Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Aerospace Studies. | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center
The first military training at Southern Illinois University was offered between the period of 1878 and 1891 under the direction of Captain Thomas J. Spencer. At that time it served the purpose of Physical Education as well as Military Instruction.
Military training was offered again in 1938, when O. B. Young, a physics professor, was put in charge of the Civil Aeronautics Administration program for training of civilian pilots. That program was in operation until 1945.
A Division of Air Science at Southern Illinois University was organized and instituted in the summer and fall of 1951 by Lieutenant Colonel O. K. Halderson and Major B. P. Vickery.
The present Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps program at Southern Illinois University offers either a two-year or a four-year course for academic credit. In addition to the academic credit program, the Reserve Officer Training Corps endorses or directly sponsors extracurricular activities such as the Honor Guard, the Band, and the Singing Squadron.