University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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TAR HEEL BATTALION

(919) 962-5546

armyrotc@unc.edu

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill , established in 1789, is the oldest public university in the United States. Although famous for it’s basketball team, UNC is rated by US News and World Report as one of the top 30 universities in the nation and 5th among public universities.

The Old Well at UNC

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill , established in 1789, is the oldest public university in the United States. Although famous for it’s basketball team, UNC is rated by US News and World Report as one of the top 30 universities in the nation and 5th among public universities.

UNCs Youngest ROTC Program - already the biggest and best!

In June 1918, the War Department established a Reserve Officers’ Training Corps unit at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In August 1918, this unit was disbanded when the War Department converted the entire University into a unit of the Students Army Training Corps (SATC), making all conscription-eligible students and faculty members of the U.S. Armed Forces. In September 1918, approximately 650 students were formally inducted into the SATC and “equipped, maintained, and paid as regular members of the Army.” When the First World War ended in November 1918, the War Department disbanded the SATC.

After inactivation of the SATC, initial efforts to reestablish an Army ROTC unit at UNC failed to garner much interest. By spring 1919, however, enough students were interested, and the War Department reestablished the ROTC unit at UNC in October 1919. According to historian Louis Wilson, “…from the outset, the work of the Corps did not fit into the scheme and feeling of the campus, and from the point of view of the military authorities, the University’s support was not sufficiently vigorous to keep the unit at top efficiency.” The unit was inactivated in September 1921.

Over the next few years, and after the U.S. entered World War II, UNC repeatedly applied to host Army ROTC and other Army training programs. The War Department denied these requests, primarily due to presence of the Navy training programs already in existence at UNC, and a desire not to compete with the Department of the Navy for resources at UNC. In February 1972, the Army asked UNC to consider hosting an Army ROTC program at UNC-Chapel Hill. This time, UNC turned down the offer, citing lack of resources, money, and facilities.

By 1993, 30 UNC-Chapel Hill students participated in Army ROTC training in a “cross-enrollment” status with Duke University. At the time, UNC-Chapel Hill was the only major institution of higher education in North Carolina without its own separate Army ROTC unit. UNC-Chapel Hill was upgraded to Army ROTC Extension Center status with Duke University in March 1995, and in October 1997, UNC-Chapel Hill was established as a host Senior Army ROTC battalion. In the relatively short time since it’s inception, the Tar Heel Battalion has grown to it’s present size of approximately 70 cadets and established itself as one of the nation’s premier Army ROTC programs, winning the Douglas MacArthur Award in 1997, 199, and again in 2003..