UTM ROTC building to be named in honor of Cavin

The building that houses the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) at the University of Tennessee at Martin will be given a new name on Friday, April 12, when it is named for UTM alumnus and Martin native Lt. Gen. Dennis D. Cavin (ret.).

Cavin received a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from UT Martin in 1970 and was commissioned as a distinguished military graduate in Air Defense Artillery.

The naming ceremony will be held at 2 p.m. at the ROTC building on the east side of Hardy M. Graham Stadium along Moody Avenue. The public is invited to attend.

Lt. Col. Bernard House, leader of the ROTC Skyhawk Battalion and professor of military science in the Department of Military Science and Leadership, said he met Cavin, a member of the UTM ROTC Hall of Fame, when he arrived at UT Martin two years ago.

“In the two years that I’ve been here, he has done a lot for the program,” he said. “He’s been a guest speaker, he has come by to talk with the cadets and he has been the guest speaker for our Memorial Day ceremony.

“He just stays connected; he stays invested with the program.”

House said that naming the building in honor of a UT Martin alumnus and three-star general would be inspiring for future ROTC students.

“They can walk in, and we’ve got his bio and picture right there in the building so they can walk by and read about him,” he said. “It gives them something to aspire to, that they can see that somebody graduated from this university and achieved such a high rank in the military. That tells them that if that’s something they want to do, they can do it.”

Cavin earned a master’s degree in management from Webster University in St. Louis in 1982 and is a graduate of the Army Command and General Staff College and the Department of Defense’s Senior Executive Level Education Program of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.

Cavin served as a career Army Air Defense Artillery officer in short range and high-altitude air defense artillery for more than 20 years. He has served in command and leaderships positions from platoon to Army major commands.

In 1996, Cavin earned his first star in becoming a brigadier general and served as the deputy commanding general and later command general of the U.S. Army Air Defense Artillery Center until 2000.

Cavin served as the commanding general of U.S. Army Recruiting Command at Fort Knox, Kentucky. His final command was as the commanding general of the U.S. Army Accessions Command at Fort Monroe, Virginia.

Cavin was the principal executive for meeting Army human resources missions for active and reserve forces. He was also responsible for the recruiting goals for officer and enlisted personnel, developing Initial Military Training (IMT) policy, direct commission and appointment policy, and overseeing all lMT programs.

Cavin was also the architect of several major Army outreach programs, including the U.S. Army High School All-American football game and the U.S. Army NASCAR and National Hot Rod Association programs connecting the Army to the target recruiting communities.

Cavin joined Lockheed Martin in October 2004 after completing 34 years of service in the Army. As vice president of International Air and Missile Defense Strategic Initiatives and vice president of Corporate Business Development (Army and Air and Missile Defense Programs), he was responsible for global identification, qualification and pursuit of international air and missile defense programs.

In 1999, Cavin was honored with UT Martin’s Outstanding Alumni Award, and in 2015, the Nashville Business Journal listed him as one of the initial 22 Outstanding Nashville Veterans.

Cavin chaired “Nashville Salutes,” a three-day event hosting 26 living Medal of Honor Recipients for a region-wide tribute. Nashville Salutes raised over $650,000 for the Medal of Honor Foundation’s continued expansion of the Character Development Program for middle and high schools around the nation. He has served as chairman of the Music City Executive Airport Authority as well as chairman of multiple volunteer committees throughout Middle Tennessee.

Cavin lives in Gallatin and has one daughter, Brandie Cole, who also lives in Gallatin.

The Skyhawk Battalion includes ROTC programs at UT Martin, Murray State University, Freed-Hardeman University of Henderson, Bethel University of McKenzie, Lane University, Union University and Jackson State Community College of Jackson, The battalion consists of 96 cadets this year. The ROTC program was established in September 1952.

For more information about the ROTC program at UT Martin, call recruitment officer Jan Bass at 731-298-1583 or House at bhouse5@utm.edu.

Photo: Lt. Gen. Dennis D. Cavin (ret.) is shown speaking at the 23rd Memorial Day Commemoration ceremony on May 26, 2023, between the Boling University Center and the Paul Meek Library. The ROTC building on the campus of UT Martin will be formally named in his honor in a ceremony on Friday, April 12.

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