JOPLIN, Mo. —
Missouri Southern State University has joined with the Missouri Army National Guard to bring Show-Me Gold, an officer training program, to the campus.
The program gives students the opportunity to become commissioned officers in the National Guard through classroom instruction, laboratories and physical conditioning training. Students will take regular academic courses through MSSU as well as credit-bearing courses through the National Guard.
MSSU President Bruce Speck, a veteran of the Vietnam War, said the program will serve not only students who seek training to become citizen-soldiers, but also what he calls the “patriotic” Joplin community.
“It’s going to benefit everybody,” he said Thursday morning during the signing of the agreement between the university and the National Guard. “I think what’s going to happen here is we’re going to train people to be good citizens, good patriots.”
Maj. Gen. Stephen Danner, adjutant general of the Missouri Army National Guard, said the students who eventually will graduate as officers from the program will help defend the country overseas and provide aid domestically to disaster-stricken areas.
“We’ve needed a program to continue to develop our young officers,” he said. “This gives our officers the opportunity to grow not only militarily but academically.”
Tia Strait, dean of the School of Health Sciences, Public Safety and Technology, said students have been interested in such a program over the past few years.
“Students are viewing the military as a professional career and as a way to obtain their college education,” she said in a statement. “I think this is a very good thing for students and for Missouri Southern.”
Capt. Amanda Self, an officer in the National Guard, will be based at the university to recruit students, develop the curriculum and provide instruction for cadets.
THE SHOW-ME GOLD PROGRAM at Missouri Southern State University will launch in August 2013 and is expected to enroll 20 students.