University of Colorado at Colorado Springs
Commissioning Ceremony is the final stage in the ROTC process. This is the point when cadets make the transition to the rank of 2nd Lieutenant.

Commissioning Ceremony.

Commissioning Ceremony is the final stage in the ROTC process. This is the point when cadets make the transition to the rank of 2nd Lieutenant.

 

The history of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) at the Universityof Colorado at Colorado Springs (UCCS) began in 1965 with the founding of theinstitution, even though the program was hosted through other schools. ColoradoCollege (CC) was the host until student unrest in the mid ‘70s caused theprogram to be moved to UCCS for a short period. Later, the University ofSouthern Colorado (USC) took over as host, keeping one senior sergeant atColorado Springs. 

The program gained momentum as enrollment increased from UCCS, CC, as wellas Pikes Peak Community College (PPCC) and Colorado Technical College(CTC). ROTC students from UCCS were generally older than those from otherschools and many were military veterans.

Because of the increased possibilities for Army officers in the ColoradoSprings area, UCCS applied for and was granted Host Institution status in1981.UCCS was assigned a Professor of Military Science (PMS), three assistantPMS’s (APMS), four Non-Commissioned Officers, and one civilian in 1982. TheUniversity staff and faculty welcomed the ROTC program and its staff aspartners in the Academic community.

In August 1983, the UCCS ROTC Company was reorganized as cadet battalionoftwo cadet companies and renamed the “Mountain Ranger Battalion.”

The Mountain Ranger Battalion continued partnerships with CC, PPCC, and CTC,and also incorporated students from Regis University and the newly accreditedBeth-El College of Nursing.

The Mountain Rangers have received high praise, being named the best trainedROTC Battalion in the nation in 1987, 99, and 89. They were named the winnersof the MacArthur Award in 1990 and 1991, designating them the “Best ROTCBattalion, Small College” in the nation. The 1990 MacArthur Award was presentedby the Chief of Staff of the Army, General Carl Vuono, to the PMS, LieutenantColonel Pieffer. In 1991, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, GeneralColin Powell presented the award. In 1998, Major General Wallace, commander ofArmy Cadet Command, described the UCCS program as a “remarkable success” that“reflects the support given to the Army ROTC unit and students by theUniversity” in a letter written to the UCCS Chancellor.