RATTLER BATTALION HISTORY
In 1902, FAMU President Nathan B. Young appointed William H. A. Howard (pictured) as the first Commandant of Military Activities. The basis for the implementation of military training at Florida Normal & Industrial College for Colored Students was the Morrell Act of 1890, which provided funding to land grant schools. It was not until 1948 that the senior division of the Florida A&M College Army ROTC unit was established, under the first Professor of Military Science and Tactics, Major Clarence M. Davenport Jr. The initial enrollment of 278 cadets quickly grew to a cadet corps in excess of 600 within the first decade. The first twenty-one Cadets were commissioned into the United States Army Reserve during the academic year of 1949-1950.
FAMU Army ROTC graduates have proudly served their country from the Korean War Conflict to operations in Iraq (OIF, OND) and Afghanistan (OEF). In 1969, FAMU felt the increasing impact of the Vietnam War, particularly from national legislation. The pressure from the country's public opinion in Vietnam led to a federal law that made ROTC non-mandatory. In many institutions across the country, enrollment dropped to zero (0) and some programs disbanded, not to return until the early 1980s. During this very critical time, FAMU's administration remained very supportive of ROTC. FAMU's ROTC program continued to produce quality leaders to meet the needs of our military while serving our country proudly in the Vietnam War and beyond.