Roane State’s Rutledge earns Chancellor’s Commendation

UPPER CUMBERLAND – Oak Ridge resident Jason B. Rutledge, a veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard, has received the Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor’s Commendation for Military Veterans.

The commendation was conferred in the form of a specially designed Challenge Coin, and Rutledge, 47, was nominated for the honor by Roane State President Chris Whaley.

Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor Flora W. Tydings established the commendation in 2020 to honor the “service, bravery and sacrifices of veterans in campus communities,” according to a TBR news release.

One veteran from each of Tennessee’s 37 community and technical colleges was chosen in 2021 for the annual honor.

Challenge coins are a tradition in all branches of the military and signify “special achievement, excellence, hard work, unit pride, respect and esprit de corps,” according to the news release.

Recipients of the Chancellor’s Commendation “represent the spirit and values of our colleges – student success, academic excellence, courage in adversity and service to campus and community,” Tydings said.

Rutledge was a law enforcement officer while in the Coast Guard. He said he was also trained as a diesel mechanic and a canine behavior instructor. He and his wife Angie are the parents of two sons, Austin and Justin.

Rutledge said he’s studying Mass Communications at Roane State, and he’s expected to receive his associate degree at the conclusion of the 2023 spring semester.

He’s planning to then transfer to the University of Tennessee and seek a bachelor’s degree.

For now, he said, “My full-time job is learning.”

Roane State is a two-year college providing transfer programs, career-preparation programs and continuing education. Founded in 1971, the college has locations in Roane, Campbell, Cumberland, Fentress, Knox, Loudon, Morgan and Scott counties as well as a branch campus in Oak Ridge. For more information, visit or call (865) 882-4554. Remember, eligible adults can now attend Roane State tuition-free with the new Reconnect grant. Learn more at

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