Penn State's ROTC roots

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State's military history goes back nearly to its founding. Military instruction became part of its mission in 1863 when the institution was named as Pennsylvania's Land-Grant university by the Morrill Act, requiring the then-Agricultural College of Pennsylvania to provide military training (among other stipulations) to its students. Soon after, military training became mandatory for all able-bodied male undergraduates at the college.

In 1916, to address the United States' need for trained military leaders for World War I, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson signed the National Defense Act of 1916, creating the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, which standardized military education and training under a single, federally controlled entity.

One hundred years later, on Blue-White Weekend, April 15-17, Penn State Army ROTC alumni and current cadets and cadre of the Nittany Lion Battalion will join together to celebrate one of the oldest, largest, and most successful Army ROTC programs in the nation. Read more about Penn State's ROTC history and the upcoming 100th anniversary celebration.

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Last Updated April 14, 2016