Patriot Academy
The National Guard's first Patriot Academy for high school dropouts is ready for its grand opening, Aug. 26. The academy is located in Jennings County, Ind.

CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. (Army News Service, Aug. 25, 2009) -- The Indiana Army National Guard is hosting the grand opening and dedication of the first Patriot Academy Wednesday where high school dropouts who want to serve in the Guard can earn their diplomas.

The Patriot Academy is a new program from the National Guard Bureau open to candidates from all 54 states and territories who want to earn their high school diploma and serve their country.

The first Patriot Academy is at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center in Jennings County, Ind. Renovation of the academy began in the fall of 2008 and the first students arrived in June.

There are currently 47 students enrolled in the academy from 16 states. The program will expand to 250 students in fiscal year 2010 and up to 500 students by 2011, according to National Guard Bureau officials.

The National Guard Bureau is also planning to extend the program to include a bachelor's degree completion program and add additional campuses nationwide.

The opening ceremony will include a ribbon-cutting and flyover as well as the opportunity to hear more about the program from state and national leaders.

Guests include retired Lt. Gen Clyde A. Vaughn, former director of the Army National Guard who spearheaded this initiative; Indiana Lt. Governor Becky Skillman and acting Director of the Army National Guard Maj. Gen. Raymond W. Carpenter.

The ceremony will also include music by the 38th Infantry Division Rock Band and tours of the academy.

Page last updated Tue August 25th, 2009 at 15:21