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FHU freshman Parker Pugh felt nervous leading up to the six-event Army Combat Fitness Test, but his perseverance paid off, allowing him to join the ranks of the Skyhawk Army ROTC Battalion on his way to becoming a contracted Cadet.

Freed-Hardeman University’s first four-year Army ROTC national scholarship awardee, Pugh successfully completed the test on the campus of the University of Tennessee at Martin on Wednesday, August 23.

Pugh, a history major from Franklin, Tennessee, stated that, despite his initial nerves, he received plenty of encouragement from his parents and soon regained his confidence. “Once I started completing the individual events, I realized it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be,” Pugh said. “After the first mile of the last event (a two-mile run), I still felt strong, and at that point knew I was going to be successful.”

By successfully completing this challenging physical test, Pugh will join Cadet Cody Goodwin as FHU’s second contracted Army ROTC Cadet in the Skyhawk Battalion’s FHU Lion Detachment. Thanks to a combination of the Army ROTC scholarship and his participation in the Tennessee National Guard, not only will Pugh have his tuition, housing, meals and books paid for and receive a substantial monthly stipend, but he will also commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Army, Army National Guard or US Army Reserves upon graduation.

“Having passed the test, I learned that if I push myself physically and mentally, there is nothing I can’t overcome,” Pugh said. “This was the last hurdle I had to become a contracted Army ROTC Cadet, a title I will be proud to hold until graduation and my commission in the US Army.”

FHU’s ROTC Liaison and Veteran Resources Director Tim Roberts was also impressed by Pugh’s dedication to achieving this goal. “Even though he had never attempted some of the exercises of the six-event physical fitness test, Parker pushed his physical limits and passed the test on his first attempt,” Roberts said. “We are proud of this accomplishment so early in the semester and are excited for him to become an officially contracted FHU Lion Detachment Army ROTC Cadet.”

Freed-Hardeman University has been in partnership with the University of Tennessee at Martin’s Army ROTC program since Spring 2020. For more information about participating in Army ROTC at FHU, please contact Tim Roberts at 731-989-6021 or troberts@fhu.edu.

The mission of Freed-Hardeman University is to help students develop their God-given talents for His glory by empowering them with an education that integrates Christian faith, scholarship and service. With locations in Henderson and Memphis, FHU offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s, specialist and doctoral degrees.