A Look Back at ROTC at Loyola

By Loyola University Maryland Archives  |  Photos courtesy of Loyola University Maryland Archives

The Loyola University Maryland Archives looked through yearbooks and The Greyhound to give a glimpse into the first few decades of ROTC on the Evergreen campus.


Loyola treasurer suggests that an ROTC unit be brought to the campus as a means of financial assistance to students who would be paid a stipend to enroll. Jesuit provincial authorities feared federal control and interference and withheld approval of the proposal.


1950s ROTC

1952:  (Fall Semester) ROTC program is introduced at Loyola. It was one of 25 such “experimental” programs throughout the country. Participation was compulsory for all able-bodied members of the freshman class that year.

November 1952 – The ROTC Drum {and Bugle} Corps was formed.

April 25, 1953 – First ROTC Military Ball at Loyola.

February 1953 – The Rifle team gains recognition as an official campus club. It will go on to great success through the years in competitions with other college and universities. There was both a Varsity and a JV team, and the people that competed on the team were selected from the Rifle Club.

1950s ROTC

May 7, 1953: The Loyola College Drill Team is installed as Company T of the Fifth Regiment of the National Society of Pershing Rifles. This team will compete against the rifle teams of other schools in the years that follow.

May 13, 1953 – First Annual President’s Review. The ceremony would be conducted each May in honor of the Loyola president. At that first ceremony and those that followed (at least through 1972) those ROTC cadets who demonstrated the highest standards of academic and military excellence during the past academic year. are honored by the Department of Military Science and local civic organizations. The occasion culminated with a parade at which time the president formally received the Cadet Battalion as it passed in review.

1954: Loyola’s own rifle range is completed to be used for competitions.

1954: The Scabbard and Blade was formed at Loyola. The Scabbard and Blade is a national honor society with local chapters in 131 colleges and universities with the ROTC program. It accepted members from the junior and senior classes.

1957: For the first time in a Loyola publication (the yearbook) the Association of the U.S. Army is described (with accompanying photos) as follows: “The Association of the United States Army is a professional organization whose membership is limited to those advanced ROTC students who are considering the Army as a full-time career.”


1960s ROTC

The Pershing Rifles as the rifle drill team at Loyola won numerous competitions over the years. In 1963 the team had the most successful season of their existence to that point. The organization is primarily of interest to ROTC Basic Course cadets; active participation by members of the advanced program is limited to leadership positions.

1966: Loyola Rangers program began in September. The purpose of the program is to provide field training in Ranger tactics in all sorts of weather and terrain under simulated combat situations.


1970s ROTC

1973: Women were permitted to join the Loyola chapter of ROTC. They were integrated as Loyola became a co-ed institution. They were not placed in the combat arms, but were needed in military intelligence, nursing, and to command the WAC’s.

Loyola ROTC
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