The UTC ROTC program, under the direction of Major Robert Ricks, held its first award ceremony Thursday at the University Center on campus.
Usually having to travel to Knoxville to participate in a joint ceremony with UTK, this year the UTC program was large enough to have its own ceremony.
Ten room and board scholarships were given as well as six monetary scholarships. The new UTC ROTC Order of Blue and Gold was established by order of the Professor of Military Science with these students being the charter members: Arlann Robinson, Benjamin Rhea, John Burke, Autumn Moore, Nathan Archer, Josh Williams and Elena Cross.
Ten students were honored with the new collaborative coin symbolizing the unity between the UTC Military Science program and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. The coin’s most prominent feature is the countenance of Chief Dragging Canoe. A warrior and leader of the greatest magnitude, the life and struggles of Dragging Canoe is the source of the Mocs Battalion identity. He is the model for Leadership by Example as a principal Guardian of the Land. The reverse side features the battalion motto “Guardians of the Land, led by example;” the crests of U.S. Army Cadet Command, UTC, the American Legion, and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indian; and the date of the Tribal Resolution recognizing the cultural partnership.
The Chief John Ross Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution presented the DAR ROTC award to Cadet David Chlarson, a sophomore student from Jackson, Tenn. This award is given to a cadet for his academic excellence, leadership, and patriotic understanding of the Reserve Officer’s Training Corps.
The change of command ceremony took place, transferring the battalion colors and command from Cadet Joseph Royster to Cadet Michael Hotchkiss.