The mission of the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) program is to develop midshipmen mentally, morally and physically and to imbue them with the highest ideals of duty, and loyalty, and with the core values of honor, courage and commitment in order to commission college graduates as naval officers who possess a basic professional background, are motivated toward careers in the naval service, and have a potential for future development in mind and character so as to assume the highest responsibilities of command, citizenship and government.
The program educates and trains young men and women for leadership positions in an increasingly technical Navy and Marine Corps. Selected applicants for the program are awarded scholarships through a highly competitive national selection process, and receive full tuition and other financial benefits at many of the country’s leading colleges and universities. Currently there are 64 NROTC units/consortiums hosted at 78 schools with students attending 160 colleges and universities throughout the United States.
The NROTC program was established in 1926 to provide a broad base of citizens knowledgeable in the arts and sciences of Naval Warfare. The program provided an opportunity for young men to undertake careers in the naval profession. In the beginning, there were six units located at the University of California at Berkeley, Georgia Institute of Technology, Northwestern University, University of Washington, and Harvard and Yale Universities. In June 1930, 126 midshipmen graduated from college, and received commissions in the United States Navy. The Marine Corps entered the NROTC program in 1932, offering qualified graduates commissions in the United States Marine Corps. In 1968, Prairie View A&M became the first Historically Black College to host the program. In 1972, the Secretary of the Navy authorized 16 women to enroll in the program and attend school at one of four colleges. Women now participate in the program while attending any Navy ROTC affiliated college or university. In 1990, the NROTC program was expanded to include applicants pursuing a four-year degree in Nursing, leading to a commission in the Navy Nurse Corps.
The expansion of the NROTC program and long-awaited establishment of a host unit in August 2020 was a landmark moment in the history of the University of Hawaii at Mānoa and cause for celebration!