NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Even in the middle of the summer, a group of students at Tennessee State University are hard at work preserving a strong reputation of creating leaders in our communities and our country.
Inside of one of the halls near campus, there is a hall honoring those who have volunteered to defend our country.
“We have graduates from TSU Air Force ROTC detachment from all different walks of life,” said Staff Sgt. Keshawn Lipscomb.
The Air Force ROTC Program came to Middle Tennessee in 1951 and leaders said it has been changing the lives of young people ever since.
“We have ladies and gentlemen who have served in all ranks from lieutenant to four-star general,” said current detachment Commander Lt. Col. Sharon Presley.
Cadet Jerry Kibet recently earned a scholarship for signing up to fight for our country.
“I’ll be able to not only lead one day, but be able to serve a mission to protect people’s lives, protect freedom all over the world,” Kibet said.
The program’s first professors include two of the Tuskegee airmen, but the sky is the limit when it comes to all of their well-known alumni.
“You’ll look at the footsteps that you have taken and you’ll be able to realize that this is something that was meant for you,” said Kibet.
Presley said ROTC programs change lives at a young age.
“We provide leadership, education and training, looking to lead, guide, motivate and inspire ladies and gentlemen for service in the United States Air Force,” Presley said.
The program at TSU stretches beyond their campus.
Even though members of the program gather here at TSU, it’s actually open to students from universities and colleges all across Middle Tennessee.
Middle Tennessee State University junior John Coffman is one of those students and said starting in college prepares him to serve better once he graduates.
“You definitely find out how you act as a leader, you develop a sense of this is how I act, this is how I lead people,” said Coffman.
The cadets said walking in the footsteps of some of the most highly respected men and women to fly for our country is an honor.
“It’s not just you come to work every day, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., it’s about serving your country,” said Lipscomb.
For more on the Air Force ROTC Detachment 790, click here.