ROTC and the Military Years

In 1933, Pearl River County Agricultural High School and Junior College applied to the War Department for the organization of a Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps unit. By 1946 the Military Department had become a very important part of the schools curriculum. The 1946 school catalog states (page 15):

In 1936 the Military Department was added, detailing a U.S. Army officer as Professor of Military Science and Tactics. Thus P.R.C. became the first, and is still, the only Junior College in Mississippi to be accorded this distinction.

These pictures are by no means a complete representation of those Military Years at PRCC, but will serve to show how tremendous a change took place in the "look and feel" of PRCAHS' students and campus.

1940s Photograph

On August 19, 1935 Pearl River College began its first ROTC unit. Over the years, the college took on a decidedly military school feel. All high school students were required to be a part of the military program. The school day began with reville and ended with taps. This picture, taken from the 1946 school catalog shows colors being lowered at the end of the day.

1940s Photograph

The ROTC was headquartered in Huff Hall, called the Cadet Barracks. This picture was taken from the 1946 School Catalog.

1940s Photograph

Even the band became the 1st Battalion ROTC Band. This picture shows the military style uniforms.

1940s Photograph

Drill was a very big part of life on campus. The school boasted a "drill field" and a "rifle range." Students were even marched to town for movies if they passed inspection.

1940s Photograph

The Cadets of Company "A" posed for their picture for the 1946 school catalog.

1940s Photograph

The Cadets of Company "B" also posed for the 1946 school catalog.

1940s Photograph

Girls were not allowed to take part in the ROTC, much as women were not a fighting part of the U.S. Armed Forces, but the Girls Auxiliary Training Corp marched and trained much the same way that women in the Armed Forces did.

1940s Photograph

Inspection was a large part of the daily rigors at PRCAHS and Junior College. A clean rifle meant that you were allowed to go to town with the unit for movie night. A dirty rifle meant you stayed in the barracks.

1940s Photograph

So great was the military influence on campus that the campus newspaper (The oldest copy that we know of was 1945) was called "The Cadet." The Cadet staff here (1946 school catalog) is shown reading the latest copy of "The Cadet."

1940s Photograph

The band and the drum and bugle corps usually led off a parade with the marching Cadets behind, as this picture from the 1946 school catalog depicts.

1940s Photograph

Patriotism was the order of the day and any parade was led by the color guard. This picture appeared on the front cover of the 1946 school catalog.

1940s Photograph

Four Cadets disassemble an automatic rifle outside of the Jacobs Hall Armory. The bottom floor of the hall was dedicated to the armory and a classroom. The students are: (L to R) E. B. Strain, George Menetre, Edward Earl Lott and Charles Warren Moody. (Photo taken from the 1946 school catalog.