Historic Posts, Camps, Stations and Airfields
Military Activities at the University of California during World War I
Reserve Officers Training Corps: In 1916, the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) was established, and on 17 April 1917 the University included this program in the standard curriculum, replacing the previously state organized University Cadets. The cadet corps expanded to over 1,500 male students; they continued to be organized into an infantry regiment of three battalions.
The concept of cadet summer training was developed and voluntary encampments for practical military instruction were established at such locations as Pacific Grove, California, and at the Presidio in San Francisco.
Signal Corps School of Military Aeronautics: Established 21 May 1917 with a capacity of 1,020 students.. On 27 June 1917, a contract was entered into between the Signal Corps, U. S. Army, for and in behalf of the United States of America, and the University of California, whereby the University of California agreed to provide, properly equip and maintain a School of Military Aeronautics for giving ground training to officers and enlisted men of the Signal Corps. It was agreed that the University of California hereby agreed to an enlargement of the course of instruction given to officers and enlisted men of the Signal Corps in the School of Military Aeronautics from a course of eight (8) weeks to a course of ten (10) or twelve (12) weeks, as the Chief Signal Officer directed.
Squadron 38, School of Military Aeronautics, University of California, Class of 13 April 1918
Official History of the School of Military Aeronautics
Other Signal Corps Training Conducted at the University of California: In addition of the School of Military Aeronautics, the US Army Signal Corps conducted the following technical courses for up to 300 soldiers at the University of California:
US Army Training Detachments and Students' Army Training Corps: As America entered World War I the U.S. War Department inaugurated the Students’ Army Training Corps, a program designed to use existing colleges and universities as training facilities for new military personnel. Instructors were to be hired under a temporary contract, with the universities and colleges subsequently reimbursed by the government for the added expense of providing facilities and staff for the Corps.
Students Army Training Corps at the University of California (UC Photo)
From The California Alumni Fortnightly, Vol XI, No. 11, 1 September 1918:
Students Army Training Corps Plans Still Provisional. The following statement relative to Students Army Training Corps Is issued the President's office It should be that the information below is provisional subject to change upon receipt of further advices from Washington Ed:
A unit of the Students Army Corps has been established at the of California All registrants under the Selective Service Act who have been to the University in Regular standing eligible for enlistment in the Corps. The method in admission is by voluntary induction or draft The procedure is as follows Immediately upon receipt of the certificate admission the student must report to University at the office of the officer of the Corps at the University enlistment. A physical examination will required and in other respects the usual routine for induction into the service will followed. After the acceptance of the applicant the enlisting officer notifies the local board that the student has been inducted into the Students Army Corps.
Members of the Corps will be on status and will receive $30.00 per month from the date of enlistment When the draft number of an enlisted man is called his scholastic and military attainments will be reviewed for the purpose of whether he shall be continued as a member of the Corps or shall be transferred to training camps for officers or non commissioned officers or shall be assigned to a depot brigade as private. If he is retained for further instruction at the University in addition to the allowance of $30.00 housing and subsistence will be provided No definite statement can be made as to how long a man will be continued in the training corps He may be sent to an advanced training camp at any time or he may be continued for further study in a technical field such as chemistry engineering or medicine. Provision will be made for students under 18 to enroll in the Students Army Training Corps for the purpose of receiving military instruction but they cannot enlist until they have been registered under the draft law. Such students will not be paid nor will they receive any commutation for subsistance or quarters.
The question of supplying them with uniforms has not at this time been settled. Students and prospective students of the University of California intending to enter at the beginning of the fall half year should notify the Recorder's office at once. No further action need be taken by the student until the University opens


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Order of Battle of United States Land Forces in the World War (1931-1949)
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Updated 8 February 2016