History of ROTC at Colorado State University
CSU was established in 1870 as a land grant institution. Nine years later, on September 1, 1879, President Elijah Evan Edwards welcomed the first five students to Colorado Agricultural College (CAC). In 1916 Congress passed the National Defense Act, which created the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC). A few months later CAC applied to establish an ROTC unit in Fort Collins. Between WWI and WWII, enrollment in the program grew steadily as did the school’s enrollment. The college began to offer tuition-free national-defense courses through its engineering program and made improvements to its airfield and ROTC facilities. On October 22, 1946, General of the Armies Dwight D. Eisenhower, Chief of Staff, signed General Order No. 124. This order created separate entities from Army ROTC called Air ROTC units. Colorado State University, then named Colorado A&M, was among the first schools to have an Air Force ROTC unit. In 1947 the newly created independent U.S. Air Force assumed the responsibility for Air Force ROTC. In the decades since its inception, ROTC has become an integral part of CSU. The 2017-2018 school year marked 100 years of Army ROTC and 70 years of Air Force ROTC at Colorado State University. Both programs have produced over 5000 commissioned officers at CSU.
History of ROTC at University of Northern Colorado
Air Force ROTC at then Colorado State College of Education (CSCE) in Greeley was activated on July 1, 1951, under Lieutenant Colonel C. J. Lupear. Within a year, the Corps of Cadets grew to 373 men out of 935 enrolled at CSCE. Air Force ROTC had a Drill Team, Rifle Team, and a band. By the mid 1960’s, Air Force ROTC Detachment 100 at the renamed Colorado State College (CSC) in Greeley was well established. Declining enrollment in the renamed University of Northern Colorado’s Air Force ROTC program led to the deactivation of the detachment in 1987 and merger with Detachment 90 at Colorado State University.