Historical Background and Objectives of ROTC and the Gateway Battalion
purpose of the Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) is to
develop selected college-educated men and women for positions of
responsibility as officers in the Active Army, Army Reserve and
National Guard. College students who successfully complete the
program may be offered a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the
tradition of training college students for military leadership began
in 1819 at what is now Norwich University. The ROTC program that we
know today, however, is a result of the National Defense Act of 1916.
This act established ROTC and authorized a Second Lieutenant's
commission to those who successfully completed the program.
Lieutenant John Stafford served as the first Professor of Military
Science for Washington University in 1891. In December of 1918, the
University and the War Department negotiated to formally establish a
ROTC detachment. Voluntary enrollment began in January of 1919.
continued until the onset of World War II. At that time, cadets in
the Advanced Course were brought onto active duty as officers to
serve the war effort. Those in the Basic Course were soon drafted.
Army ROTC was reinstated at the University in 1946 as an
anti-aircraft artillery unit and continued as such until conversion
to the General Military Science Program in 1960. The Revitalization
Act of 1964 introduced the ROTC scholarship and the two-year program.
1979, the Army ROTC program moved to the Academy Building on
Millbrook Boulevard (Forest Park Parkway), where the unit is
headquartered today. An extension center was established at the
University of Missouri-St. Louis in March 1980, but moved to Southern
Illinois University at Edwardsville, Illinois, in June 1993. In 1999
SIUE gained host-center status and broke off from the Gateway
Battalion as an independent Battalion.
the past few years, the Gateway Battalion has expanded its efforts to
reach all the St. Louis-area schools. Gateway founded an extension
center at Lindenwood University in 2000. Basic-course classes are
also now offered at St. Louis University and University of Missouri –
the Gateway Battalion includes 9 schools in the St. Louis area. For
the past several years, the Gateway Battalion has met or exceeded the
commission mission. Recently, Gateway has been in the upper tier of
programs out of the 270 ROTC programs across the nation.
St. Louis-Area Army ROTC program has a long tradition of producing
consistently superior Army officers for the active and reserve
forces. For over 80 years, thousands of officers have earned their
Army commissions while students here. We are proud of our past
tradition, our present corps and we look forward to commissioning
more officers of the highest caliber.