History

The Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps was established in 1926 to provide knowledgeable citizens who would serve as officers in the US Navy. At first there were six NROTC units at the University of California at Berkeley, Georgia Institute of Technology, Northwestern University, University of Washington, and Harvard and Yale Universities. In 1930 these units commissioned 126 midshipmen to begin their careers as naval officers.

During WWII, the V-12 program was initiated to meet the increased need of Navy and Marine Corps officers. The program allowed officer candidates to attend civilian schools while in an enlisted status in the Navy or Marine Corps. The Illinois Institute of Technology was one of the 131 colleges chosen for the highly selective program. A 1943 headline in Technology News, IIT's student published newspaper, read "Navy to Send 700 Men to IIT on July 1." The contribution of the Navy to the welfare of the university during WWII was an excellent beginning to the friendship between the Navy and IIT. A major realization after the war was that colleges play a major role in the security of the United States. IIT had proven to be an integral part of producing Navy officers to lead the country's forces.

The first Commanding officer was LT W. A. Hamilton. He had the responsibility of training the first class of 686 men for service in the US Navy. At the end of WWII, the V-12 program was no longer needed and IIT transitioned into a NROTC unit.

With increased technology and knowledge of warfare, the United States has reduced the number of men and women that it takes in each year. As a result, the current NROTC unit averages around 50 total members at any given time. Although in smaller numbers than when the program began, Midshipmen continue to play a large role in University leadership and the important interaction of the military with civilian institutions.

At the Illinois Institute of Technology we strive to remain connected with the rich tradition of our past. We are always learning more, and are very interested in any stories or anecdotes you may have about our organization. If you would like your contact information to be available to other IIT NROTC alums, please submit your information via e-mail at iitnrotcalumni@gmail.com. Your information will not be passed on without your consent. Also, if you would like to contact a classmate, you can request their information via e-mail and you will be notified if that information is available to you.

IIT NROTC
10 W 35th Street
Tower Building, 15th Floor
Chicago, IL 60616
Phone: 312.567.8963
Email: nrotc@iit.edu