NMU’s ROTC program saved

MARQUETTE – Northern Michigan University was officially notified Thursday that its Army Reserve Officer Training Corps program was removed from a list of programs that would be eliminated.

NMU was told in October that it would lose its 44-year-old program as one of 13 ROTC programs nationwide that would be ended. Before its removal from the list, NMU was told the program would be eliminated as of May 2015.

The Army’s new decision indicates that the 13 programs, including NMU’s, would be monitored for another year with an eye on enrollment and officer commission rates before closures are determined.

“Northern Michigan University has a proud and excellent ROTC program,” NMU President David Haynes said in a press release. “In the past 10 years, NMU’s program has been recognized on numerous occasions as among the best in the nation, and our cadets have ranked at the top for several national Army leadership and training events. We’re pleased the Army has reconsidered its position.”

Haynes said Army representatives spoken to by NMU representatives and federal and state legislators acknowledged the quality of NMU’s program.

“Northern Michigan University sincerely thanks U.S. senators Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow and U.S. Congressman Dan Benishek, their staff members, as well as State Senator Tom Casperson, Representative John Kivela and the full Michigan Legislature for all of the support they’ve provided over the past month in helping us to appeal the elimination of our ROTC program,” Haynes said.

“This decision is good news for NMU and all of Northern Michigan,”?said U.S. Rep. Benishek, R-Crystal Falls in a release. “The Army recognized what we all already know -?that Northern’s ROTC is a very successful program and an important part of our community.”

NMU has graduated nearly 400 ROTC students since its inception in 1969, according to the university. Currently 65 cadets are enrolled in the program.

Bill Harris can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 247.