Historical marker to recognize UF’s contribution to military education
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A historical marker is scheduled to be dedicated at 10 a.m. Friday on the lawn of Van Fleet Hall on Stadium Road to recognize the University of Florida’s contributions to military education.
Military education was mandated by the Land-Grant Colleges Act in 1862, rooting it in UF’s early history. Drill and rifle instruction were part of every male student’s instruction at the time.
In 1916, UF was chosen as one of 16 Reserve Officer Training Corps units created by the National Defense Education Act. Drill and rifle instruction were part of every male student’s life. Officer training was offered as elective instruction in 1909.
Established as an Army infantry unit, UF ROTC trained for horse-drawn field artillery in 1928. All other branches of the military eventually came to campus, with the Air Force in 1946 and the Navy in 1972. Compulsory military training ended in 1969, but the tradition of military education continued.
The site for the marker marks the location of the Artillery Barn, which served as a stable and armory, and of the battalion drill fields that extended north to University Avenue.
“This marker gives recognition to the university’s military history and traditions,” said Carl Van Ness, university historian.
Van Ness is scheduled to speak at the event with Lt. Col. Chuck Werner, professor of military science, UF Army ROTC. The UF Army, Air Force and Navy also will have representatives at the event.
The historical marker program recognizes UF’s achievements and contributions to higher education. UF’s military tradition was chosen to receive this recognition after completing an application and having it reviewed.
The UF historical marker program is sponsored by the UF Alumni Association, the History Advisory Council and the Office of University Relations.
- Callie Polk
- Tom Yaroch, firstname.lastname@example.org, 352-392-1395 ext. 214