University of Vermont

UVM Reserve Officer Training Corps

A Proud History

In 1771, the Vermont General Assembly granted a charter to the University of Vermont to set aside approximately 29,000 acres throughout the state for its support. The assembly provided that the Governor and the Speaker of the House would be ex-officio members of the University corporation. It required that the by-laws of the University should be given no preference to any religious sect or denomination.

The University was the fifth college to be chartered in New England. It was the third to be chartered by a state and the second institution of this type to confer the bachelor's degree. The motto of the University, Studiis et Rabus Honestis ( Integrity in Theoretical and Practical Pursuits) was selected before the first graduation in 1804. This motto has reflected the spirit of the University through its 206 years of educational services to Vermont and to the nation.

In 1864, the State of Vermont chartered the Vermont Agricultural College. This college was established under the provisions of the Morrill Act of 1862. It was sponsored by Justin S. Morrill, a congress member from Vermont. The new agricultural college was merged with the University in 1865 to form the University of Vermont and State Agricultural College. Under later federal laws, the services of the University were expanded by the addition of the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Agricultural Extension Service.

The University of Vermont has done its part in supporting the efforts of the United States. During the War of 1812, the University of Vermont was closed. Many of the faculty and students went into the service. Buildings were used as barracks for the troops guarding the Canadian-United States frontier. In 1866, military training began at UVM as a result of the Morrill Act. Under this act, military tactics and drill instruction were provided. In 1874, Brevet Captain Frederick Robinson was the first Army officer assigned as the Professor of Military Science (PMS).

All male students were required to take part in military drill. The United States government provided the University with the 100 Springfield breech loading muskets, on loan, with the necessary clothing and equipment for officers. Between 1898 and 1903, Army officers were not assigned to the University. However, Cadet Battalion Officers continued drill. A gymnasium and drill hall were completed for use during military instruction. In 1913, The University's rifle team participated in its first intercollegiate meet. In the fall of this year, the University of Vermont was the first college selected to present a Student's Army Training Course, the precursor of the Reserve Officer's Training Corps. In 1914, Burlington served as the site for the summer camp. Approximately 2,000 students attended the function.

With the passage of the National Defense Act of 1916, the current ROTC program began at the University of Vermont. In 1921, the first commissions were granted upon graduation. Between 1921 and 1943, 498 United States Army Reserve Commissions were granted. However, during World War II the ROTC program consisted of a basic two-year course, and it was not until 1948 that commissions were again granted. The ROTC program became voluntary in 1964 due to the ROTC Revitalization Act. In 1973, women were admitted into the program and in 1977 Elizabeth Yarnal became the first woman officer commissioned at UVM.

In June 1986, the Army ROTC program at the University was officially designated the Green Mountain Battalion. The unit crest is a shield with the "Catamount", the University mascot, emblazed on it. The words, "University of Vermont" are written in a scroll across the bottom. The unit patch was approved by the department of Heraldry. It consists of a circular patch with a catamount in front of a mountain scene, surrounded by the words, "Green Mountain Catamounts".

Recently, the Green Mountain Battalion unit crest was changed to include the words "Green Mountain Battalion" on the bottom to better represent the Cadets from our partnership schools. Currently, the Green Mountain Battalion includes Cadets from Castleton State College, Champlain College, Saint Michael's College, Middlebury College, and State University of New York Plattsburgh.

Last modified March 20 2014 09:08 AM