On Wednesday, February 13, Lyon College and the Arkansas State University (ASU) Department of Military Science and Leadership signed a memorandum of agreement declaring Lyon as an affiliate unit of the ASU ROTC program. Starting in fall 2019, Lyon students will be able to take ROTC courses led by the ASU ROTC Cadre for Lyon College class credit. The College will also offer a military science concentration.
The Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) provides leadership training which can lead to professional success as a civilian or, if a student decides to contract with the military, commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army, Army Reserve, or Army National Guard upon graduation.
As part of the memorandum of agreement, ASU ROTC supports Lyon’s program by providing Cadre support, meaning ROTC instructors from ASU’s program will travel to Lyon to train and instruct students. Courses will be once a week lasting approximately 50 minutes. ASU ROTC will also provide uniforms, equipment, and textbooks to students at no charge.
“We are very excited to begin teaching military science classes and offering commissions to Lyon College students, as they will immediately and undoubtedly bring impressive academic achievements and high ethical and moral character to our total Army team,” said ASU Professor of Military Science Lieutenant Colonel Brian L. Mason. “Support of Lyon College and the entire community for a senior ROTC program on this campus has been enthusiastic and inspirational for me and my team. We are ready to teach, coach, mentor, guide and lead Lyon College students who want to pursue a career in the Army, Army National Guard or Army Reserve.”
Lyon will support the program by providing classroom space, access to materials needed for instruction, access to physical fitness facilities and equipment in case of inclement weather, the use of the college campus for training, and establishment of ROTC courses with Lyon’s Registrar.
By participating in ROTC, Lyon students will gain leadership skills and experience. Students can enroll in basic courses without contracting military service obligation. The ROTC curriculum for freshmen and sophomores consists of four basic courses, one taken each semester. There are four more courses available for juniors and seniors, contingent upon contracting. Students who contract are ROTC cadets, and they can receive scholarships covering full tuition or room and board as well as a monthly stipend. The ROTC curriculum will also include summer training for cadets.
Students may decide if they want to contract with the U.S. Army as soon as they start the program. In order to contract, students must undergo extensive counseling provided by the ROTC Cadre, to determine if committing to service is the right decision.
“We can begin offering contract and scholarship opportunities for those who qualify as early as the start of school this fall,” said Mason. “Students and prospective students who would like more information or who wish to begin this process, can do so by contacting our enrollment and scholarships officer, Mr. David Hastings at 870-972-2064 or firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Interested students can also contact Captain Chance C. Hall, one of the instructors responsible for instructing Lyon students, at email@example.com.
When asked about the benefits of adding ROTC to Lyon’s campus, Lyon College Provost Dr. Melissa Taverner shared that ROTC will not only support Lyon’s mission of academic excellence but also offer an opportunity to receive a liberal arts education to those that otherwise would not have the option.
“We are providing a way to develop leaders that the country needs, that are highly educated and thoughtful persons who can make good decisions for themselves, their charges, and their country,” said Taverner. “The main thing is that we see this as a way to help our students see a four-year private liberal arts education as a way forward.”
Lyon College joins the ASU ROTC program’s three other affiliate units: Harding University, ASU Beebe, and Williams Baptist College.