University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
battalion logo


(217) 244-1407

Cadets in 1918 marched in the 4th of July Celebration in Champaign, Illinois.

4th of July Parade

Cadets in 1918 marched in the 4th of July Celebration in Champaign, Illinois.

15 January 1942 The University of Illinois is considered "The West Point of the West" by General John J. Pershing

2 July 1862Congress approved the Morrill “Land Grant” Act, which provided federal land to states for the establishment of a university which would provide instruction in scientific and classical studies, including military tactics.  This Act was promulgated on the fact that one-third of the school-trained officers during the Civil War fought with the Confederate Army, leaving the Union Army ill-prepared in the quantity and quality of its officers.  The time required to train and mobilize the state militia officers was unsatisfactory.  Therefore, the Morrill Act was passed in an effort to preclude future similar situations. 2 March 1868Official opening of the Illinois Industrial University.  Seventy-seven students enrolled in that first term. 1916The National Defense Act establishes ROTC, based on a proposal by University of Illinois President, Edmond J. James.  This Act standardized all military training at all colleges/universities across the nation.  All able-bodied males are now required to take basic military training. 1964The Reserve Officer Training Corps vitalization Act of 1963 eliminates the “mandatory” nature of ROTC.  The Fall semester of 1964 implemented this voluntary participation.  Army ROTC enrollment in 1963 exceeded 3,100 cadets; enrollment in 1964 was 550 cadets.   This Act also eliminated the specialized training (i.e., Infantry, Cavalry, Field Artillery, Air Defense, Engineer, Signal), and implemented non-branch specific (brand immaterial) training.

1973 Females were allowed to enroll in ROTC

Christine Wolframm was one of the first females to enroll and went on to be selected as the first female UI Cadet Battalion Commander.   Within the last six years, two of the six Battalion Commanders were females; both are currently on active duty and serving with distinction.

Warrior Forge is the capstone training and evaluation event for ROTC cadets

Throughout the last four years, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign cadets exceeded the camp averages in physical training, land navigation and leadership evaluations.

University of Illinois competes each year at the 3rd Brigade Ranger Challenge competition against 26-30 teams

During the last four years, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Army ROTC cadets earned two 3rd place finishes and two 1st place finishes.