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As the official 100th anniversary of the Reserve Officer’s Training Corps approaches, military members around the nation today are celebrating the birth of a Republican senator whose law helped plant early seeds for the ROTC.

Justin Smith Morrill was born on this day in 1810. It was his law, the Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act, that formed an early version of the ROTC. As a federal requirement, the colleges would only be established if they featured a military training component. This isn’t the only root connected to the forming of the ROTC but it is considered the most significant.

Little Known Black History Fact: ROTC And The Morrill Act  was originally published on

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