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Date of Graduation
Master of Arts (MA)
Department of History
Timothy J. Fitzgerald
The Students’ Army Training Corps (SATC) is an overlooked part of the United States’ military training system during World War I. In early 1918, the War Department realized that they would need more military officers due to the rapid expansion of the Army for the war, the high expected casualty rate of officers, and the planned spring 1919 offensive. To help fix this problem, the Committee on Education and Special Training, a subsidiary of the War Department, created the SATC. College campuses served as training locations and male students enrolled at the schools received military training in addition to their academic studies. Some of the colleges also provided training in technical skills and trades to men not enrolled at the institution.
Previous study and analysis of the SATC either provided a brief overview of the program or focused on how college leadership and administrations handled the SATC. What has not been examined is how the SATC fit into the War Department’s training and mobilization plan, how the program operated at Virginia colleges and universities, and what it was like being a member of the SATC. This digital exhibit and paper explore these questions with the purpose of providing a way for scholars and members of the public to better understand the SATC. The digital exhibit examines the SATC in depth at six Virginia colleges: the University of Virginia, Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Virginia Military Institute, William & Mary, Hampton University, and Virginia Union University. Each school provides a unique perspective of the program and highlights the various issues that occurred in the running of the SATC. Overall, the SATC was a key piece of the War Department’s mobilization plan, but numerous problems caused the program to fall short of the War Department's goal.
Project Link: https://mattlutherthesis.com/
Luther, R. Matthew, "The students’ army training corps in Virginia" (2023). Masters Theses, 2020-current. 224.