April 18, 2014  

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U.S. Army Delays Closure of Southern Miss ROTC Program

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The University of Southern Mississippi has received a verbal notification from the U.S. Army that the Southern Miss Army ROTC program, previously slated for closure in 2015, has been instead placed on extended probationary status.

In October, the U.S. Army announced its intentions to close 13 ROTC programs across the country, including the program at Southern Miss. All programs targeted for closure are now on probationary status as the Army re-evaluates the closure plan.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to demonstrate what The University of Southern Mississippi already knows—that this is a successful program that has benefited not only Mississippi but the entire country for more than six decades,” said University President Rodney D. Bennett. “Our current cadets are bright, engaged and patriotic citizens, and the program has a long history of producing military leaders for our country including 16 General Officers.

“I am looking forward to learning more about the criteria that will chart a clear path for the successful continuation of Southern Miss Army ROTC for decades to come.

“I appreciate Major General (Jeff) Hammond for his insight and counsel in getting us to this point. Furthermore, I am thankful for the support of Senators (Thad) Cochran and (Roger) Wicker, Congressman (Steven) Palazzo, Governor (Phil) Bryant, Major Generals (Buford) Blount and (Augustus) Collins, and many others, for our historic program, and I am pleased that the Army has chosen to re-examine a flawed decision.”