ROTC member rappelling off Roy Kidd Stadium

ROTC member rappelling off Roy Kidd Stadium, 1978

The Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) has a long history on EKU’s campus.  Known as The Colonels Battalion, the unit began in 1936 as one of the earliest in the state.  As Eastern students began to recognize the increased threat of war, the number of ROTC volunteers grew in the program’s early years.  In the 1960s, President Robert R. Martin attempted to make ROTC a mandatory requirement for Eastern students but students protested and Martin returned the program to optional status.  The ROTC program continues today with a mission to develop future leaders. It’s a mission reflected in the unit’s long tradition. While the Eastern unit of ROTC graduated its first 11 cadets in 1940, over the course of the program’s history, they’ve graduated 2,050 Second Lieutenants for duty in the army.