LITTLE ROCK — U.S. Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., on Friday introduced five proposed amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act, including one to protect training programs for Army Reserve officers and one to require burial of a child’s skull now on display in a museum.

LITTLE ROCK — U.S. Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., on Friday introduced five proposed amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act, including one to protect training programs for Army Reserve officers and one to require burial of a child’s skull now on display in a museum.


Boozman’s proposed amendments are:


—Amendment 4156, which would prohibit the closure, downgrade of status or placement on probation of Senior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps programs. The Army has listed 149 SROTC schools in 23 states as "non-viable" and at risk of closure, including five in Arkansas.


The Arkansas schools are at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, the University of Arkansas at Monticello, Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, ASU-Beebe and Harding University in Searcy.


"The ROTC program has commissioned more than a half-million officers," Boozman said in a statement Friday. "It is the largest commissioning source for our military. Before the Army can suggest closures of specific SROTC programs, it must improve its methodology. Relying on arbitrary standards for a decision of this nature is not acceptable."


—Amendment 4154, which would authorize the Army to have a child’s skull, currently on display at the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Maryland, buried the Mountain Meadows grave site in Southern Utah.


About 120 people, most of them from Arkansas, were killed in the Mountain Meadows Massacre in 1857, when Mormon militiamen and their Paiute Native American allies attacked a wagon train. The Army buried most of the victims’ remains, but a child’s skull from the massacre is on display at the Maryland museum.


The museum would have to facilitate the skull’s relocation under Boozman’s amendment.


—Amendment 4157, which would direct the Department of Defense to identify veterans who have been separated from service for combat-related injuries any time since the beginning of the Gulf War and have received a severance payment.


The department would have to determine how much the veterans are owed because of the wrongful withholding of taxes from their payments and provide them with documentation to recover the amounts.


—Amendment 4156, which would designate construction of a National Desert Storm and Desert Shield Memorial in an area approved by the Department of the Interior.


—Amendment 4155, which would allow National Guard and Reserve retirees who served honorably for 20 years or more but do not have active service duty time required to qualify as veterans under federal law.


"NDAA is essential to providing our men and women in uniform with the resources they need to defend our national security and I will be working to get these amendments included so we can make this bill even stronger," Boozman said.