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The Corps of Cadets forms up with the University Band in front of the old armory in 1907.

Army ROTC Tradition at the University of Iowa.

The Corps of Cadets forms up with the University Band in front of the old armory in 1907.

Military instruction on the campus of TheUniversity of Iowa had its beginnings in the fall of 1861 when UniversityPresident Oliver M. Spencer called for the establishment of a militarydepartment at the University. The first course, however, was not offered untilschool year 1864-1865. After the close of the Civil War, interest in militarytraining declined and drill was discontinued in 1867. On August 26, 1874 , theWar Department assigned First Lieutenant Alexander D. Schenck, SecondArtillery, as the first professor of military science (PMS) at the University.The Department of Military Science at The University of Iowa has been incontinuous existence since that time. With the exception of a few months duringthe Spanish-American War, there have been active duty army officers assigned tothe department on a full-time basis since Lieutenant Schenck assumed the dutiesof PMS in 1874.

The department has made many significantcontributions to the University, the State of Iowa, and the nation in the pastcentury, not only in providing qualified military leaders for times ofemergency, but also in establishing many traditions which continue to this day.On March 11, 1875 , the first University band was formed as a branch of theIowa Corps of Cadets and on June 17, 1881 , the first Governor's Day ceremonieswere held. The Military Ball, which has been an annual event on campus for manyyears, was first held on February 26, 1895 . Classes were originally conductedin the Old Capitol and various other buildings in the Pentacrest area until theArmory was constructed across from the current University Library in 1904. InMay 1908, the Cadet Battalion went on its first large-scale practice march andmaneuvers north of Iowa City near Turkey Creek.

On March 1, 1917, the war in Europebrought about the establishment of Army ROTC (Reserve Officers' Training Corps)at The University of Iowa and the program (which commissions officers in theActive Army and Reserve Forces) has continued to this day in similar form.Today, the Department of Military Science exists both as a full academicdepartment in the College of Liberal Arts and as a detachment of the WesternROTC Region, headquartered at Fort Lewis, Washington, with enrollment averaging200 students in the total program.