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History of NROTC Oregon State University
With the expansion of naval manpower during World War II, 25 more NROTC units were established to meet the demand for officers. The NROTC Unit at Oregon State College was one of the last units established to satisfy wartime personnel requirements. On 31 March 1945, OSC President A.L. Strand wrote a letter to the Chief of Naval Personnel requesting that an NROTC unit be established at Oregon State College. The OSU Department of Naval Science was commissioned on 17 September 1945.
The Unit at Oregon State College operated on a wartime basis through the academic year 1945-46 with a total of 190 students. The Unit was originally located at the first Snell Hall, which is currently called Ballard Extension Hall. The cadets, as they were called at the time, lived and ate in "U.S.S. Snell Hall".
The first Naval Armory was initially housed in Quonset huts next to the Forestry building. On 15 June 1946, the Unit reverted to a peacetime status and the Naval Science students no longer were provided with housing and meals at Navy expense. The Unit has continued to the present on this basis with the students enrolled as midshipmen, U.S. Naval Reserve. In 1952, the Department of Naval Science was moved to a larger set of Quonset huts in the field now occupied by West Hall. In 1959, the Naval Armory buildings were moved to Washington Way. Naval ROTC at OSU hosted the first foreign-exchange students and five midshipmen from the Imperial Iranian Navy in 1969.