The Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) program was established in 1926 to provide a broad base of citizens knowledgeable in the arts and sciences of naval warfare. The program provided an opportunity for young men to undertake careers in the naval profession.
In the beginning, there were six NROTC units located at University of California at Berkeley, Georgia Institute of Technology, Northwestern University, the University of Washington, Harvard University, and Yale University.
In June of 1930, 126 midshipmen graduated from college and received commissions in the United States Navy. At least three of the graduates went on to obtain the rank of flag.
The Marine Corps entered the NROTC Program in 1932, offering qualified NROTC graduates commissions in the United States Marine Corps. In 1968, Prairie View A&M became the first historically black college to host the program. In 1972, the Secretary of the Navy authorized 16 women to enroll in the program and choose from four colleges. Women may now participate in the program while attending any NROTC-affiliated college or university. In 1990, the NROTC Scholarship Program was expanded to include applicants pursuing a four-year degree in nursing, leading to a commission in the Navy Nurse Corps.
NROTC at Mizzou
The NROTC Unit at the University of Missouri was established on July 1, 1946. More than 1,400 Midshipmen have received commissions at the university since the program was started.
The Unit occupied temporary buildings until 1952, when it moved into the former Naval Armory Building. The anchor in front of the building was installed in 1960, and the flag staff erected in 1962. In January 1972, the unit was moved to Crowder Hall and the anchor and the flag staff were installed on the south side of Crowder Hall. To further enhance the nautical appearance of the new quarters, running lights were installed above the Navy entrance.