History

The “Fire Battalion” is as diverse as the community in which it’s located.

Located at 728 West Roosevelt Road, Chicago, IL, 60607-4920

We’re the ROTC Host institution for the entire Chicago Metropolitan area.

On, 25 April 1947, then Chief of Staff of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower signed general Orders 91 creating the ROTC on the University of Illinois Urbana Campus. Because the old Navy Pier campus was an extension of the University of Illinois, the ROTC detachment at Navy pier was officially part of the University of Illinois program. ROTC Flourished during the post WWII years. The Fire Battalion’s history indicates a cadet battalion enrollment reaching 600 cadets during the early 1950s. In 1965, the university campus moved from Navy Pier to its present location offering courses in four colleges to about 5000 students. The Vietnam Years, 1965-1975 the Fire Battalion was still a detachment of the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana campus. In 1973, pursuant to Department of the Army Guidance women were allowed into the ROTC Program. Around 1976 UIC Fire Battalion was officially designated a Battalion separate and distinct from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. In 1978, a staff study, nicknamed the subway study was conducted by the Loyola Instructor Group at the behest of the Second region Commander. The study was designed to test the feasibility of tying all the Chicago Area Programs together using the subway-rapid transit system. The idea was abandoned due to excessive travel times for students. Under President Reagan, during the Cold War years of the1980′s, the program was reinvigorated and many of the cities smaller schools and universities were cross-enrolling in the UIC ROTC program. 17 May 1991, The Loyola-DePaul Battalion commissioned their last 5 cadets and folded its colors for the last time. The Fire Battalion assumed responsibility for the cross-enrolled students from Loyola and DePaul Universities (now Rambler Battalion) as well as Northeastern Illinois University, Northwestern University. The later two schools were official extensions of the Loyola Battalion. In 1996, the Fire Battalion became the host ROTC unit for all of the Chicago Area. Chicago State University folded its colors as did Illinois Institute of Technology. With the closing of these last two Chicago area detachments, the Fire Battalion now was the only Battalion in Chicago.

In recent years, UIC has an active and diverse cadet population of 165+ cadets from across the city’s major institutions. Our cadre and staff, who represents over 200 years of experience, trains and commissions approximately 20-25 cadets a year and are one of the nation’s largest battalions.

If you our interesting in joining ROTC becoming part of the greatest team you ever will have the opportunity to then please visit our ‘How to Join’ page.