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March 15th Clemson Historic Picture Of The Day

Clemson ROTC In The 1970’s

(Photos Uploaded By Alan Cutts)

Today’s picture is of ROTC cadets on Bowman Field in the early 1970s. To be a cadet during the height of the Vietnam War took real dedication. Clemson's overall ROTC enrollment dropped to its lowest point around this time, but started to increase by the late 1970s. In 1980, Congress revamped the ROTC program which also helped increase the enrollment.

Clemson's Army ROTC, Military Science, was established as an integral part of the academic curriculum of Clemson University beginning in 1893 with the institution's first full time academic year of operation. Clemson's long association with Army ROTC began in the context of a Military College with an all male corps of cadets.

On April 6,1917, the United States declared war on Germany, and Clemson's senior class volunteered to President Wilson en masse. A total of 1,549 served and 25 were killed in the line of duty. Medals of Honor were presented to Ensign Daniel Sullivan and Sergeant Evans Foster.

During World War II, Clemson supplied more Army officers than any other institution except for Texas A & M. A total of 6,475 served and 370 were killed in the line of duty. A Medal of Honor was presented to LTC Jimmy Dyess a member of Clemson's Class of '31.

In 1955, the trustees of Clemson College took steps toward becoming a full university resulting in the Corps of Cadets being abolished. The ROTC basic program remained mandatory for only freshmen and sophomore males until 1969. ROTC became fully an elective program in 1971 and opened to women.

Three years later, the Clemson had its first female leadership officer commissioned. The Army ROTC has remained an elective program for all classes since that date.

Clemson ROTC offers a general military subject curriculum. This enables the program to produce officers available for a wide variety of Army assignments in most branches.

At present, both the two year and four year programs are offered as a part of the Army ROTC curriculum. This curriculum is a viable academic career program for both men and women students who desire entry into the Active Army, Army Reserve, or Army National Guard as a Commissioned Officer.

See recruiting video from Clemson Army ROTC from 1984 below:

Clemson Air Force ROTC, or aerospace studies, has a rich history dating back to World War I. With the National Security Act of 1947 establishing the Department of the Air Force, Clemson’s Air Force ROTC Detachment was created. Year after year, Detachment 770 is named one of the nation’s top medium-size detachments. Detachment 770 gives men and women the opportunity to become Air Force officers while completing their degrees.

Scott Rhymer can be reached at

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