Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves Monday signed two executive orders in support of the state’s military. One executive order establishes the Military Star Schools program, and the other establishes the Mississippi Defense Communities Development Council.
“Mississippi’s military families, including the children of these families, deserve the utmost respect for the innumerable sacrifices they make,” said Gov. Reeves. “I want to be sure our military students are supported and successful as they transition into new schools. 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. This program will provide them with the resources needed to make the transition as seamless as possible.”
The program, which will be administered by the Mississippi Department of Education, will adopt criteria for school eligibility that requires a school applying for the Military Star designation to:
- Designate a staff member as a military ambassador
- Maintain a webpage on the school’s website that includes resources for military students and their families
- Maintain a peer-to-peer transition program that assists military students in transitioning into the school
- Offer professional development training opportunities for staff members on issues relating to military students
The Department of Education may establish additional criteria to identify schools that demonstrate a commitment to or provide critical transition support for military-connected families, such as hosting anMi annual military recognition event, partnering with a school liaison officer from a military installation, supporting projects that connect the school with the military community and/or providing outreach for military parents and their children.
Gov. Reeves also signed an executive order establishing the Mississippi Defense Communities Development Council.
“Mississippi’s military installations are vital to the health and vitality of our state’s economy,” said Gov. Tate Reeves. “The Mississippi Defense Communities Development Council will provide an additional voice for these installations to ensure they continue to best serve our nation, our state and the communities in which they are located.”
The MDCDC will be coordinated by the Governor’s Office of Military Affairs, which is housed within the Mississippi Development Authority, and will provide a body in which representatives of the communities in which military installations are located can advise executive and legislative officials regarding opportunities and threats to military installations in the state. While the Mississippi Military Communities Council previously worked to defend the state’s military assets, this new entity will work on a more proactive basis to strengthen Mississippi’s military assets and find new opportunities.
Each active-duty military installation and National Guard training center in Mississippi will be represented by community and economic development teams who will monitor federal base restructuring activities and/or enhance nearby military installations. 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)
A copy of Executive Order No. 1561 can be found here.
A copy of Executive Order No. 1562 can be found here.