The closing of the Golden Eagles Battalion is a mixture of sadness and understanding for me. The sadness comes from the closure of a program that, as a Junior, I am deeply invested in. The loss of the tradition and the camaraderie as a Cadet here at Tennessee Tech is a sorrowful event. There are many Cadets, myself included, that are prior service soldiers. We share that bond as such, while working together to build our skills as an Officer; we continually strive to better each other and work as a team in order to be the best Officers we can be upon commissioning. The feeling of understanding comes from the realization that the Army is downsizing currently. The Army looks at production and the means of that production of Officers by inputs and outputs. It is a numbers game in order to take the bias and partiality out of this production. This by the numbers approach allows for the quality of Soldiers and Officers to be at the forefront of the force that is being emplaced to make up the Army. Therefore it is understandable that the Army would elect to shut down the ROTC program here at Tennessee Tech because of a lack of production. There is a set number of Officers to be commissioned every year that is decided by Cadet Command. This number is set so that the input of cost that it takes to train an Officer is balanced by this set number, the output; the quality issue is answered through the evaluations that are done along our ROTC careers which determines if you will be commissioned as an Officer in the United States Army. Therefore an under production for several years equates to a closure of that program. That being stated there is still a factor of tradition and quality that has made the ROTC program at Tennessee Tech a program that produces excellent Officers for its entire history. There have been several Generals and high ranking Engineering and Infantry Officers produced through Tennessee Tech, who have gone to complete the hardest schools the Army has to offer and have commanded large forces in many of the wars this great nation has been victorious in. There have been numerous Ranger, Sapper, and Special Forces qualified Officers to come from this University. So a feeling of sorrow is founded and an unsatisfaction arises in my mind, wondering and voicing a question that requires an answer for the seemingly lacking accountability of this quality production of Officers taken by Cadet Command.
It is a sad yet honorable legacy ahead of our Junior class to be the last commissioning class to come from this great University in the Spring of 2015. It is this legacy that we will carry proudly with us throughout our careers. It is an understanding and the support of our higher command that brings this honor; yet it is the unanswered questions that bring about the sorrow.