University of Arizona
The history of the Wildcat Battalion reaches as far back as 1891. The city and the school have changed a lot since then, and so have the students. History is what makes an identity of a Battalion. It is the core of everything we have been and will become.

1920’s Cavalry instruction course

The history of the Wildcat Battalion reaches as far back as 1891. The city and the school have changed a lot since then, and so have the students. History is what makes an identity of a Battalion. It is the core of everything we have been and will become.

1891

In1891, the University of Arizona was allowed to open its door underprovisions of the 1885 Morril Act.  These provisions were regulated by theLegislative Assembly of the Territory of Arizona and required that militarytraining be taught there.  The first University Catalogue provided for theposition of Professor of Military Science and Tactics; however, no classes wereconducted.

1896

In March of 1896, the faculty resolved that a course in Military Science andTactics be conducted for all male students.  During this first year, itwas planned that the Cadet Battalion be affiliated with the Arizona TerritorialNational Guard.  This permitted the Territorial Governor to commissionthose caders who desired and were worthy of a National Guard Commission.

1920

In 1920, the establishment of Cavalry instruction transformed the programinto a close relationship with the University administrators, students, andintercollegiate sports.  Cavalry instruction provided horses for thepopular college sport of polo.  Cavalry instruction and polo provedextremely popular with the Arizona community and the University.

In the four years that followed the outbreak of World War II, 11,000 militarymen received training at the University of Arizona in four differentprograms.  The University reported in 1945, over 10,000 men graduated fromthe Naval Training School; 591 from the Naval Aviation School; 283 from theArmy Specialized Training Program, and 331 from the Civil AeronauticAuthority’s two programs.  This accounting does not include regular ROTCprogram enrollments which steadily declined in strength through out the waryears due to the enlistment of much of the school’s male population.

1947

In 1947, the U.S. Congress reorganized the structure of the armed forceswith the result that the Army Air Corps became a separate federal department:The Department of the Air Force.  With the addition of Navy ROTC in 1984,the organization of military science departments at the University of Arizonawas established as it is today.

1968

On November 1968, the Arizona State Board of Regents considered the motionto make ROTC voluntary, and elected to do so in 1969.  Militaryinstruction had remained mandatory for two years for every male student upuntil this date.  Prior this decision, the University of Arizona Army ROTCwas the largest program west of the Mississippi River.

1977

The present school shoulder sleeve insignia was approved on 22 April1977.

1981

The Department of Military Science moved into the present building at SouthHall in September 1981.  Today, Army ROTC at the University of Arizonacontinues to set the standard within the Region, and continues the proudtradition of military leadership and instruction.