Students, ROTC program celebrates 100th anniversary
The Army and Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps came together to celebrate ROTC’s 100th anniversary with a basketball game Friday at the Hofheinz Pavilion.
The programs decided to commemorate the event with a basketball game due to UH’s success and the upcoming NCAA tournament.
“I see UH as a basketball school. We’ve always had a strength in that sport,” battalion commander and Lt. Col. Neil Chaffee said. “We wanted to celebrate the 100th anniversary in the spirit of March Madness, and what better place to do that than right here in Hofheinz?”
Chaffee, who is professor of military science, believed the event was a celebration of the program’s history and how it has evolved from a necessity of war to a foundation for future leaders.
For student cadets, the anniversary meant strength and continuity for the program.
“It shows that our organization on campus has been strong enough to continue to put out leaders for the state and the nation,” cadet and philosophy senior Gian Clemons said.
According to UH’s ROTC website, the Army ROTC program was established in 1948 and allowed women to enlist in 1972. The Air Force ROTC detachment was established in 2003.
The UH ROTC programs are not exclusive to UH students. The programs serve students from Texas Southern, St. Thomas University and Rice University.
High school students also attended Friday’s game. Three seniors from Hargrave High School in Huffman said they were hoping to join the programs in the fall. Other high school students said they wanted to join the University’s program because of the discipline, experience and learning opportunities the corps offers.
The Army ROTC beat the Air Force ROTC, 34-15, in a fast-paced game.
“It’s a friendly rivalry between the Army and the Air Force,” Chaffee said, “and at the end of the day we’re on the same team.”