POINT LOOKOUT, Mo — There’s a new required course at the College of the Ozarks, unique to a 4 year non-military school. 

The Patriotic Education Fitness Class was born out of the belief that not enough emphasis was being placed on our military, our history, and our service to country.

“Patriotic education is not inherited: It must be taught, it must be modeled, and it must be emphasized,” said CofO President Jerry Davis.

“It’s the United States of America, not the diversified states of America.”

The freshman 4-credit class combines 3 already offered on campus: including parts of ROTC, Patriotic Education, and PE. 

Freshman Makenzie Bradshaw has already taken the course. 

“(At 1st, I thought) Oh no! I wasn’t really sure what to expect,” said Bradshaw when she heard that the class included running in formation and calisthenic workouts.

Her opinions changed after the semester. 

“Everyone should at least know the basics of what goes on,” she explained. “They fight for us on a daily basis, and some of them even die. Military members sacrifice their homes and their families just to make sure that we have freedom.”

“I really respect that, not knowing if I could make that same sacrifice.”

The physical fitness portion of the course is graded on participation, not performance. The class will also include various outdoor activities, like marksmanship and land navigation. 

“Our belief is that this will plant a seed that will grow within them and that they will touch others,” said 4-star General Terrence Dake.

He’s a member of College of the Ozarks Board of Trustees, spoke to students on Monday.

“I really think that if you give a person the tools of an education, the patriotic yearnings inside of themselves, and the leadership tools that can be taught: They will be leaders.”