The University of Wisconsin - Madison ROTC Battalion has been proud to help develop the leaders of tomorrow.
The Unit Motto: "Truth and Liberty"
The Battalion Motto of "Truth & Liberty" comes from the specific uniqueness of this organization and its history and traditions.
"Truth" is taken from the 'most famous words' in University of Wisconsin - Madison history. These words have become synonymous with the university's reason for existence, and are inscribed on a plaque outside Bascom Hall. The author is believed to be Charles K. Adams, President of the University from 1892 to 1901. His words are:"Whatever may be the limitations which trammel inquiry elsewhere, we believe that the great state University of Wisconsin should ever encourage that continual and fearless sifting and winnowing by which alone the truth can be found." The word truth refers to the American's desire and endeavor to find, through lifelong scholastics and learning, a better existence through understanding and appreciation.
"Liberty" is that which Cadets have committed to serve, protect, and enable. The Army ROTC program trains, prepares, and enables Cadets to serve the Nation as Lieutenants for this very purpose. This training began in Madison in 1868 when Colonel William Russell Pease, of the 117th New York Volunteers, was stationed here by the War Department to train the University's 347 students in Military Tactics and Engineering. During periods of the Civil War and other conflicts world-wide, the students of Wisconsin have continued to sacrifice for the benefit of their countrymen.
The University of Wisconsin continues to produce superior officers for the United States Army. It currently produces officers with its partner school, Edgewood College, and its sister schools, the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater and Maranatha Baptist Bible College. Each school adds to the Badger Battalion in unique ways, creating a stronger program with strong cadets.
The Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC), as it exists today, began with President Wilson signing the National Defense Act of 1916. Although military training had been taking place in civilian colleges and universities as early as 1819, the signing of the National Defense Act brought this training under single, federally-controlled entity: The Reserve Officers' Training Corps.
Army ROTC is the largest officer-producing organization with the American military, having commissioned more than half a million second lieutenants since its inception.
Women have been an integral part of the Army ROTC since school year 1972-1973. The first group of females from ROTC were commissioned in school year 1975-1976. Today, women constitute 20 percent of the Corps of Cadets and more than 15 percent of each commissioning cohort.
In April 1986, the U.S. Army Cadet Command was formed. With its headquarters at Fort Monroe, Virginia, Cadet Command assumed responsibility for more than 400 senior ROTC units, four regional headquarters, and the Junior ROTC with programs in more than 800 high schools. Cadet Command transformed the ROTC from a decentralized organization turning out a heterogeneous group of junior officers into a centralized command producing lieutenants of high and uniform quality. An improved command and control apparatus, an intensification and standardization of training, and improvements in leadership assessment and development helped produce this transformation of pre-commissioning preparation.
Today, Army ROTC has a total of 273 programs located at colleges and universities throughout the 50 states, the District of Columbia , Puerto Rico with an enrollment of more than 20,000. It produces approximately 60 percent of the second lieutenants who join the active Army, the Army National Guard and the U.S. Army Reserve. More than 40 percent of current active duty Army General Officers were commissioned through the ROTC.
Of even greater importance is that ROTC trained and educated officers bring a hybrid vigor to our officer corps by drawing on the strength and variety of our social fabric. This reduces the natural tendency of armies to drift into inbred professional separatism. Cadet Command accomplishes this by combining the character building aspects of a diverse, self-disciplined civilian education with tough, centralized leader development training. This process forges a broad-gauged officer who manifests the strength and diversity of the society from which he or she is drawn as well as the quality of strong officer leadership.