Photo Story: CSU Military Traditions

Colorado State University has a long history of military instruction on campus that dates back to 1884. As part of this tradition, CSU offers Reserve Officers’ Training Corps for both the Army and Air Force. Upon graduation, students in ROTC receive a commission as a second lieutenant in their respective branch.  As part of the ROTC curriculum, students take a variety of labs, classes, and training, in addition to their regular schedule. Many cadets receive stipends and scholarships to help cover the financial costs of this education. Some students also participate in CSU military traditions on campus, such as the Army ROTC’s Push-up Crew, which does push-ups whenever the CSU football team scores a touchdown and the Army ROTC’s Bronze Boot Run, where cadets from both CSU and University of Wyoming run the game ball for the rivalry football game from the state border.


One aspect of Army ROTC is leadership lab, where once a week cadets engage in training that supports what they have been learning in the classroom. Such training generally involves a significant amount of hands-on experience. During the leadership lab, cadets learn a variety of skills, including tactics, navigation, and basic rappelling. For the leadership lab on September 16, cadets met near the Engineering Research Center at the CSU Foothills Campus to learn and practice squad tactics. Professor of Military Sciences and Lt. Col. Matthew Tillman explained that, “we picked out some of the more experienced cadets to demonstrate how to do a squad attack and recon array across a linear danger area” and then sent the rest of the cadets to actually do those tasks. Later in the year, the cadets will be tasked with employing these techniques at an activity by the Red Feather Lakes area. These activities, alongside the whole of the ROTC Curriculum, help prepare cadets to be part of the long line of CSU graduates that have gone on to be active service members.


woman in military uniform


woman and man in military uniform


man in field wearing uniform


three people in military uniforms holding guns kneel in field



close up photo of american flag and CSU ram patch on military uniform sleeve



combat training



group of students in military uniform in field


man aiming gun in field