The United States Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) dates from the National Defense Act of 1916. World War I prevented the full development of civilian educators and military professionals working together. At the conclusion of World War I, the program was fully implemented on college campuses. The success of this effort was demonstrated in World War II, Korea, Vietnam and the Gulf War. College campuses provided quality officers to meet the rapidly expanding needs of mobilization. In 1964 the ROTC Vitalization Act improved the program by adding scholarships and expanding junior ROTC opportunities. The inclusion of women in the program in 1973 was another important milestone.
Today, Army ROTC opportunities are available across the country at almost 270 universities nation wide
University of Oregon ROTC History
In January 1916, then University of Oregon, (UO) president Prince Lucien Cambell, established a ROTC curriculum led by LTC John Leader, a retired British officer. Over 100 students participated in the first drill in March 1916, led by officers from the Oregon National Guard. By the fall term 1916, ROTC became compulsory for all male freshmen and sophomores. On January 27, 1919, ROTC was officially established at the UO, commanded by COL. William Bowen. ROTC became voluntary in the fall of 1962. The long tradition of ROTC at the UO has produced the highest number of General Officers of all nonmilitary ROTC schools nationwide. A total of 47 flag officers are University of Oregon graduates.