Emory & Henry College Executives Participate in National Symposium, Skydive with Golden Knights Solidifying ROTC Connection

Posted by Tyler Segraves
Emory & Henry College Vice President for Enrollment Management and External Affairs Jennifer Pearce and Executive Director of Strategic Initiatives Ryan Bowyer were invited to Fort Knox, Ky. on Tuesday, July 12 through Friday, July 15 to observe leadership training and learn more about the training that Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) cadets receive. They participated in a portion of the basic training that cadets receive, including a 65-foot rappel tower and a tandem parachute jump with the Golden Knights, the U.S. Army’s nationally recognized Parachute Team.

“It was an absolute honor to be able to connect with colleagues from across the country,” said Bowyer. Bowyer was invited to represent the College at this year’s U.S. Army Cadet Command (USACC) “Center of Influence” symposium by 7th Brigade commander COL Brent Clemmer, which included the rappel tower and confidence course.

Emory & Henry College offers opportunities for ROTC cadets to work and learn alongside peers and professors at East Tennessee State University (ETSU). ROTC classes lead cadets through a four-year degree including leadership training and support from experts in their fields. ROTC cadets receive tools, training and experience to graduate with a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army.

“It was fantastic to hear how other campuses support their ROTC cadets, and it’s given our team here at Emory & Henry new and exciting ideas,” Bowyer continued. Topics at the symposium included “The Future of Higher Education” and “Diversity and How to Attract Under-served Populations.”

“This was a once in a lifetime opportunity to represent Emory & Henry College and our ROTC program,” said Pearce, who participated in the tandem parachute jump with the Golden Knights. Pearce and the Golden Knights took flight from Addington Field at the Elizabethtown Regional Airport in Elizabethtown, Ky.

“Training and jumping with the selected Golden Knights was an awe-inspiring experience. They are very dedicated to our country, diligent to details and committed to their craft. It was an honor to fly and jump 14,000 feet with them. I was in good hands like our entire country is with our U.S. military.”

Pearce adds that she looks forward to more high school and college students considering the ROTC program as part of their future at E&H which can lead to free tuition and a fulfilled life full of adventure.

Emory & Henry has commissioned three officers from its ROTC since it started in 2018 under the direction and leadership of retired U.S. Air Force Colonel Charlie Quillin. Quillin and the cadre of soldiers that operate the ROTC program serve as mentors and support for cadets at the College. The program has seven enrolled cadets on track to graduating with a commission in the U.S. Army, Army Reserves or Army National Guard as Second Lieutenants. Emory & Henry College is currently enrolling interested students in the ROTC program on campus. Families and students can learn more at www.ehc.edu/rotc.

  • Vice President for Enrollment Management and External Affairs Jennifer Pearce following her safe landing with SFC Jared Zell of Indiana, a member of the Golden Knights, the U.S. Army’s Parachute Team.
  • Vice President for Enrollment Management and External Affairs Jennifer Pearce falling 125 mph during her tandem parachute jump with SFC Jared Zell of Indiana, a member of the Golden Knights, the U.S. Army’s Parachute Team.
  • Executive Director of Strategic Initiatives Ryan Bowyer enjoyed the 65-foot rappel tower at Fort Knox, Ky.

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