Update: ROTC uniform requirements temporarily change for student safety
COLUMBIA - Members of Army ROTC at MU were ordered not to wear their uniforms for this week.
MU professor of military science Lt. Col. Todd Perodeau originally gave the order via email Monday in response to a threat received at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 202 in Columbia.
Perodeau said that the plan as of Monday was to maintain the civilian uniform policy through Veteran's Day, but events on Tuesday caused him to lengthen the date to Friday.
"Yesterday's events definitely played into it with all of the social media chatter," Perodeau said.
He said that he did not want to subject his cadets to the media attention wearing a uniform on campus brings, especially given the recent attention MU has received.
Navy and Marine ROTC members were wearing uniforms on campus Wednesday, but the organization said it could not comment on whether it received any instruction on whether or not to wear uniforms throughout the week.
Lt. Col. Brent J. Unger from the Department of Aerospace Studies responded to KOMU 8 News Thursday after waiting for further information from higher authorities to speak with reporters.
“The American Legion Post 202 received a letter over the weekend threatening veterans," Unger said. "As a standard force protection measure, the Army and Air Force ROTC units instructed their cadets to wear civilian clothes while the threat persisted. The letter was soon found to be spurious, but the Army and Air Force ROTC units decided to keep their units in civilian clothes for the remainder of the week in response to the uncertain security environment on the MU campus. The ROTC units at Mizzou want to dispel any rumors or fears that ROTC cadets or midshipmen were specifically targeted for attack. The ROTC units at Mizzou also want to thank the public for their strong support of our programs, especially as we recognize veterans this week.”
[Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect the most recent information.]