Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps at The University of Akron had its
origins in the establishment of the Students’ Army Training Corps, which was
activated at the then -- Municipal University of Akron on 1 October 1918. After
the Armistice ending the Great War and a disastrous flu epidemic in November
1918, the S.A.T.C. was dissolved on campus. Through the efforts of prominent
local businessmen and Dr. Parke Kolbe, the President of the University, the War
Department authorized the establishment of an Infantry Reserve Officers’
Training Corps in December 1918.
Army ROTC was at first a voluntary course, and thanks to the efforts of Dr.
Kolbe, ROTC became compulsory for the freshman and sophomore years beginning in
fall of 1919. The earliest Professor of Military Science and Tactics (PMS) was
Captain Adolph Unger, sent to Akron in March 1919.
Army ROTC was extremely popular in the 1920s and provided several graduates
of local note who excelled in business and professional endeavors. The earliest
commissioned, were sworn on 14 June 1922.
Training in the early years consisted of field fortifications, hippo logy,
field sanitation, and map reading, as well as Infantry tactics. Since virtually
every male student was required to participate in ROTC for at least two years,
ROTC was a very prominent institution on campus.
During the Second World War, Army ROTC was joined by an aviation unit, which
published its own newspaper, the Kiwi. The Air Force established a separate
ROTC Detachment at The University of Akron in 1947, and the two branches have
co-existed ever since. In the 1950s ROTC grew into a large organization along
with the University. Not only hundreds of young men, but also dozens of women
in the role of sponsors participated in the Army ROTC program on campus.
Women first entered the program as cadets in the fall of 1973, and have
participated ever since. The late 1970's brought several "firsts" to
the cadet battalion, including: The first female to command the cadet
battalion, first to receive a Regular Army Appointment, first commissioned to
graduate the nursing program and the first women to become Airborne and Air
Beginning in 1985, ROTC students were required to wear uniforms to class. In
1986, the University approved the study of Military Science as an academic
In the school year 1996/97, The University of Akron was selected as a
Partnership in Nursing Education (PNE) School by Cadet Command. This increased
the incentives and opportunities for the cadet battalion and the college of
In the past 80 odd years, over 1,700 students have been commissioned into
service through the Army ROTC program at the University of Akron. Today's Corps
of Cadets continue in the traditions and footsteps of their predecessors as
leaders in our great Army.