get second chance at academy
Beth Rumsey, Staff Writer
The state is proud to be a host to the first
Patriots Academy, said Indiana Lt. Governor Becky Skillman,
at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Patriot Academy on Wednesday,
August 26. The Patriot Academy, a pilot program of the National
Guard, is located in the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center in
Butlerville, the first of its kind in the nation.
The National Guard Patriot Academy gives high school drop outs
an opportunity to earn their high school diploma while building
upon skills learned in basic training. Colonel Perry Sarver, Commandant
of the Patriot Academy, summed up the program in two words, Do
over and a second chance.
According to Col. Sarver, the program changes the lives of the
soldiers forever. While attending the academy, they will get a
diploma, build on military skills, and put in a minimum of eight
hours of community service to learn how to give back to the community.
The mission is to educate and train them to be the best
citizen soldiers in the Army, said Col. Sarver. The unit
gains a highly competent soldier.
Soldiers at the Patriots Academy will receive full-time military
pay and benefits as they receive their education and training.
Students attend basic training before reporting to the academy.
Each student attending the Patriots Academy will have ten or fewer
credit hours remaining for graduation; must be between the ages
of 17-20 years old and have been out of school for at least six
The first class to graduate was made up of 48 students from across
the country. Upon completion, they will attend advanced training
and then return to their home states for service in their Army
National Guard Units.
In addition to earning credits needed for graduation, students
will earn college credit for courses that meet the dual credit
criteria. These credits will be transferred to a college in their
The academy includes three dorms as well as the school house,
dining facility and chapel. Each dorm comes equipped with computer
study labs, laundry facilities and recreation rooms.
Indiana Ninth District Congressman Baron Hill encouraged the graduates
to believe that they can realize their goals. Those who
fail find an excuse, he said, and those who succeed,
find a way.