University of the Cumberlands is excited to announce a new Army ROTC program on campus, beginning Fall 2019. The program will operate in conjunction with Eastern Kentucky University’s (EKU) ROTC program.

All Cumberlands cadets will earn a $500 scholarship per year and free textbooks through the University’s textbook loan program. Other details regarding the program will be finalized soon. The scholarship award can be used in addition to any other academic scholarship awarded to students. Last year, Cumberlands lowered on-campus tuition by 57 percent and restructured its scholarship program, making it the most affordable private university in Kentucky. 

The University recently hosted an on-campus event to announce the new program to students. Cadets from EKU arrived equipped with heavy packs, camouflage netting, tents and a cannon (which was fired with blank rounds – twice – to the glee of those who shot it). The cadets split Cumberlands students into teams of ten and led them through a race that simulated ROTC fitness drills. Students enjoyed a cookout afterward.

“We appreciate this opportunity to bring ROTC back on campus,” said Dr. Larry L. Cockrum, President of the University. “I want to thank Lieutenant Colonel Corbin and his team for their service and for hosting the event we’re having here today.”

Cumberlands hosted a successful Army ROTC program until 2014, with several cadets earning high ranks as officers (including Major General) after graduation. For the past few years, University leadership has sought opportunities to bring ROTC back to campus. With the EKU partnership, Cumberlands now has the manpower to get its program off the ground.

An active-duty officer called a cadre (pronounced CAD-ray) will visit Cumberlands twice a week to provide classroom instruction. On Thursdays, Cumberlands will bus its cadets to and from EKU’s campus to fulfill ROTC’s “lab” requirement.

“It’s a collaborative effort,” said Lt. Col. Jerimiah Corbin. “If the numbers grow enough, we’ll have a cadre here on Cumberlands’ campus full-time.”

According to Corbin, at its basis, ROTC is a leadership program. Cadets learn a foundation of respect, integrity and duty as freshmen, and their character, fitness and skills are strengthened as they continue in the program. By the time they are upperclassmen, cadets lead as many aspects of the program as possible.

“They are the ROTC program. It’s not me, it’s the cadets,” Corbin said. “They do the planning, the execution, the training – they do it all. We’re just there to make sure they do it the right way and safely. Some of these young men and women are extremely impressive.”

Details regarding how to register for the program will be finalized soon. For more information about Cumberlands’ academic programs and admissions process, visit