WDAY: The News Leader

Published October 04, 2013, 06:39 PM

NDSU’s Army ROTC will close

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - One of the longest-running programs on NDSU's campus will soon be gone.

By: Becky Parker, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - One of the longest-running programs on NDSU's campus will soon be gone.

The Army says the ROTC program, part of the campus since 1920, will no longer operate after the 2014-2015 academic year.

The announcement has some students looking for programs at other schools.

The rich history of the Army ROTC program at NDSU is coming to an end.

The program has been part of the campus for 93 years, and is one of 13 nationwide being cut by the Army.

Travis Johnson- First-Year Cadet: "There is so much tradition here. You look at these walls; they are filled."

Travis Johnson is a first-year cadet.

He planned to graduate and become an officer in the National Guard, but the program will be closed before he can finish his four years.

Johnson: "My friend called me. He told me and my mouth just dropped. It wasn't until he told me that I realized how much I actually want to keep continuing in this."

A letter from the Army says the closure is not a reflection of the quality of the program, but a decision made by the Army "to best accomplish its mission with a reduction of resources."

Lieutenant Colonel Ted Preister, professor of military science, says he's working with about 40 first- and second-year students like Johnson.

Lieutenant Colonel Ted Priester- Professor of Military Science: "I am going to try and help them all; find a way forward through this and continue in a program that will get them a commission as a second lieutenant if that's what they want to do."

Besides being one of the oldest programs on campus, it is also award-winning, with many of the cadets graduating among the top in the nation.

Catrina Kelm is a third-year cadet.

While she will be able to complete the program, she is disappointed she won't get to help the younger cadets along the way.

Catrina Kelm- Third-Year Cadet: "Previous years have really helped and developed me and they lead the program. So, it's sad that I can't do the same."

The Air Force ROTC program on campus will remain operational.

The closest Army ROTC program is up at UND.