2016 Marks 100 Years of ROTC at CSU

Colorado State University ROTC celebrates 100 years of service in 2016.

In honor of the 100th year anniversary, ROTC will be celebrating in various ways throughout the year. So far, the ROTC celebrated by having a military appreciation day at the CSU football game on Sept. 10.


At half time, ROTC troops had a ceremony on the field.

“ROTC troops (went) on to the field and had a narrator give a history of the ROTC and CSU’s history, including when women were allowed to join,” said Adelaide Efird, sophomore business major. “The new recruits were sworn in and the band played patriotic songs while the dancers danced to the songs.”

The football game was one of the many ways that the ROTC will be celebrating this year.

The Border War is a football game against the CSU Rams and Wyoming Cowboys. The two teams began playing each other in 1899 and is a big tradition not just for the football players but for the ROTC at both Colorado State University and Wyoming.

In 1968, a bronze boot trophy was awarded to the winner of the game and continues every year. The boot symbolizes the ones worn by CSU ROTC leader, Captain Dan J. Romero, during the Vietnam War.

Every year, the visiting team’s ROTC members deliver the football for the game at the Wyoming and Colorado border. The home team’s ROTC members take the football and run it to the stadium that the game will be played at. The trophy is protected and guarded by last year’s winning team’s ROTC members.

This year, CSU’s ROTC members will be protecting the trophy that the won last year against Wyoming. CSU’S ROTC will be able to celebrate their 100th year anniversary during the Border War game since the game will be held at CSU.

Before it was called ROTC, CSU created a drill team with Charles Ingersoll, a Civil war veteran and president of CSU, in order to allow students to gain military training and experiences while attending college.

Later on, this turned into the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) at Colorado State University. The ROTC was established in 1916 under the National Defense Act due to World War I.

Cadets were introduced in 1927 which helped increased the number of people joining at the time. Cadets were chosen to honor and represent companies and battalions (Colorado State University).


CSU’s ROTC program included a man named General Lewis Walt. After graduating in 1936, he continued to the military and received the honor to be the assistant commandant of the Marines and chief of Naval Forces during the Vietnam War.

In 1946, President Eisenhower signed an order that created two ROTC programs. ROTC separated into two programs, Air Force and Army. This made CSU one of the first in the nation to have an Air Force ROTC program.

At the time, CSU required all male freshmen to join the ROTC. This changed in 1962 when the University made the program voluntary and remains that way today. Women were not allowed to join ROTC until 1969.

There are 400 cadets currently in both the ROTC programs. ROTC has and continues to attend every sports game at Moby Arena and Hughes Stadium to honor America during the National Anthem. Also, ROTC fires the cannon when the CSU football team gets a touchdown.

“The purpose of the program (ROTC) is to train future leaders of the army,” says current ROTC trooper Hayden Kessler. “It’s a great way to help with tuition costs if you want to be in the military after college.”

Hayden Kessler joined ROTC because it’s a good compromise between his decision to attend the military or college first. He has been attending college and been apart of the ROTC for little over a year now and says “it is very beneficial.”

Collegian reporter Katie Linenberger can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @klinen15.