University of Colorado at Boulder
The Army ROTC program at the University of Colorado in Boulder dates back to 1883 with the establishment of the Cadet Corp.

Members of the Cadet Corps pose for a photograph on the steps of Old Main in 1888

The Army ROTC program at the University of Colorado in Boulder dates back to 1883 with the establishment of the Cadet Corp.

The History of Army ROTC at the University of Colorado

In 1883 students at the University of Colorado in Boulder established avoluntary cadet corps in order to “drill  in the schools of the soldierand the company”. The state of Colorado issued the cadets Army infantryuniforms, weapons, and equipment. They were supervised by Lieutenant W. Hasson,an engineer officer assigned by the Department of the Navy to the University tohelp establish an engineering department.

This Cadet Corps, although it had no official military affiliation and did notserve in any military campaigns, represented an early University interest inestablishing military officer training on campus. In 1914 the first officialmilitary units were established on campus. Troop D, 1st Battalion ofCavalry, Colorado Militia and Engineer Company B, Colorado National Guard wereraised from University students. These two units were federalized and sent toDoublas, Arizona in 1916 following Pancho Villa’s attack on Columbus, NewMexico.

The birth of Army ROTC at the University of Colorado

On June 3, 1917 the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program wasestablished by Congress but the Army declined the University of Coloradoadministration request for a unit in Boulder. In October 1917 the Universityfaculty voted to establish its own voluntary ROTC program. A retired Armyofficer, Captain James A. Merritt was put in command by the University.

In early 1918 the War Department established a Student Army Training Corps(SATC) at the University for students who had been drafted. This programallowed them to continue in school and simultaneously trained them inspecialties such as automobile mechanics, radio and telegraphy operations,concrete construction, and general mechanics. Some were allowed to transferinto the Navy while in the program.

As enlisted members they wore uniforms, lived in campus barracks, and were paid$30 per month. Some of the 452 SATC members were selected for commissioning.All of the first 38 to graduate in 1918 were deployed to Europe. After the endof World War I the SATC program was closed.

World War II and Beyond

In 1940 the University requested a ROTC program. The War Department declinedbut established on campus three enlisted Army reserve training units including Army Air Corps and Signal Corps elements. In 1943 the Navy moved its Japaneselanguage school from California to the University

Following World War II the University again requested a ROTC program and in1948 the Army established its first official ROTC program on campus. The first graduates were commissioned in the Engineer Corps in 1950. The CU program waslater expanded to produce officers in all branches and in 1991 the Army ROTCunit at the Colorado School of Mines was incorporated into the CU program.Today the combined units is one of 270 Army ROTC in the nation.