TECH BATTALION’S EXISTENCE THREATENED WITH CLOSURE, BUT WILL CONTINUE.
Throughout the fall semester, Tennessee Tech’s ROTC program was threatened with closure by the U.S. Department of Defense. News of the closure – and subsequent reprieve –garnered national attention, including stories in the New York Times.
The university saw an outpouring of support from Tech alumni, faculty, staff and students, along with both state and federal legislators for keeping the battalion open.
Currently 69 cadets are enrolled in the ROTC program. In the past five years, Tech has commissioned 55 officers, according to Lt. Col. Dominic Ciaramitaro, professor of military science. Last year, a 10-year high of 16 officers were commissioned.
Since the unit’s inception in 1950, it has commissioned 1,662 officers, seven of whom achieved the rank of flag officer.
The battalion was established at Tech in September 1950 as a Signal Corps unit. The first class of 11 officers was commissioned in July 1951.
In November, the Army announced it had suspended the closure of Tech’s ROTC program, instead placing the program on a two-year probation.
“The best part about this announcement is that our ROTC students who desire to serve and lead have the opportunity to stay at Tennessee Tech,” said Tech President Phil Oldham. “We now have the opportunity to show how our ROTC graduates are just what the Army needs. We plan to focus on building on our strengths in engineering, nursing and looking at new ways to marry what we do best at the university and in our ROTC program.”