College Contracts First ROTC Cadet in Over 100 Years

Posted by Rachael Wilbur
The ceremony will recognize Cadet Emily Johnston, a senior from Gloucester, Va. She is the first cadet at Emory & Henry to be contracted to the ROTC since 1918 shortly after World War I. 

Emory & Henry College will hold its first contracting ceremony on Saturday, January 26, on the campus of Emory & Henry in the King Center during half time of the men’s basketball game that tips at 2 p.m.

Last fall, Emory & Henry partnered with East Tennessee State University (ETSU) to bring back the ROTC (Reserve Officers’ Training Corps) program to its campus. Since that time, five students have entered the program and many more are showing interest.

“This is a special day in our history,” said President Jake B. Schrum. “Emily will be the first E&H student in more than 100 years to be fully contracted in the ROTC program with a future opportunity to serve as a commissioned officer in the United States Army.”

Johnston has met requirements including academic, physical, and training to earn this opportunity. She will go on to represent herself, E&H, the SW Virginia Region and the United States Army with distinction once a commissioned officer. 

“I have family who have been in the Army and thought this was something I could commit to,” said Johnston, a double major in biology and equine science. She is also a member of the Emory & Henry College Intermont Equestrian Team.

LTC Shawn Dodge, Professor of Military Science from ETSU, will administer the contracting oath at the event. Onlookers will include her family members and President Jake B. Schrum among others.

In George Stevenson’s book, “Increase In to Excellence: A History of Emory & Henry College from 1836-1963, a SATC (Student Army Training Corps) unit was established in July 1918 in preparation for the war. One hundred and twenty-five students participated. These units were then invited to join the ROTC in 1919 and learned how to pitch tents in a straight line and practiced military drills. The program was terminated in 1920 due to general lack of interest from the students at that time.

Hear from Johnston about her journey on WEHC 90.7 podcast here: at https://ia600309.us.archive.org/32/items/ThisConversation/RotcEmilyJohnston.mp3 

To learn more about the program visit: www.ehc.edu/rotc.

The game against Washington and Lee is free and open to the public.

  • Cadet Emily Johnston
    Cadet Emily Johnston
“This is a special day in our history. Emily will be the first E&H student in more than 100 years to be fully contracted in the ROTC program with a future opportunity to serve as a commissioned officer in the United States Army.”
President Jake B. Schrum.

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