This year, Special Collections is working with the Department of Military and Veterans Services to put together an exhibit in support of the Veterans Day Appreciation Dinner held in the International Ballroom of the Bruce M. Pitman Center. This post highlights some of the materials on display.
The University of Idaho has a long history of training the country’s future leaders and protectors. As early as March 1894, just a year and a half after the university first opened its doors, 2nd Lieutenant Edward R. Chrisman began teaching classes in Military Science and Tactics.
In 1916, University President Melvin Brannon made a request under the provisions of the National Defense Act to instill a ROTC unit on campus. In January 1917, the War Department agreed and established the ROTC program at the University of Idaho, then shortly after, the Student Army Training Corps (SATC) was established to train soldiers for World War I.
During World War II, in addition to ROTC, a Naval Radio Training School was established to train sailors in receiving and sending code as well as an Army Specialized Training Unit to train soldiers in engineering, psychology, medicine, mathematics, science, and languages.
Around the end of the war, the ROTC program expanded to include both Naval and Air Force branches.