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Veterans To Receive Honorary Masters Degrees
Tennessee Maneuvers Veterans To Receive Honorary Masters Degrees From Cumberland University 'Remembrance and Respect' Set for May 8, 2012
UPDATE: To Apply for the Honorary Degree click here
From 1941 to 1944, more than 850,000 soldiers from 25 U.S. Army divisions participated in seven large-scale maneuvers across 22 counties of Middle Tennessee--deadly serious war games (250 soldiers and civilians died in the training) to prepare for the war in the European and Pacific theaters.
Cumberland University, which served as 2nd Army field headquarters for those massive exercises, wants to award honorary Master of Military Arts degrees next spring to as many of the soldiers from the Maneuvers as it can find.
“The simulated combat in Middle Tennessee was a critical element in the Allied victory in World War II,” said Cumberland University President Dr. Harvill Eaton. “What soldiers learned here, as they engaged in rigorous corps-level exercises, was an important part of their education for their overseas combat assignments. To commemorate the 70th anniversary of the 2nd Army Maneuvers Field Headquarters moving to our campus in Lebanon, we will award the honorary degrees in a special ‘Remembrance and Respect’ celebration.”
Eaton said the university plans to host the event and confer the degrees on May 8, 2012. The date – the anniversary of Victory in Europe Day – is significant because 22 of the 25 U.S. Army divisions that trained in the Tennessee Maneuvers fought in the European theater.
“We have titled our commemoration “Remembrance and Respect – Cumberland University Honors the Veterans of the WW II Tennessee Maneuvers” because it’s important for us to remember how Cumberland University and Middle Tennessee contributed to the Allied victory,” Eaton said. “But, more important, we want to pay our respects to the men who trained here and fought with such skill and tenacity.
“We’re hopeful that many veterans will be able to attend the May 8 event on our campus,” Eaton continued. “We’re planning a variety of interactive displays that will allow the veterans to see and touch a large assortment of vehicles and equipment they used, to hear music from that era, to be in the company of other soldiers who shared their wartime experiences, to see WW II re-enactors, and – most important – to be honored by Middle Tennesseans who recognize and appreciate their sacrifices and service. Those who are unable to attend the event can, of course, receive their degrees by mail.”
Veterans who trained in the Tennessee maneuvers but are unable to attend the ceremonies in person may still receive the honorary Master of Military Arts degree by contacting Cumberland University by mail, email or phone.
The seven large-scale Tennessee Maneuvers involved the following divisions:
2nd Armored – June, 1941
4th Armored – September – November, 1942
5th Armored – April – June, 1943
5th Infantry – June, 1941
6th Infantry – September - November, 1942
8th Infantry – September - November, 1942
10th Armored – July – August, 1943
12th Armored – September – November, 1943
14th Armored – November, 1943 – January, 1944
17th Airborne – January – March, 1944
26th Infantry – January – March, 1944
27th Infantry – June, 1941
30th Infantry – (Participated twice) June, 1941 and September-November, 1943
35th Infantry – November, 1943 – January, 1944
78th Infantry – January – March, 1944
79th Infantry – September – November, 1943
80th Infantry – July – August, 1943
81st Infantry – September – November, 1943
83rd Infantry – July – August, 1943
87th Infantry – November, 1943 – January, 1944
94th Infantry – September – November, 1943
98th Infantry – September – November, 1943
100th Infantry – November, 1943 – January, 1944
101st Airborne – (Participated twice) – April – June & and July – August, 1943
106th Infantry – January – March, 1944
The terrain of middle Tennessee allowed soldiers to make river crossings and engage in simulated combat in conditions similar to those expected in France and Belgium. The training was very realistic, with more than 250 soldiers and civilians killed in the Tennessee Maneuvers. The Cumberland University commemoration will also pay tribute to those who died in training and in overseas combat.