primary instructors for FMU cadets.
For more information, contact Dr. William Fox on campus at FMU at (843) 661-1570 or Major Wise at (803) 934-3215, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
#145 / 4-12-02