UCF Army ROTC Unit History

The Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC), as it exists today, began with President Wilson signing the National Defense Act of 1916.  The National Defense Act brought all military training being conducted at colleges and universities under a single, federally-controlled entity called The Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC).

Prior to 1986, UCF Army ROTC was administered through Stetson University.  We have history dating back to when CPT Hornaday was the Professor of Military Science, labs were conducted only once a month, and the PMS carried a .45 cal pistol to fend off drug smugglers.  It is not uncommon to hear alumni reminiscing about operating the ROTC department out of the back of the PMS’ trunk.  Although UCF is a very young university, it has expanded rapidly to become the 2nd largest university in the nation with 12 regional campuses throughout Central Florida.

Expansion of the Army ROTC Department has progressed just as quickly.  On October 15, 1986, the University of Central Florida was officially established as an ROTC host school.  The Department of the Army authorized 4 Officers and 4 Non-Commissioned Officers to serve as the original Cadre.  These numbers would remain relatively constant throughout the years.  The number of participating Cadets, however, varied throughout UCF’s history.  Enrollment varied from as low as 20 during the program’s infancy to its current numbers of nearly 210 Cadets.  UCF Army ROTC also has affiliations with Seminole Community College (SCC) and Valencia Community College (VCC).  Although all ROTC offices and functions exist on the UCF main campus, SCC and VCC provide an excellent source for quality Cadets.

The Fighting Knights Battalion has most recently been recognized as one of the top 15% ROTC schools in the country since 1999 and received “Best Battalion” honors in 2002.  We continually set a high standard for leadership training and look forward to maintaining our reputation for producing top-quality Officers for the United States Army.