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We welcome the return of Southern Arkansas University’s partnership with the United States military, which was announced recently.

SAU’s history with the armed forces dates back to 1926 when the original National Guard Armory was built on campus when the school was known as Southern State College.

After initially being deemed too small for an ROTC program in1953, SSC received Army approval for an ROTC program while many colleges were ending the program because of Vietnam War protests, according to SAU, which noted that relationship was put on hold 28 ago when the program was closed in a downsizing move.

The military will once again have a presence on our campus following an announcement after the most recent SAU Board of Trustees meeting that an Officer Candidate School Guard Officer Leadership Development (GOLD) program at SAU will service the Arkansas National Guard.

The GOLD program restores SAU’s respected relationship with the military and complements the region’s commitment to our fighting forces through the defense industry’s sophisticated weaponry manufacturing in nearby East Camden.

“SAU has had a storied history with military training and military science almost since the founding of our institution,” said SAU President Dr. Trey Berry. “We are truly excited to be working with the Arkansas National Guard to bring this tradition back to our campus.”

SAU’s renewed affiliation through the GOLD program reflects and demonstrates the high esteem in which the military is held in South Arkansas. We hope it is a long and mutually-rewarding relationship.

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