KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Army ROTC at Carson-Newman University has a new person in charge. She’s a graduate of the school and its Army program. She’s also a proven leader amongst her peers.

Army ROTC has been offered at Carson-Newman since 1971. It never had a female officer in charge – until now.

“Oh, wow. My first one that I ever got, right here, Carson-Newman. This is the Carson-Newman Eagle Battalion coin,” Lieutenant Colonel Frances Young, ROTC, Professor of Military Science, says as she held the coin. Young, an Army nurse, has come a long way since first receiving this military challenge coin in 2003 as a first-year ROTC cadet.

“A typical day for ROTC, we get up around zero, five-thirty,” Young said.

Frances also showed a photo as a junior cadet in 2006 describing what it’s like for those enrolled in the program. As the daughter of a retired Army Sgt. First Class, the Jefferson County High School graduate was the first in her family to go to college.

As long as she can remember, she wanted to be an Army nurse.

“I felt a calling, if you will. That’s where my passion needs to go,” Young said. “As I started to pursue what it meant to be an Army nurse, it is different than just being a nurse. I am proud to say I am an Army nurse.  And take care of America’s sons and daughters.”

As Carson-Newman’s Professor of Military Science, LTC Young and her staff are responsible for the cadets under her command.

“Our officers who are commissioned through ROTC are going to be placed as new Second Lieutenants in charge of 30 or 40 people,” she said. “They are responsible for those soldiers. I believe I’m a transformational servant leader. I try to challenge them and harness the strengths that are unique to them. I believe that each person is created with a unique set of talents and gifts.”

Her two children, husband, and mom pinned the rank of LTC onto her uniform at her promotion ceremony in September. Her retired Army Sgt. First Class father, in his uniform, presented the first salute to the new LTC. And, her husband, Major James Young, who she met at Carson-Newman as cadets, also presented a sharp salute.

“I believe that things happen for a reason.  I was truly blessed and fortunate to be able to come back,” she said.

She returned to Carson-Newman, and won the appointment due to her leadership abilities. Airborne and Air Assault trained, she also wears the Expert Field Medical Badge.

“I love the Army, I love what we stand for. I love the military in general. I love the ability to be able to work with such a diverse of expert professionals. Being in the Army is a servant leader. Carson-Newman’s mission here is to create worldwide servant leaders.  I feel like I’ve been able to blend my faith with my practice as a leader.”

As a leader, she has a collage filled with memories of her career. Today, LTC Young’s future is bright.

LTC Young holds a Master’s degree and is currently halfway through completing her Ph.D. Following in her footsteps are several Carson-Newman cadets who are planning to become Army nurses. They have quite a good nursing program at the school.