UK Army ROTC has been a commissioning source for the United States Army since 1917. The Wildcat Battalion is centrally located on campus inside Buell Armory, next to UK’s Visitors Center, Gatton Student Center. Army ROTC has one primary task: to turn college students into military officers. This is done through a combination of classroom instruction, physical fitness training, training exercises, and special events. Throughout each semester, Cadets will participate in events ranging from early morning runs and marches, providing Color Guard at Division I athletic events to working alongside the UK Police Department while ensuring safety on campus. There is always need for motivated individuals to come out and take part.
The benefits of participating in a collegiate ROTC program are plentiful. Every year the graduating seniors receive not only a college diploma, but a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army. Until that day, however, there is no shortage of training events to introduce Cadets to the community they will one day enter.
Army Ten Miler- Held every year in Washington, DC, participating Cadets will run alongside and compete with other ROTC programs from around the country, as well as active military, National Guard, reserves, civilians, and veterans from around the world.
German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge (GAFPB) - Competition for this award makes it a popular way for Cadets to distinguish themselves from their peers. Each year the Battalion’s team will compete in rucking, shooting, swimming, first aid, and other Army centered task in order to earn the badge, which can be worn as part of the Army dress uniform even after commissioning.
Norwegian Foot March- To earn this badge Cadets must complete an 18.9 mile ruck march carrying 35 pounds in under four hours and thirty minutes. It is typically put on by a host school and features members of the Norwegian military to award the badge, as well as Active Duty soldiers also attempting to earn the badge.
Ranger Challenge- Each school from the Brigade will select its top cadets to fill out its Ranger Challenge Team. The teams will compete for top honors in rucking, weapons familiarity, and military fieldcraft.
Kentucky Rangers- A volunteer only organization descended from the early days of the Vietnam War, this group teaches the ROTC curriculum, as well as additional Army tactics and knowledge, at an advanced rate, better preparing future second lieutenants for the rigors of the job.
Pershing Rifles- One of the oldest organizations at UK, Company C-1 has been around since the 1930s. It is dedicated to excellence, taking volunteers from Army and Air Force ROTC and teaching the art of leadership. Its members preform Color Guards at football and basketball games and host UKs annual JROTC Drill Meet.