University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Armed Forces (ROTC) | University of Illinois Archives
The origin of the ROTC Department along with that of the University lies in "Land Grant Act" of Congress approved July 2, 1862, and an Act of the Illinois Legislature approved February 28, 1867.1 In 1877, the School of Military Science was responsible for military training.2 1916 marked the beginning of the Reserve Officers Training Corps as authorized by Congress, June 2, 1916. Under this act, Infantry, Engineer, and Squad Units were established on January 1, 1919. From this time, until 1943, the program grew steadily. New Units were added as follows: Field Artillery, 1919; Cavalry, 1920; Air Science, 1920; and Coast Artillery, 1930. In 1943, the Army Special Training Program was instituted and remained until 1945. By the end of 1946, the ROTC program was nearly back to its prewar status. A total of eight units were organized: Infantry, Field Artillery, Cavalry, Air Engineer, Signal, Quartermaster, and Transportation. Ordnance and Army Security were added in 1947 and Anti-Aircraft Artillery added in 1948.3
1. History of the University of Illinois ROTC, p. 17. Military Science Department Historical Files.
2. Catalogue and Circular of the Illinois Industrial University, 1876-77, p. 58.
3. ROTC History of the University of Illinois, 1972. 2-05 Original History Files, Military Science Department.