The University of Nevada ROTC WolfPack Battalion is an organization with long standing tradition that, through the years, has directly coincided with the history of the University. The Wolfpack Battalion was established in 1888 as part of the "University Corps of Cadets". On 3 June 1916, The Reserve Officer Training Corps was born from the National Defense Act and implemented many of the procedures followed today, including its offer of a commission in the Army as a Second Lieutenant via the "Four Year Program".
There were few changes until 1964, when a "Two-Year Program" was created with the authorization of the ROTC Vitalization Act of 1964. Future junior students that never attended ROTC could "catch up" by attending a six-week summer basic course and begin their junior year in the advanced program. Today's Leader Training Course, or LTC, is derived from this concept. Students showing interest later in their college careers can attend LTC and receive credit for attendance of two years of the basic course.
The 1960s became a kind of Golden Age for the ROTC Program at the University of Nevada, Reno. Under the direction of the PMS, Colonel Earl W. Ralf, standards of induction into the advanced course heightened, and yet enrollments grew to a combined number of over 1,000 students in the basic and advanced courses. Many student organizations were in effect and carry on in the present, such as the Sierra Guard, originating in 1955 and replacing the Pershing Rifles. COL Ralf created the "Colonel's Coeds," which was a women's service organization representing all of the women's groups on campus and supporting the Military Science Department. A Women's Army Corps Milestone also took place in 1967, when a Captain Lois A. Henry became the first WAC member assigned to an ROTC unit. On average, the attendance to the annual military ball would exceed 2,000 people.
Over 65% of all Army officers come from the ROTC program, and UNR's WolfPack Battalion has contributed extensively to this. Every commission awarded in the state of Nevada since 1888 has been earned through the WolfPack Battalion. In Vietnam, UNR graduates such as 2LT Steven R. Kosach earned numerous combat awards to include the Silver Star, and went on to become the Honorable Judge Steven Kosach, serving our legal system and teaching law at the University. Other graduates include Dr. Tyrus W. Cobb, a highly respected Nevada politician and executive who retired from the Army as a Colonel, as well as a recently inducted UNR ROTC Hall of Fame member Brigadier General Richard T. Ellis, who has served in every major conflict after Vietnam to the present. Currently, UNR is proud to be represented in our current War on Terror, with several officers serving in Iraq, Kuwait, and Afghanistan.
The history of the University of Nevada Reno is rich in military tradition. "Leadership Excellence" is the cornerstone of the ROTC Program nationwide. The University of Nevada Reno's ROTC program embodies this idea with every cadet that takes the Oath of Office and utters the words "So Help Me God," in order to become the newest Officer from the great state of Nevada and the Battle Born Wolf Pack Battalion!