U.S. Senators Mark Pryor and John Boozman, along with Congressman Rick Crawford (AR-1) today announced that the U.S. Army has withdrawn its proposal to eliminate Arkansas State University’s ROTC program. The Army will keep A-State’s program open for an additional year while it re-evaluates its program criteria.
“Thanks to numerous phone calls, community support, and an Administration hold, we were able to keep A-State ROTC’s doors open for another year. Now, we have the opportunity to prove our case and show the Army why this program is invaluable to our state and nation,” Pryor said. “This was definitely a team effort, and I want to thank Senator Boozman and Congressman Crawford for working with me to help maintain this critical program.”
“The decision to continue the Arkansas State ROTC program offers an opportunity to demonstrate its value and meet the criteria established by the Army. I am confident that once we understand the evaluation methodology, Arkansas State will be able to excel and surpass the Army’s requirements,” Boozman said. “I appreciate Secretary McHugh’s swift attention to this issue as the delegation works to protect this vital program.”
“I am extremely pleased to receive word from the Secretary of the Army that he has delayed the Army’s decision to shutter Arkansas State’s historic and successful ROTC program. This initial action was conducted without proper input from local leaders, lacking opportunity for congressional oversight, and most importantly without a clear rationale explaining the program’s announced closure. Arkansas has spoken loud and clear that this program is an important part of our community, and I am proud to have worked with our two Arkansas Senators to reach this result. As an Army veteran and A-State alumni, I thank the Secretary for making the right decision and look forward to working with him in the future to preserve this valuable program for generations of A-State students,” said Crawford.
“We are very grateful to Sen. Pryor, Sen. Boozman and Congressman Crawford for working with the university and fighting so hard to save our historic R.O.T.C. program,” Chancellor Tim Hudson said. “It took a team effort to show the Army why the Red Wolf Battalion deserves the chance to grow its mission at Arkansas State.”
“A-State will continue to work with Col. Clark and his staff to provide scholarship and military service opportunities to our students. We also celebrate this decision with all of our alumni — including the likes of Gov. Mike Beebe — who received R.O.T.C. commissions here and served our country with honor.”