Wofford College
The leadership development program is Cadet led. You get hands on leadership experience throughout your leadership career.

Ready to start training at Fort Jackson.

The leadership development program is Cadet led. You get hands on leadership experience throughout your leadership career.

The Southern Guards Battalion consists of four quality institutions in Upstate of South Carolina.  Wofford, the host institution, has one of the oldest non-land grant Army ROTC programs in the country as well as the first in South Carolina.  Our partnership institutions include Converse, and Limestone Colleges and the University of South Carolina, Upstate.  Our program prospers with the diversity that students from these campuses bring.

Battalion History

Military training for Wofford students dates back to the 1850s, when a group of students formed a volunteer infantry company, "the Southern Guards." The governor of South Carolina told them to complete their education before entering military service, so they elected to disband. Most of these men promptly enlisted in various hometown units, many in the widely noted Palmetto Sharpshooters of the Army of Northern Virginia, and only a handful survived the Civil War.

After World War I, the Army offered units in the Reserve Officer Training Corps to selected independent colleges as well as "land-grant" campuses. Wofford was one of the first private colleges to secure a unit. The battalion was formally established on Oct. 18, 1919, with 118 members. The late Olin D. Johnston '21 was the first battalion commander. (Cadet Johnston, of course, went on to become governor of South Carolina and a US senator. However, it is sometimes forgotten that he was a sergeant of engineers in the famous 42nd "Rainbow" Division, seeing combat in most of the great battles of 1918.)

From the beginning, participation in military training has been voluntary. Nevertheless, the college has remained one of the nation's leaders in the percentage of its students taking courses in military science. In fact, during the Depression, some students say that the only suitable clothing that they had for class or chapel was their ROTC uniform, and that they could never have graduated if the Army had not provided a small stipend during their last two years.

Faculty and Staff

Cadet Profiles

Alumni Profiles