Unit History

A Legacy of Excellence

In 1951, legendary University President Father Theodore Hesburgh signed documentation officially establishing Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) at Notre Dame.  It is well known of the impact that the V-7/V-12  programs had on Notre Dame's future during the early years of World War II, what is less well-known is that military training has been conducted on campus since the 1850s.  Even prior to the American Civil War, young men (and much later women) at Notre Dame were honing military skills learning discipline, leadership, and preparing to serve their nation's call.  Many answered that call in the World War I, with 46 fallen graduates honored at the World War I Memorial Door on the eastern side of the Notre Dame Basilica.  Above their names is the motto of the Fighting Irish Battalion "God, Country, Notre Dame."

Following 1951, thousands of officers have commissioned through the Army ROTC program at the University of Notre Dame and it's partner schools.  Men and women commissioning through the Notre Dame Army ROTC program have served in every conflict since 1955 where American forces are deployed.  In addition to service abroad, members of the Army National Guard and Army Reserve continue support local and federal initiatives such as flood and natural disaster relief, Defense Support to Civil Authorities, and serve as the operational ready reserve for the Active Duty component.   

Read the full Fighting Irish Battalion History (PDF)

For more information about military training at the University of Notre Dame prior to the foundation of ROTC, please read Early Military Training at Univeristy of Notre Dame (984k) by a graduate of the program, Mr. Philip Mauro.