Committee works to keep ETSU ROTC

Cadet Young

Dear Members of the ETSU Community,

As many of you are no doubt aware, the U.S. Army announced in October that it intends to close 13 ROTC programs across the country, including ours.  The University of Virginia’s College at Wise will also be affected by a closure, as ROTC there is a satellite of our ETSU ROTC Program.  From President Brian Noland’s comments on the day of that press conference, to notes we’ve received and conversations we hear around campus, we know that many of you are upset by this decision. 

In response to this situation, Dr. Noland recently appointed an “Ad hoc Committee to Preserve ETSU ROTC” to help coordinate efforts to reverse the Army’s decision to close our ROTC Program.  The Committee wanted to share with you what has been done since the announcement, as well as share ways in which you can help as part of this effort.  We plan to provide additional updates, as appropriate, in the coming weeks, to help you maintain awareness and stay involved.  Thank you in advance for your support.

What’s been done so far:

-          Direct communications and coordination with Congressional Delegations and State Legislators, both from Tennessee and Virginia, to support their efforts to stop this action by the Army

-          Communication with the Tennessee and Virginia state Military Offices and Adjutants General, who lead each state’s Citizen Soldier forces

-          Cooperative communications with, and encouragement to, the other 12 colleges and universities on the closure list

-          Recently established a Keep ETSU ROTC Facebook page and a KeepETSUROTC Twitter account, as sites to share your thoughts and comments, and to highlight stories and media coverage of the ROTC Program and this initiative to retain it

-          Conversations with various ETSU alumni (including ROTC Program alumni) and friends with military affiliations, who may have a voice with those in a position to influence a review of this decision

What you can do to help:

-          Encourage our ROTC Cadets and cadre/staff members, as you see them around campus

-          Join in the campus Veterans Day ceremony - planned, coordinated, and hosted by our fellow students and employees, through the Veterans Affairs Steering Committee (with support from ETSU ROTC).  This year’s ceremony will take place on Thursday, Nov. 7, beginning at 11 a.m. near the Veterans Memorial in the new campus green space. 

-          Encourage the ROTC Ranger Challenge team that will compete at Fort Knox during the weekend of Nov. 15-17, against nearly 40 other ROTC programs from five states (TN, KY, OH, IN, MI) for the chance to again represent ETSU and U.S. Army Cadet Command’s Seventh Brigade, in the international Sandhurst competition, to be held next spring, at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y.

-          Add your voice and words to the cause!  Write a letter; send an email; make a phone call.  Our Congressional and State Legislative leaders are speaking up to help ETSU ROTC, but they need our support.  Your letters, emails, and phone calls provide them critical evidence of local support for the ROTC program, let them hear the voice of those who’ll feel the loss, and help give them strength to act on our behalf.  Share your stories about how ETSU ROTC has positively impacted you and students you know.  Encourage friends outside the immediate ETSU community to do the same; we’ll continue to share this kind of information with alumni, local schools, and community leaders.  Volume and persistence matter.

- You’ll find addresses for Congressional and State Legislative leaders below

- Like, share, and post comments and pictures to the Facebook page; follow the Twitter feed; email us with thoughts and ideas

The Army has announced a decision to close the ETSU Program; this is clearly an uphill battle for us.  But our ROTC Program’s distinguished history, its recent mission success in commissioning officers, its projections of even greater growth over the next few years, and its outstanding student-Cadets, all point to a need for the Army to re-look its decision.  We’re committed to doing all we can to convince the Army to do just that, and to ultimately allow ETSU ROTC to continue for many more years to come.  We've already begun to build strong support from our elected officials and others, but will appreciate your help to take us even farther.  Thanks for helping us share the ETSU ROTC story, and for your support of our Cadets!

All the best,

Scott Jeffress

On behalf of the Committee to Preserve ETSU ROTC




We’re in regular contact with these and other elected officials, but know that your letters of support for ETSU ROTC can help keep this issue high on the list of their priorities – until the decision is reversed. 

Take a few minutes to write to one of more of them, and let them know your thoughts on the Army’s decision, and what ETSU ROTC means to you.  Use these addresses (not the D.C. ones you may find online) to ensure faster delivery.


Lamar Alexander

United States Senate

Tri-Cities Regional Airport

Suite 101

2525 Highway 75

Blountville, Tennessee 37617


Bob Corker

United States Senate

1105 East Jackson Blvd, Suite 4

Jonesborough, Tennessee 37659


Phil Roe

United States House of Representatives

Higher Education Building

PO Box 1728

Kingsport, Tennessee 37662



Tim Kaine

United States Senate

PO Box 1300

Norton, Virginia 24273


Mark Warner

United States Senate

180 West Main Street

Abingdon, Virginia 24210


Morgan Griffith

United States House of Representatives

323 West Main Street

Abingdon, Virginia 24210


To contact the Keep ETSU ROTC Committee:




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