Department of Military Science

History of ROTC at UW

University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections, 1923 Tyee Yearbook, p. 317

The University of Washington Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps is one of the oldest ROTC programs in the nation. It has roots that reach as far back as the late 1800s when a military department was activated at UW. All male students participated in military training during their first two years.

In 1916, the National Defense Act created “ROTC” as an officer training and commissioning program. It became voluntary in 1961 and three years later, Congress passed the ROTC Vitalization Act providing scholarship funding and the option for a two-year program for cadets.

UW Army ROTC is also known as the Kinnear Husky Battalion (KHB). It takes its name from Cadet Captain C.A. Kinnear who led a group of UW Cadets in quelling Seattle’s Anti-Chinese Riots in 1886.