National Guard presents Columbia State with Minuteman Award

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Columbia State Minutemen Award

Members from the Tennessee Army National Guard present Columbia State with a letter of intent and the Minuteman award. From left: Second Lt. McCullum; SSG Martin; SSG Baydoun, Tennessee STRONG Act Outreach NCO for the Tennessee Army National Guard; Dr. Janet F. Smith, Columbia State president; Dr. Dearl Lampley, Columbia State vice president of Williamson Campus and external services; First Sgt. Santini; and SSG Adams.

Members from the Tennessee Army National Guard recently presented Columbia State Community College with the Minuteman Award, recognizing the college for allowing students to defer tuition and fees until the end of the semester when the costs can be paid through the Tennessee Support, Training, and Renewing Opportunity for National Guardsmen Act.

“We’re here to congratulate you on your beautiful campus and school and say thank you so much for helping us make everything so much easier for our soldiers and allowing them to know that they can defer at this school,” said SSG Joseph H. Baydoun, Tennessee STRONG Act outreach NCO for the Tennessee Army National Guard. “Today, we are presenting Columbia State with the letter of intent and the Minuteman trophy — it is a prestigious award that we give out so you can showcase that you are great partners of the National Guard.”

The STRONG Act provides consistency for recruiting, increases competitiveness with surrounding states and expands opportunities for those who protect and serve Tennessee and the country. 

“Thank you for the soldiers you send our way,” said Dr. Janet F. Smith, Columbia State president. “They are excellent students, and we’re very proud to be an educational institution that is here to serve you. We are excited about the future and appreciate what you have done today. Thank you for what you do.”

The Tennessee STRONG Act provides eligible members of the Tennessee National Guard tuition funding toward a first-time bachelor’s degree for four years through a tuition reimbursement program. 

To be eligible for tuition reimbursement under the Tennessee STRONG Act, the individual must be admitted to and enroll in an eligible institution, maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.0, apply for and use federal tuition assistance, be in good standing with the Tennessee National Guard and currently serving, and apply for the reimbursement within 90 days of course completion.

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