On Monday, Governor Tate Reeves issued two executive orders in support of military personnel and their families.
Executive order 1561 includes plans for a new program to be implemented into Mississippi schools for military children transitioning between schools. This new program, named the “Military Stars School Program,” will allow for schools to apply with the fulfillment of several requirements.
These requirements include:
- Designating a staff member as a military ambassador
- Maintaining a website with resources for military students
- Implementation of a peer-to-peer transitional program
- Offering staff development training on issues relating to military students
“By establishing the Military Star Schools Program, military families will know their children are being supported as they settle into a new community and school or when their parent is deployed,” Reeves explained. “This program will provide them with the resources needed to make the transition as seamless as possible.”
Executive order 1562 involves the recreation and expansion of the Mississippi Military Communities Council (MMCC). The expanded council will be called the Mississippi Defense Communities Development Council (MDCDC) and will strengthen military installations and advise federal and state legislative delegations.
Reeves elaborated that the council will be able to allow representatives to “advise executive and legislative officials regarding changes to military installations, opportunities for new facilities, new missions, and opportunities for new employment in the state.”
One primary representative and one alternative representative from communities in which the following military installations are located will comprise the MDCDC:
- Keesler Air Force Base (Biloxi)
- Columbus Air Force Base (Columbus)
- Naval Air Station Meridian (Meridian)
- Naval Construction Battalion (Gulfport)
- Stennis Space Center and DOD Resident Agencies (Hancock County)
- Camp Shelby JFTC (Forrest County)
- Combat Readiness Training Center (Gulfport)
- Camp McCain Training Center (Grenada)
- 186th Air Refueling Wing, MS ANG (Meridian)
- 172nd Airlift Wing, MS ANG (Rankin County)
- Engineer Research and Development Center (Vicksburg)
- Supervisor of Shipbuilding Gulf Coast (Jackson County)
Tom Williams, the president of the Meridian Airport Authority, has been appointed for the position by the governor.
Williams, a previous council member of the MMCC, commented that “I very much appreciate the proactive approach as opposed to the reactive approach we’ve had in the past.”