Indiana University of Pennsylvania Army ROTC
These cadets learn the basics of Combat Water Survival Training during their weekly leadership lab.

Equipment Retrieval

These cadets learn the basics of Combat Water Survival Training during their weekly leadership lab.

History of the Department of Military Science at Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Indiana University of Pennsylvania has long been at the forefront of ROTC’s contribution to the nation.  IUP’s ROTC program began on October 12, 1948 when the Board of Trustees authorized Dr. Willis E. Pratt, the Indiana State Teachers College President, to enter into negotiations for the establishment of an Army ROTC unit.  By June of 1950, Lieutenant Colonel Hubert E. Thornber arrived to assume his duties as IUP’s first Professor of Military Science and Tactics (PMST).  Instruction began in September 1950, and IUP assumed the important mission of providing officers solely for the Army’s Quartermaster Corps – in fact, IUP was the only university in the entire ROTC system commissioning officers only for the Quartermaster Corps. 

In September 1966, the General Military Science Program was adopted, allowing IUP’s ROTC program to commission officers in branches of the Army for which they were best qualified, not just the Quartermaster Corps.  Under this new system, IUP graduates began to fill the ranks of the 17 major branches of the U.S. Army.

IUP’s list of distinguished graduates stretches back to the inception of the program in 1950 and includes general officers, including Lieutenant General J.S. Laposata, Major General Leonard L. Hoch, Major General Rodney D. Ruddock, Major General Larry D. Gottardi, and Major General Thomas Csrnko, and Brigadier General Robin Swan.

IUP’s Hall of Heroes includes officers who gave their lives in defense of the nation.  Among them are Captain Robert Young and First Lieutenant James Flannery.  Captain Young, a Saltsburg native, was commissioned in the Ordnance Corps in 1967.  While serving as an infantry officer in Vietnam, Captain Young was shot down while traveling in a helicopter and taken prisoner by the Viet Cong; he died while being held prisoner in Cambodia.  For his service to the nation, Captain Young received the Silver Star, the nation’s second highest award for valor.  In his honor, the University and the Army planted a tree on IUP’s campus near Pierce Hall in 1973.

First Lieutenant James K. Flannery, an active member of Theta Chi Fraternity, graduated from IUP in 1969 and was commissioned as an Armor officer.  Lieutenant Flannery distinguished himself on April 16, 1970 as a tank platoon leader while conducting a reconnaissance operation near the Demilitarized Zone, Republic of Vietnam.  When the element was ambushed, Lieutenant Flannery courageously exposed himself to heavy enemy gunfire in order to return fire with the tank’s machine gun.  Despite being wounded by small arms fire, Lieutenant Flannery continued to fire the machine gun at the enemy ambush; he died while being evacuated to a medical facility later that day.  As a result of his leadership and bravery, Lieutenant Flannery received the Silver Star.  Nine months later, the Flannery Cadet Lounge in IUP’s Pierce Hall was dedicated in his memory and continues to serve as a reminder of the sacrifice and valor in combat of all IUP’s ROTC graduates.