Cumberlands partners with EKU to offer Army ROTC

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Army ROTC logo

WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. (WTVQ) – University of the Cumberlands announced a new Army ROTC program on campus, beginning Fall 2019. The program will operate in conjunction with Eastern Kentucky University’s (EKU) ROTC program.

All Cumberlands cadets will earn a $500 scholarship per year and free textbooks through the University’s textbook loan program. Other details regarding the program will be finalized soon.

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The University recently hosted an on-campus event to announce the new program to students. Cadets from EKU arrived equipped with heavy packs, camouflage netting, tents and a cannon (which was fired with blank rounds – twice – to the glee of those who shot it). The cadets split Cumberlands students into teams of ten and led them through a race that simulated ROTC fitness drills. Students enjoyed a cookout afterward.

“We appreciate this opportunity to bring ROTC back on campus,” said Dr. Larry L. Cockrum, President of the University. “I want to thank Lieutenant Colonel Corbin and his team for their service and for hosting the event we’re having here today.”

Cumberlands hosted a successful Army ROTC program until 2014, with several cadets earning high ranks as officers (including Major General) after graduation. For the past few years, University leadership has sought opportunities to bring ROTC back to campus. With the EKU partnership, Cumberlands now has the manpower to get its program off the ground.

An active-duty officer called a cadre (pronounced CAD-ray) will visit Cumberlands twice a week to provide classroom instruction. On Thursdays, Cumberlands will bus its cadets to and from EKU’s campus to fulfill ROTC’s “lab” requirement.

“It’s a collaborative effort,” said Lt. Col. Jerimiah Corbin. “If the numbers grow enough, we’ll have a cadre here on Cumberlands’ campus full-time.”

According to Corbin, at its basis, ROTC is a leadership program. Cadets learn a foundation of respect, integrity and duty as freshmen, and their character, fitness and skills are strengthened as they continue in the program. By the time they are upperclassmen, cadets lead as many aspects of the program as possible.

“They are the ROTC program. It’s not me, it’s the cadets,” Corbin said. “They do the planning, the execution, the training – they do it all. We’re just there to make sure they do it the right way and safely. Some of these young men and women are extremely impressive.”

Details regarding how to register for the program will be finalized soon. For more information about Cumberlands’ academic programs and admissions process, visit ucumberlands.edu.

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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.