Thursday, December 1, 2022
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Livingston Academy Hires JROTC Officer

Livingston Academy taking the next step after hiring an officer for its incoming JROTC program.

Director of Schools Donnie Holman said Lieutenant Colonel James Bryant will fill the position. Bryant is a retiring military science professor from Tennessee Tech. He said the school is on track to have the program begin with the next school year.

“The next step is program planning we’re going into that phase right now,” Holman said. “We will have a site visit from a different gentleman, Lieutenant Colonel Bennett of the 7th Battalion from Fort Knox, and he will be assessing us and making sure we have everything we need to have a successful program.”

Those things include adequate facilities, program planning, and student interest. Holman said the program will be housed at Livingston Academy, and that ideally down the line the school could build its own building to house the JRTOC program on campus.

Holman said he wants to emphasize the benefits of having such an opportunity at Livingston Academy. By offering JROTC, Holman said they are providing more outlets for students to find their niche and become more engaged in leadership and in the community.

“They really stress leadership and citizenship and they are preparing our students for hiring milestones, for improving their futures,” Holman said. “It’s a positive thing for our students all the way around. One thing I want to say it’s not: when I was first looking at this, I thought basically this was probably going to be a recruitment tool to get our students to join the military. Which, that’s not a bad thing at all, we want our students to join the military who want to. But this serves more as a leadership program.”

School Board Chair Mike Hayes said the school system will pay half of each salary, which would be added to next year’s budget. The other half would be provided by U.S. Army. He said that totals some $50,000.

Holman said the creation of a JROTC program was made possible through the efforts of Hayes, Mandy Looper, Richard Melton, and Pat Teeples.

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