History of Army ROTC

The Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC), as it exists today, began with President Wilson signing the National Defense Act of 1916. Although military training had been taking place in civilian colleges and universities as early as 1819, the signing of the National Defense Act brought this training under single, federally-controlled entity: The Reserve Officers’ Training Corps.

Army ROTC is the largest officer-producing organization with the American military, having commissioned more than half a million second lieutenants since its inception.

Women have been an integral part of the Army ROTC since school year 1972-1973. The first group of females from ROTC were commissioned in school year 1975-1976. Today, women constitute 20 percent of the Corps of Cadets and more than 15 percent of each commissioning cohort.

In April 1986, the U.S. Army Cadet Command was formed. With its headquarters at Fort Monroe, Virginia, Cadet Command assumed responsibility for more than 400 senior ROTC units, four regional headquarters, and the Junior ROTC with programs in more than 800 high schools. Cadet Command transformed the ROTC from a decentralized organization turning out a heterogeneous group of junior officers into a centralized command producing lieutenants of high and uniform quality. An improved command and control apparatus, an intensification and standardization of training, and improvements in leadership assessment and development helped produce this transformation of pre-commissioning preparation.

Today, Army ROTC has a total of 273 programs located at colleges and universities throughout the 50 states, the District of Columbia , Puerto Rico with an enrollment of more than 35,000. It produces approximately 60 percent of the second lieutenants who join the active Army, the Army National Guard and the U.S. Army Reserve. More than 40 percent of current active duty Army General Officers were commissioned through the ROTC.


Role and Mission of the ROTC

Major Paul Kremer talked about the history and mission of the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC), and he responded to telephone calls and electronic communications. Other topics included entrance requirements and officer commissioning programs, financial assistance to students, and other issues.