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Department of Military Science/ROTC records

 Record Group
Identifier: UA-3.17.1

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of records relating to the Michigan State University Military Science Department/ROTC. The class materials folder contains a receipt listing the uniform items issued to students, a syllabus for MS 102 chronologically listing the subjects covered in the class and chapters in the ROTC manual, and a list of basic concepts and their definitions. There is also a folder of correspondence relating to the creation of a trophy for the top member on the MSU rifle team to be named after Julian W. Smith. Smith was an education professor and member of the National Rifle Association Board of Directors. There is one issue of the newsletter the Cadet Bulletin from 1959, Spartan Guardian newsletter for 1983-1985, ROTC horse show programs, speech by General Ralph Palladino from the 1963 ROTC convocation, event programs, and a folder of memos, press releases, and forms from 1942-1944. Other material included reports about compulsory ROTC programs at MSU as well as the United States Department of Army's position on the issue. Also included is an oversize certificate of cadet appointment. The photographs in the collection consist of images from 1880-1959 and the 1980s of cadets, training, drills, rifle teams, military bands, World War II trainees, trucks, tanks, maneuvers and training exercises, as well as social events and ceremonies. There is also a image of the 605 Michigan Infantry from 1920 with one soldier identified as Lloyd Houghton. Labeled and unlabeled slides include images of camps, maneuvers, vehicles, images for slide presentations and slides produced by the U.S. military.


  • Creation: 1885 - 1986
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1930 - 1986


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.

Historical Note

The Department of Military Science was founded in the 1884-1885 school year with the appointment of an Army officer as Professor of Military Science and Tactics. Military training had previously existed on campus as a result of the 1862 Morrill Act, which gave each state land on which to build a college. Colleges founded as a result of the Morrill Act were required to provide military instruction.

In 1888, Military Science was a required course for all male students except seniors. In 1916, a National Defense act created the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) and a year later the Military Science Department became part of the ROTC. In 1927, Demonstration Hall was constructed to be the home of the Department. In 1962, the ROTC became voluntary for male students. In 1966, the first woman enrolled in an ROTC class.


1.2 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Custodial History

Portions of the collection were donated by William H. Combs and Evelyn H. Scholl.

Related Archival Materials

Division of University Services Records (UA 22.2)

Legal Status

Donor(s) have transferred any applicable copyright to Michigan State University but the collection may contain third-party materials for which copyright was not transferred. Copyright restrictions may apply. Property Rights: Michigan State University.

Department of Military Science/ROTC records
4 Published And Cataloged
S. Roberts
August 2006
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives and Historical Collections Repository

Conrad Hall
943 Conrad Road, Room 101
East Lansing MI 48824 US