Royal Warriors 1951-1995
The program we now know as the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) was instituted in 1916 during World War I to prepare leaders for military service in Europe. In 1951, during the Korean War, Army ROTC was established at the University of Scranton. During the 1950s and 1960s, the university was all male, thus every student was required to take ROTC for the first two years. During this time the Cadet regiment was over a thousand strong.
In 1969 ROTC became voluntary and the university became co-educational. Cadet enrollment declined significantly during the Vietnam Conflict and the program almost closed. Reverend Joseph A. Rock, who was very passionate about keeping the program, wrote to congress in 1975 and the closure was averted. The reverend Rock was also instrumental in the creation of the ROTC unit crest which is still worn by cadets to this day. In 1996 the NEPA (North East Pennsylvania) ROTC moved its headquarters to “Rock Hall” named for the Reverend who devoted so much time and support to the program. The program steadily grew in strength again until the early 1990's when the cadet population numbered around 100. In 1994, the battalion was officially renamed the "North East Pennsylvania Battalion". In 1995 Father Panuska, the University President, once again placed emphasis on ROTC and the “Royal Warrior Battalion” has been expanding since that time. Several incentives, such as free room and board were approved for students who won high school ROTC Scholarships and the University became an Army Partner in Nursing Education.
Royal Warriors 1996 - Present
In 1997, the Royal Warrior Battalion won the Best ROTC Unit Award competing against 130 other ROTC battalions in the First ROTC Region. In 1998, the program became one of the first in the nation to approve a minor in Leadership centered mainly on the ROTC program of instruction.
The Royal Warrior’s Ranger Challenge team won the Darby Division in 2009. The Ranger Challenge event tests the Cadet’s ability to navigate rope bridge crossings in a timed event, weapons assembly and disassembly, timed road march on a 10K course, the army physical fitness test, day and night land navigation, evacuation of a casualty, and orienteering and patrolling techniques. This competition is an annual event the Royal Warriors compete in against 41 other colleges and Universities. All ROTC cadets learn the skills used during the Ranger Challenge competition and the best of the best get to challenge the other schools. In 2010 and 2011 the Battalion was recognized by U.S. Army Cadet Command and the 2nd ROTC Brigade during the annual Commander's Conference for exceeding both the unit's Line and Nurse Commission Missions.
Through the years training opportunities for Cadets have become more advanced and grown in number. Royal Warrior Cadets now routinely spend their summers engaged in exciting training, such as Airborne School, Air Assault School, the Mountain Warfare or Northern Warfare courses, as well as the Leaders Development and Assessment Course at Joint Base Lewis-McChord Washington.
Cadets also take part in Cadet Professional Development programs, such as Cadet Troop Leader Training, Project "GO" Language Training and the Cultural Understanding and Language Program (CULP). These Professional Development and Training programs afford Cadets the opportunity to train across the United States and around the globe. The training is challenging, rewarding, and provides a glimpse into the exciting career before them. Since 2010 Cadets from the Royal Warrior Battalion have participated in CULP deployments to Costa Rica, Romania, Estonia, Spain, Indonesia and Tanzania.The Royal Warrior Battalion Cadets have always been active in the community. Cadets are often speakers at Veteran Day ceremonies, provide Color Guards for special events or participate in the annual Susan G. Komen “Race for the Cure.” In 2012 Cadets and Cadre from the Battalion participated in the New York City Saint Patrick's Day parade, as well as the city’s Veterans Day parade.
Since its inception in 1951, six decades ago, the Royal Warrior Battalion has enjoyed a storied and rich history whose alumni have gone to the far corners of the globe and back to serve the Army and the Nation. Officers from the Royal Warrior Battalion have served in operations ranging from counter-insurgency to humanitarian assistance. The Royal Warrior Battalion has commissioned 1,130 Second Lieutenants in the Active Army, Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve.