The Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame will honor the state’s Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) programs and their alumni this year to mark the 100th anniversary of the national program that has produced thousands of trained officers who’ve led American service men and women in the nation’s wars.
Since 1999, the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame has inducted Oklahoma veterans ranging from privates to generals. It also has inducted Oklahoma military groups, which include Oklahoma’s tribal code talkers, who confused enemy forces by broadcasting American troops’ messages in their Native American language.
This year’s hall of fame inductions will be held Oct 21 at the Embassy Suites in Norman.
Individuals who are eligible for induction into the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame can be native Oklahomans or veterans who have had a connection with Oklahoma during their careers.
The state’s ROTC programs will be the latest group inducted.
Because this year is the Centennial of the ROTC program, Maj. Gen. Douglas O. Dollar, the founder of the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame, wants as many Oklahoma ROTC alumni as possible to be recognized for their service to our country.
“We are certain there are alumni of Oklahoma’s ROTC programs in virtually every community in the state,” said Dollar. “We hope to recognize as many as possible and invite them to the hall of fame ceremonies in October.”
ROTC alumni are encouraged to find further information and register to be recognized for their service on a Web site set up especially for the event, www.okrotc2016.org.
The Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) was created by the National Defense Act of 1916. There were military schools in America before 1916, but the National Defense Act signed by President Woodrow Wilson led to establishment of ROTC units in most states.
The ROTC programs in the nation train college students to become commissioned officers. These ROTC students volunteer for this training and have an obligation to serve in the Armed Forces after graduation from college and commissioning.
Initially, just men were in the ROTC programs. Beginning in September 1972, women who were enrolled in colleges and universities were eligible to be in the ROTC programs.
Currently, Oklahoma has seven ROTC programs. They are:
— University of Oklahoma Army ROTC, Naval and Marine ROTC and Air Force ROTC
— Oklahoma State University Army and Air Force ROTC.
— University of Central Oklahoma Army ROTC.
— Cameron University Army ROTC.
Oklahoma Military Academy was established at Claremore in 1919. It commissioned many of its ROTC students before the school closed in 1971.