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Reserve Forces

In 1893 Rev. William F. Marshall, President of Seton Hall, and U.S. Senator James Smith of Newark, a college trustee, were successful in securing an officer to teach Military Science. The appointment of Lieutenant Michael J. Lenehan, at a Catholic College, raised quite a stir throughout the state of New Jersey. Since Senator Smith had already secured the appointment, preparation went on and on August 27, 1893 the Military Department of the college was formally established.

Under the Professor of Military Science and Tactics, cadets were organized into a battalion of three companies. Their institution included infantry tactics and military discipline. Cadets drilled three times weekly on campus and conducted a short encampment in the month of June at “Camp Lehehan”, known today as South Mountain Reservation.

Training was going well and initial interest in the Military Science curriculum shattered enrollment estimates. However, Seton Hall was a private institution and not a land-grant college. The conduct of military training stirred up a certain amount of controversy, as the college was under Church auspices. This fact gave rise to certain criticism in anti-Catholic circles seeing a union of church and state.

Such bias and criticism did not hamper the effectiveness of the newly established military program at Seton Hall. Courses in military tactics, drill, and bivouacs produced patriotic students who proudly served in the Spanish-American War a few years later. It was also at this time that the Military Department at Seton Hall was suspended. In June of 1950, after a 52-year absence, the Department of Military Science and Tactics returned to campus as a Military Police Unit. The unit, under the command of LTC Mark Louis, formed for the first time in September 1950 and soon became one of the largest programs in the country. Approximately, 600 students enrolled in the Cadet Corps its first year, of which 33 were commissioned as Second Lieutenants. The following year enrollment exceeded 800.

In 1993, the ROTC program celebrated 100 years of leadership excellence at Seton Hall. The battalion motto “Can Do, Never Quit” reinforces that military history. Today, Seton Hall ROTC graduates proudly serve our nation in leadership positions worldwide.

Army ROTC at Seton Hall over the years.

In June of 1950, after a 52-year absence, the Department of Military Science and Tactics returned to campus as a Military Police Unit. The unit, under the command of LTC Mark Louis, formed for the first time in September 1950 and soon became one of the largest programs in the country. Approximately, 600 students enrolled in the Cadet Corps its first year, of which 33 were commissioned as Second Lieutenants. The following year enrollment exceeded 800.

Army ROTC at Seton Hall over the years.

In 1993, the ROTC program celebrated 100 years of leadership excellence at Seton Hall. The battalion motto “Can Do, Never Quit” reinforces that military history. Today, Seton Hall ROTC graduates proudly serve our nation in leadership positions worldwide.

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