Nittany Lion Battalion History

The Early Years

During the Civil War, cadets were deployed in response to the threatened confederate invasion. In June of 1916, the National Defense Act formally created an ROTC unit at Penn State. Until World War I, military instruction consisted principally of drill, with an occasional lecture on a subject of military interest. No attempt was made to present theoretical instruction and no academic credit was awarded. Following World War II, the military curriculum was expanded to include instruction in all branches of the Army, and ROTC units were established at the Berks and Abington-Ogontz campuses. Later, Altoona and Hazleton campuses added Army ROTC to their curriculum.

Civil War through World War II

During the Civil War, cadets were deployed in response to the threatened confederate invasion. In June of 1916, the National Defense Act formally created an ROTC unit at Penn State. Until World War I, military instruction consisted principally of drill, with an occasional lecture on a subject of military interest. No attempt was made to present theoretical instruction and no academic credit was awarded. Following World War II, the military curriculum was expanded to include instruction in all branches of the Army, and ROTC units were established at the Berks and Abington-Ogontz campuses. Later, Altoona and Hazleton campuses added Army ROTC to their curriculum.

Cold War through Present

In 1955, specialized training for Cadets was abolished and replaced with general military science training. In 1960, the Wagner Building, the current home of the Nittany Lion Battalion, was opened. In 1962, the University Senate voted to end mandatory military training for students. In 1972, womoen joined the program. Today, Penn State Army ROTC is widely recognized as one of the top ROTC programs in the nation. Lieutenants commissioned from the Nittany Lion Battalion consistently perform above their peers in their Basic Officer Leadership Courses and in their units.


Nittany Lion Battalion Today

The Nittany Lion Battalion consists of four companies located at three Penn State campuses:

Penn State Army ROTC is one of 42 participating battalions in the "Freedom" Brigade, Headquartered at Fort Dix, NJ, and a member of the Eastern Region Cadet Command