Guide to the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Records

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Overview of the Collection

Creator: Oregon State University. Dept. of Military Science.
Title: Reserve Officer Training Corps Records
Dates: 1890-1965 ( inclusive )
Quantity: 2 cubic ft.
3 microfilm reels
Collection Number: RG 058
Summary: The Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Records document Army and Air Force cadet training at Oregon State University. The records include correspondence, reports, publications and scrapboooks of the Air Force ROTC program.
Repository: Oregon State University
University Archives

121 The Valley Library
Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR 97331-4501
Phone: 541-737-2165

Languages: Materials in English. 
Sponsor: Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Historical Note

Courses in Military Science and Tactics were first taught at Oregon State in 1872. In 1873 Captain Benjamin D. Boswell was appointed Professor of Military Science and Tactics (1873-1876), the first U.S. Army officer on active duty to hold such a position in any land grant college in the West. The first cadet uniforms, worn at all times by male students, were gray with caps of the Civil War type. The more familiar blue uniforms were adopted in 1893.

ROTC at Oregon State University is made up of the Departments of Military Science, Naval Science, and Air Force Studies. In 1917, the Department of Military Sciences became responsible for all military training under the National Defense Act of 1916. The act expanded and standardized the training of Army Officers by colleges and universities and established the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC). During World War II, OSU became known as the "West Point of the West" for commissioning more officers than any other non-military academy in the nation. At the end of World War II, the Secretary of the Navy commissioned the Department of Naval Science (ROTC) on this campus to provide the training of both Navy and Marine Corps officers. On July 1, 1949, the U.S. Air Force activated an AFROTC unit that is now called the Department of Air Force Studies. As of 1999, OSU is one of only 48 colleges and universities that offers education for all three military departments.

Originally, two years of military science and tactics were required of all able-bodied male students, but since 1962, ROTC has been voluntary. Since 1965, two-year programs have been available for students who have finished two years of college but have not taken ROTC previously.

Content Description

The Army Reserved Officer Training Corps is Series One. Documents include military exams, some with the answers provided. Series Two contains Division of Military Science Records, which includes information on early military uniforms, a cadets yearbook, reports, receipts, contracts, correspondence, military directives and orders. Series Three documents the Air Force Officers Education Program created in the 1960s. Documents include a House of Representatives bill that created this program, curriculum development plans, news releases, correspondence and three scrapbooks. The scrapbooks contain photographs and news clippings of Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) activities and honors bestowed on members. Of note is one news clipping of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963.

Use of the Collection

Preferred Citation :  

Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Records (RG 58), Oregon State University Archives, Corvallis, Oregon.

Administrative Information

Arrangement :

Organized into 3 series: I. Army Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC); II. Division of Military Science; and III. Air Force ROTC.

Custodial History :  

Reels 2 and 3 were transferred from RG 140 and RG 123, respectively.

Related Materials :  

Other military records in the Archives include: the Ulysses Grant McAlexander Collection (MSS); Military Photographic Collection (P 2); Army Specialized Training Program Records (RG 59); and Student Army Training Corps Records (RG 60).

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series I:  Army Reserved Officers Training Corps, (ROTC) 1947-1948, undated
1 1 Military Examinations, undated
1 2 Military Examinations, 1947
1 3 Military Examinations, 1948

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Series II:  Division of Military Science Records, 1890-1938, 1962-1965
2 1 Uniforms, purchase contracts and costs, 1908-1926
2 2 Correspondence regarding uniforms, receipts for uniform fees, 1918-1919
2 3 Correspondence, excerpts from reports on military on campus, 1911-1920
1 Cadets Yearbook, 1908-1909
2 5 Publications, Oregon Agricultural College military history, 1917-1921
2 6 Military Directives and Orders, 1890-1892; sketch of horse saddles, undated; Lists of officers, post commandants, and band members in years of 1873 to 1938, 1938
2 7 Reports on ROTC on campus, 1962-1965
2 8 Inventory of trophies, 1965

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Series III:  Air Force ROTC, 1954-1964
3 1 House of Representatives Bill HR 9124 regarding Air Force Officer Education Program (AFOEP), 1961
3 2 Questions on AFOEP, 1963
3 3 AFOEP Curriculum Development, 1961-1962
3 4 OSU Decision on AFOEP, and curriculum development, 1961-1962
3 5 AFOEP Enrollment plan, 1961
3 6 The AFOEP Curriculum proposed plan, and its mission, 1962
3 7 AFROTC-AFOEP news releases and long range plans, 1960-1962
3 8 Summary of booklet from conference at Ohio State University, 1960
3 9 Correspondence regarding AFOEP functions requiring manpower, Bill HR 9124 excerpts, 1960
2 Scrapbook containing news clippings of AFROTC activities and honors bestowed on members, 1954-1955
apx 23x31 in.
2 Scrapbook containing photographs and news clippings of AFROTC activities and honors, 1958-1963
apx 23x31 in.
2 Scrapbook containing news clippings of AFROTC activities and honors; also news clipping of President John F. Kennedy's assassination, 1963-1964
apx 23x31 in.

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  • Corporate Names :
  • Oregon State College--Examinations--Military art and science.
  • Oregon State University. Dept. of Air Force Studies.
  • Oregon State University. Dept. of Military Science.
  • United States. Air Force ROTC.
  • United States. Army. Reserve Officers' Training Corps.
  • Subject Terms :
  • Military education--Oregon--Corvallis.
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Scrapbooks.
    • Other Creators :
    • Oregon State University. Dept. of Air Force Studies.
    • United States. Air Force ROTC.
    • United States. Army. Reserve Officers' Training Corps.

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