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HomeEducationCelebrating ROTC’s 50th year at Austin Peay State University: Retired Col. Eddie...

Celebrating ROTC’s 50th year at Austin Peay State University: Retired Col. Eddie Vaughn

Austin Peay State University - APSUClarksville, TN – The Reserve Officers’ Training Corps at Austin Peay State University (APSU) is celebrating its 50th year. To mark the occasion, each month we will share one story of a Governor’s Guard alumni or former leader.

This final month, we share the story of retired Col. Eddie Vaughn, who graduated from Austin Peay State University in 1983.

Vaughn was nominated by the ROTC program to share his story. He was in enlisted service in the Army National Guard from 1970-76, and upon leaving Austin Peay State University’s program as a distinguished graduate, he went on to 28 years of commissioned service in the U.S. Army Reserve and on active duty, including deployments to Korea, Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan.
He returned to Austin Peay State University from 2003-05 to serve as an assistant professor of military science in the ROTC program.
He shared responses to several questions as well as pictures from his service. Here are his responses:

How did your time with APSU’s ROTC help prepare you for your career?

Col. Eddie Vaughn. (APSU)
Col. Eddie Vaughn. (APSU)

Good instruction coupled with discipline and respect. No discipline, no respect; no respect, no discipline. The PMSs (professors of military science) clearly stated objectives as to what I expected to learn and/or do by the conclusion of the lesson.

They were always presenting both open-ended as well as closed-ended questions to check for understanding and for the students to engage their thinking ability for resolutions. They were always motivating us to be good disciplined, respectful and problem-solvers; to be part of the solution and not the problem.

The teamwork and the comradeship shared were the ultimate. In addition, during the years May 2003-May 2005, as a United States Army Reserve officer, I served as an assistant professor of military science at Austin Peay State University. An honor. I practically learned as much from the students – especially those of prior service – as I did instruct.

I cannot go any further without the mention of Lt. Col. Greg Lane (retired). He was a true asset to the entire APSU ROTC program. The students, the curriculum and the future of these dedicated and determined newcomer United States Army officers was first and always first. Selfless and determined himself. I am truly fortunate to have served with him in this capacity.

What were your best experiences at APSU and with the ROTC?

The classes were very informing, but the practical exercises were the catalyst that held us together and matured the soldier. Do or fear. A word forbidden in my vocabulary. One of my greatest ROTC highlighted experiences was the advanced camp at Fort Lewis, Washington. Loved the “get-up-and-go,” the training, comradeship and the post itself. An exceptionally good preparation for the oncoming active duty. Gratifying, pleasing and fulfilling.

What has the ROTC program meant to Austin Peay State University, Clarksville and the area in the 50 years it’s been at APSU?

Col. Eddie Vaughn with General David Petraeus. (APSU)
Col. Eddie Vaughn with General David Petraeus. (APSU)

APSU’s ROTC program provides first-class leadership development, as well as valuable teamwork and networking avenues. It opens the door to specialized training such as airborne, air assault, medical training, and other technical skills.

Austin Peay State University has to be proud of its long tradition of service to our country by its graduates in the armed forces. Recognition as one of the top ROTC programs in the nation is another example of the lofty standards being set in all areas at APSU. The APSU ROTC program has time and time again rated first class at every advanced summer camp. HooAh!

Vaughn’s Military Biography 

Vaughn has an extensive military biography. He served in Korea from 1990-91, in Iraq from 2005-06 and in Afghanistan from 2010-2011. His accomplishments include a Legion of Merit Medal, a Bronze Star Medal with one oak leaf cluster, a Meritorious Service Medal with two bronze oak leaf clusters, an Army Commendation Medal with one silver oak leaf cluster and one bronze oak leaf cluster and an Army Achievement Medal with two bronze oak leaf clusters.

ROTC to celebrate this year’s graduates

The ROTC program at Austin Peay State University will culminate the year with the commissioning of 30 new Army officers.

The Spring 2022 Commissioning Ceremony will be  on Friday, May 6th, 2022 from 6:00pm-7:30pm in the Clement Auditorium on campus.

Maj. Gen. Joseph McGee, commanding general of the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, will be the keynote speaker.


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