National Guard honors ETSU Veterans Affairs with Minuteman Award

Published 8:30 am Friday, October 11, 2019

JOHNSON CITY — The Tennessee Army National Guard recently visited East Tennessee State University to present a Minuteman Award to the Office of Veterans Affairs in recognition of the university’s participation in the Tennessee STRONG Act.

This fall, 21 students are utilizing the Tennessee STRONG (Support, Training, and Renewing Opportunity for National Guardsmen) Act, a “last-dollar” tuition reimbursement program for first-time degree seeking Tennessee National Guard members. The STRONG Act supports the Drive to 55 goal of equipping 55 percent of Tennesseans with a degree or certificate by 2025.

“The Minuteman Award of Excellence is a true symbol of what we stand for,” said Major Mike Smith of the Tennessee National Guard Recruiting and Retention Battalion. “We appreciate ETSU for its dedication to the soldiers and airmen of the Tennessee National Guard.”

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Guy Hurd, interim director for the Office of Veterans Affairs, said more than 75 ETSU students and members of the Tennessee National Guard have taken advantage of the STRONG Act thus far, resulting in more than $350,000 toward tuition reimbursements.

“This is truly an outstanding opportunity for students to realize their dreams of earning a college degree and we thank the Tennessee National Guard for this partnership through the STRONG Act,” said Dr. Brian Noland, ETSU president.

The Office of Veterans Affairs at ETSU provides support for over 760 military-affiliated students enrolled at ETSU this fall. The Military-Affiliated Student Resource Center (MARC), a dedicated study and social space for military affiliated students, was relocated to a newly renovated space in 2018 to accommodate the growing number of military-affiliated students attending ETSU.

To learn more about scholarships and other benefits available at ETSU for military-affiliated students, visit or contact the Office of Veterans Affairs at 423-439-6819 or