Skip to main content

Please click here to open a booklet on the history of Cleveland ROTC.

John Carroll University established a Transportation Corps unit of the ROTC in 1950. The Military Science building was constructed on the University campus and the first classes were held in September 1950. From 1950 until 1969, the Basic ROTC course was mandatory at JCU. Today ROTC provides Officer leaders to our all volunteer Army.

Since the first Cadet was sworn in as a Second Lieutenant in June 1951, more than 2,000 Cadets have been commissioned in either the Army Reserve, National Guard or the Regular Army.

In September 1969, students were given an option of taking either two years of physical education or the Basic ROTC course.

Highlights of the last 66 years of Cleveland ROTC include:

  • 1950  The ROTC program is established at John Carroll University
  • 1951  Pershing Rifles started on campus
  • 1964  ROTC Vitalization Act of 1964 authorized financial assistance in the form of scholarships
  • 1972  Women were permitted to join ROTC
  • 1973  US Army became an all-volunteer force
  • 1976  JCU commissioned its first female Second Lieutenant
  • 1978  Transportation Corps affiliation ends; ROTC Military Science for all branches begins
  • 1979  Cleveland State University ROTC program begins
  • 2012  Case Western Reserve University reestablishes ROTC program after banning it in 1970
  • 2016  Women approved to serve alongside men in combat arms units

This academic year, 68 Cadets from John Carroll University, Cleveland State University, Case Western Reserve University, Baldwin-Wallace College, Hiram College, Notre Dame College, and Ursuline College attended Military Science courses.

Click here to view Wolfpack Cleveland ROTC Newsletter

Are you a part of the Military Science legacy? We’d love to hear from you! Please click here to send us an email with your contact information, including your preferred email address. Feel free to share any updates, stories, and/or photos from your past or current service.

If you would like to receive the new Wolfpack Military Science (semi-annual) Newsletter please click here to send us an email with your contact information, including your preferred email address. While we have spent a significant amount of time maintaining and updating our alumni roster, we know we don’t have everyone accounted for. Once we receive your email, we will check our roster and update your information as needed.

We need your help to find the answers…

Cleveland-area Army ROTC started in 1950 at John Carroll. Over the years it has included all the Cleveland-area universities. We carry the grand heritage of our predecessors and sharing this with future generations is upon us. About 300 pictures and historical effects from both JCU and CSU have been scanned and preserved digitally. Despite periodic efforts to preserve our history, time frequently gets the better hand.

Pictures often have little accompanying information. As an example, on this page you will the pictures are from the JCU University Archives.

Vivian Clark

The first is Vivian Clark from Ft Knox in 1977. The back of the picture only provides name, year, location, and 4th Place. We don’t know who she is. She’s not on our alumni roster.

The “Stumble Squad”

Second, the Stumble Squad and the ‘62’ Drill Team. During our Anniversary Celebration in March one of our JCU alumni said he didn’t recognize anyone in the Stumble Squad picture and postulated that those weren’t JCU or Cleveland Cadets. But Notice the ‘62’ Drill Team guide-on. It says, “STUMBLES.” There’s a story, we just don’t know what it is.

1962 Drill Team

As alumni, we need your help. While we, the Cadre, try, we don’t make good historians. Can you fill in any of the blanks on these or others? If you are interested in how you can help us, please email us at