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The Earl W. Fortner East Tennessee Veterans Honor Guard Scholarship

This scholarship was established in 2020 by members of the East Tennessee Veterans Honor Guard in memory of Earl Fortner who was a founding member of the organization. Mr. Fortner was a native of East Tennessee and graduated from Rutledge High School in nearby Grainger County. After graduation, he enlisted in the United States Air Force where he served in the Korean War. He would serve a total of 20 years active duty before retiring as Master Sergeant and Supervisor of the Military Police. After retirement, he served another 20 years in the Air National Guard.

In 1994, he co-founded the East Tennessee Veterans Honor Guard (ETVHG). The ETVHG is an all-volunteer nonprofit organization that performs graveside services for veterans who were honorably discharged from the United States military service.

In 2020, members of the East Tennessee Veterans Honor Guard voted to establish this scholarship in memory of Mr. Fortner in recognition of his dedicated service to his country and community. The scholarship is given to individuals that have honorably served in the United States Armed Forces and are seeking to complete their degree at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Criteria and Application Instructions

Basic Criteria:

  • Recipients must be currently enrolled or admitted to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
  • Recipients must be pursuing a four-year undergraduate degree.
  • Recipients must have been honorably discharged from any branch of the United States Armed Services, National Guard, or Reserves.
  • Recipients shall have documented financial need.
  • Academic achievement may be considered.
  • Applicant must submit DD-214.
  • Application submission open till August 1.
  • Five recipients will be awarded $1,000 ($500 for fall and $500 for spring).
  • Special consideration should be given to students who are supporting a family.

Required information:

  1. Application – with Essay Response
  2. DD214


  1. To apply for the Honor Guard Scholarship, submit your online application by August 1. You will be asked to upload your DD214 at the end of the online application. Please have that ready before you submit.
  2. Veterans Success Center Scholarship Committee will be reviewing applications between August 1-15.
  3. Recipients will be notified by Veterans Success Center of the award by August 16.