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Military training marks 100th anniversary on campus

By Lucy Fisher

Military training was introduced at the University of Dayton on April 18, 1917, when the University was known as St. Mary’s College. Students enrolled in the new program were under the command of Capt. J. Orin Donovan and grouped into two companies.

Each student supplied his own uniform with leggings, gray wool shirts and campaign-style hats. The first Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) unit formed at the University in January 1919. The basic course, which consisted of three hours of military training per week throughout the school year and attendance at a six-week summer camp, became a mandatory subject for all able-bodied men.

By 1922, the ROTC program at UD graduated its first commissioning class. In 1973, women became eligible for Army ROTC.

Since its creation, UD’s ROTC has commissioned 2,572 officers. UD cadets consistently score among the top in the nation; seven cadets from the 2017 commissioning class placed in the top 20 percent in the nation.

For more information, visit the University Archives to view more photos and read more about the history of the ROTC at UD in For God and country = "Pro Deo et patria" : the history of Army ROTC at the University of Dayton, 1917-1995.

- Lucy Fisher, Course Reserves Specialist

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