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Valorie Coleman
Public Relations Director
College of the Ozarks
Point Lookout, MO 65726
Office: (417) 690-2212
Email: pr@cofo.edu

September 05, 2018

College of the Ozarks to launch new Missouri Army National Guard commissioning program in 2018-19

C of O students, candidates of new commissioning program.Five C of O students sign as candidates for the new commissioning program at College of the Ozarks in a ceremony today: (L-R – Maj. Gen. Stephen L. Danner, freshman Matthew Vandiver, freshman Alec Summers, sophomore Seth Ratliff, sophomore Cole Thompson, freshman Alec Land, C of O President Jerry C. Davis)

Brief ceremony for signing of new commissioning program at C of O.Maj. Gen. Stephen L. Danner, the adjutant general of Missouri, and College of the Ozarks President Jerry C. Davis sign the agreement for the new commissioning program in a brief ceremony today, Sept. 5, 2018, at C of O.

POINT LOOKOUT, MO. — College of the Ozarks launched a new program to commission graduates as second lieutenants in the Missouri Army National Guard, beginning with the 2018-19 academic year. The leadership of the MOARNG has worked closely with the College to help design the program to best equip cadets, honor the mission and goals of the College, and assist the MOARNG in developing future leaders.

The agreement between the College and the Missouri Army National Guard outlines the general agreements and establishes procedures for the conduct of the MOARNG officer commissioning program and military science instruction. Maj. Gen. Stephen L. Danner, the adjutant general of Missouri, and College of the Ozarks President Jerry C. Davis signed the agreement in a brief ceremony today, Sept. 5, 2018, at College of the Ozarks.

“College of the Ozarks is an outstanding academic and hands-on learning institution which has a long tradition of producing outstanding Army officers,” Danner said. “A partnership between the College of the Ozarks and the Missouri National Guard Show Me GOLD program will not only ensure their students continue to have the opportunity to serve, but will greatly enhance the Guard's future officer corps with motivated, educated young leaders.”

The overall objective of establishing the officer commissioning program is to facilitate the College’s patriotic goal and the professional development of qualified citizens into commissioned officers who will serve in the MOARNG. This objective will be accomplished by conducting a developmental program of professional classroom instruction, leadership laboratories, and physical conditioning training as part of professional military education.

“We hope this new program provides a model that other colleges and universities will follow,” Davis said. “The program aligns with our patriotic goal, promotes service in students, and provides a way for us to give back — to the National Guard, and in essence, the security of the nation.”

The patriotic goal of the College is to encourage an understanding of American heritage, civic responsibilities, love of country, and willingness to defend it.

In the new program, College personnel will teach all courses on campus, which will be very helpful in accommodating students in a work college schedule. The program will draw upon the expertise, leadership, and facilities already provided by College of the Ozarks. Col. James Schreffler will serve as the program leader and will be designated by the MOARNG as the professor of military science. Schreffler has been a long-time instructor of military science at the College and has a 26-year history of decorated service with the military. He took command of the 1107th Theater Aviation Sustainment Maintenance Group of the Missouri Army National Guard last March. He is a senior Army aviator and a graduate of the U.S. Army War College, having earned a master’s in strategic studies. His assignments have included two deployment tours in support of operations in Kosovo and Operation Enduring Freedom.  

“I am incredibly excited to be a part of this new opportunity for our students,” Schreffler said. “This will give our students yet another opportunity to serve their country and their local communities as citizen soldiers in the National Guard. I look forward to implementing and growing this program on campus and to a long, productive partnership with the MOARNG in this endeavor.”

Previously, the College was an affiliate of the Army ROTC Bear Battalion at Missouri State University. The College decided to end its affiliation with this program after the Army changed the terms of its longstanding agreement with the College. The College believes the new program will enable it to fulfill its unique mission more effectively. Students will now have the opportunity for commissioning through the program with MOARNG, which will begin in fall 2018. Students currently contracted with the Army ROTC will complete their obligations through the ROTC program at Missouri State University.

About College of the Ozarks

College of the Ozarks is a private, Christian, liberal arts college, located in Point Lookout, Missouri, on a 1,000-acre campus. Christian values, hard work, and financial responsibility comprise the fundamental building blocks of the “Hard Work U.” experience. The College earns numerous accolades yearly, including No. 1 Best Value Regional College in the Midwest and No. 1 Most Innovative School in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report for 2018. To achieve its vision, the College pursues academic, vocational, Christian, patriotic, and cultural goals. These goals are mirrored in School of the Ozarks, a laboratory school that completes the K-college model.

The Keeter Center — the College’s award-winning lodge, restaurant, and conference facility — was ranked a Top Small Hotel in the U.S. by TripAdvisor for 2018. It features historic lodging, fine dining, and meeting rooms. With more than 350 student workers, it is the largest work station on campus. Follow College of the Ozarks at www.facebook.com/collegeoftheozarks or on Twitter @CofOHardWorkU.

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09.05.18 – Valorie Coleman

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