Military Friendly School


East Tennessee State University

A Military Friendly School for Higher Education

 James H. Quillen College of Medicine: One of America’s Teague-Cranston Medical Schools

On March 12, 1974, the Tennessee House of Representatives overrode then Governor Winfield Dunn’s veto of the legislation authorizing the creation of a medical school at ETSU. Local leaders won approval for the ETSU College of Medicine to participate in the Veterans Administration Medical Schools Assistance and Health Manpower Training Act of 1972. Federal assistance through this Teague-Cranston Act created six new medical schools to operate in conjunction with Veterans Administration hospitals. ETSU with the Mountain Home VA Medical Center became the location for one of these six schools, developing a partnership recognized as a national model through which both institutions have achieved significant advances in health care delivery, research, and education.

A Military Friendly School Award

The long-term efforts of the ETSU Veterans Affairs Office, the Veterans Upward Bound Program and participation in the Yellow Ribbon Program led ETSU to be named a Military Friendly School by the magazine GI Jobs. Some 400 ETSU students are now using the Montgomery GI Bill benefits. Over 650 ETSU students have participated in the program with a high graduation/persistence rate of over 40 percent.

The Military Medical Student Association at James H. Quillen College of Medicine

A group of military medical students established a support organization at the Quillen College of Medicine to provide information and resources needed for Health Professions Scholarship Program students to navigate their challenging world. The student association engages in outreach to the local Veterans’ community. The Association includes representative leadership from every branch. Quillen College of Medicine has a strong military connection and more than 10 percent of our student body is currently serving as Officer-Students.

The Veterans History Project

Congressman William Jenkins invited ETSU in 1999 to engage university students (from History, Storytelling, Appalachian Studies and Theater) in the Library of Congress’ Veteran History Project. ETSU students coordinated with local veterans’ organizations and with rural school systems projects to collect oral histories, pictures and other documents from over 260 veterans from the mountains of East Tennessee. All collected materials are housed at the Library of Congress and the ETSU Archives of Appalachia. The Library of Congress indicated that the First Congressional District had submitted the largest number of collected histories in the U.S.

The Buccaneer Battalion, The ETSU Commitment to R.O.T.C.

The ROTC program was established at ETSU in 1952. ETSU has a record on exceeding commissioning requirements, with a cumulative record of commissioning over 1400 Second Lieutenants for the Army. Of these officers, nine have achieved the ranks of general officer within the Army (along with five other flag officers from other Services). Twenty-five percent of current Cadets earned Dean’s List honors. ETSU ROTC also sponsors numerous Cadet clubs.

Rural Health Professions Institute

The James H. Quillen Veterans Affairs Medical Center and ETSU are now offering a VA Rural Health Professions Institute for staff members and health professionals from VA Community Based Outpatient Centers and rural Outreach programs from across the country. The Institute was initiated by VISN 9 and funded by the VA Office of Rural Health. Week-long training sessions include topics in clinical care, use of new technologies, quality improvement planning, overviews of how rural health and Veterans’ culture influence health outcomes.