In honor of Veteran’s Day, November 11, here is a picture of Navy recruits from World War II who were part of the U.S. Navy’s V-12 College Training Program at Iowa State College (ISC).
The V-12 program was designed to train officer candidates for combat duty in the war. They were taught college courses and kept a military schedule. The first group of trainees, numbering 200, came to ISC in June 1942; by 1943, according to the campus yearbook the Bomb, there were 3,100 men in various Navy training programs on campus, including electrical and diesel training programs and the Bakers’ and Cooks’ School. Dorms in Hughes and Friley Halls were converted to resemble ships’ quarters. As the 1943 Bomb states, “There are no doors on the rooms, double and triple decker bunks are used and, according to navy regulation, clothing and gear are kept in ship shape and in the smallest space possible in the ship’s quarters” (149).
Iowa State University continues to have a strong Navy ROTC program, as well as Army ROTC and Air Force ROTC programs. You can learn more about the history of military training at ISU in the Department of Military Science Subject Files, RS 13/16/1.