New ROTC scholarship to benefit incoming students beginning fall 2018

The Mizzou ROTC Scholarship will cover room and board for incoming national Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines scholarship winners.

MU Chancellor Alexander Cartwright and Lt. Col. Gary Kerr, professor of military science and leadership and department head for the University Army ROTC, announced a new scholarship program Thursday.

The Mizzou ROTC Scholarship will cover the costs of room and board for all incoming ROTC students who are also national scholarship winners from the Army, Air Force, Navy or Marines, beginning the fall semester of 2018.

“The university is offering to give these scholarships to complete a full scholarship,” Kerr said. “The Army, Navy and Airforce scholarships all pay for tuition, fees, a book stipend and they give a monthly stipend to the students, but they don’t pay for room and board.”

Kerr said many universities across the state and nation have provided these scholarships in the past. He said two national scholarship-winning students selected other universities this past year because of the financial difference. The Mizzou ROTC Scholarship amounts to about $10,000 per student per year.

“Students who are eligible for the new scholarships often are involved in leadership roles in student, service and athletic organizations,” Kerr said in a press release. “Most are National Honor Society members, and many are Eagle Scouts. These awards will build upon the excellence these students already represent, while keeping college education affordable.”

This past semester, nine students from the three military branches could have been eligible for these scholarships. Kerr said he hopes the university will be able to double that number next year.

“Keeping higher education affordable while developing our students into future military leaders has always been a priority at Mizzou,” James Musgraves, commander and executive officer of the MU Naval ROTC program, said in the news brief. “Ensuring that these potential leaders leave us with as little debt as possible will put them on a path of success in their military careers.”

According to the news release, more than 45 students from Missouri are expected to qualify for these scholarships annually based on current enrollment.

“Our ROTC students are exceptional and reflect our core values of respect, responsibility, discovery and excellence,” Cartwright said. “We see [this] announcement as a first step, and we will look for partners who may be able to provide additional support in the future to expand these scholarship opportunities to additional ROTC students.”

According to its website, the mission of the ROTC is to commission the future officer leadership of the U.S. military forces. The program is centered on leadership development, both in the classroom and field environment.

Cartwright said since the Department of Military Science’s establishment in 1868, it has commissioned nearly 10,000 Army officers and that many MU alumni are connected to the program because prior to 1964, it was a requirement that all male students participate in the ROTC.

“Our ROTC students are nothing short of fabulous and we are honored to have [them] as part of the Mizzou community,” Cartwright said.

Edited by Olivia Garrett | ogarrett@themaneater.com

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