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MSU's ROTC Stipends Stopped Due to Gov't Shutdown

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With no signs that the government shutdown is going to end anytime soon, local agencies are continuing to feel its affects.

The ROTC program at MSU has already faced several challenges and will continue to for a while.

Due to the government shutdown, nearly 100 cadets won't be receiving their stipends, among other setbacks.

Cadet Executive Officer Jeremy Kelly is also a member of the MSU wrestling team, and between practice, schoolwork and participating in ROTC, he doesn't have much time for anything else.

Kelly says, "So trying to make time to find a job is very difficult so I rely on that stipend that the cadet command gives us to pay for rent and other bills. With ROTC probably put in about five hours of PT a week and wrestling practice about 15 hours or so every week and on top it gets pretty demanding at times."

And unfortunately, the loss of stipends isn't the only challenge the program is facing.

The program lost four scholarships, had to furlough three workers, and can no longer use their government vehicles.

But even with the loss of the stipends, Professor of Military Science Peter Schmidt says he and his Maverick Battalion have made the most of their circumstances.

Schmidt says, "I think the morale's been good. We can't contract any new cadets into our program. We also couldn't offer any scholarships. We had about four scholarships between three and four years we normally could offer on campus and we had to stop that process because there's no funds."

Among the impact includes the shutting shown of two government vehicles for the ROTC program, meaning that the officers have to pay out of pocket when they travel to training exercises.

Schmidt says, "All the cadre members, the instructors, have opted to use their own vehicles versus the government vehicles used to teach the classes every week. So we wanted to maintain the same quality of instruction we offer the cadets and not let this budget crisis affect them."

But even with all these challenges, Schmidt and his cadets have remained upbeat.

Schmidt says, "It's not slowing us down whatsoever."

Robert Williams, "Finding out we got our stipend taken away hurts a little bit but at the same time it really hasn't in the aspect that our goal and our mission as MS–4s and seniors is to train and mentor and develop our younger cadets."