Wildcat Battalion History
In keeping with the agreement of the Land Grant Act of 1862, a Military Science Department was established on the Fort Valley State College campus in the fall of 1956. Mr. Frank M. Staley, a mathematics instructor, served as the first Commander of Cadets (September 1956 thru June 1957). His successor in September 1957 was Major H. A. Robinson, a retired Army chaplain. Mr. Alphonso Varner, Major Robinson’s assistant, an instructor and a Major in the Army Reserve, succeeded Major Robinson as Commandant of Cadets in 1965 and remained in this position until June 1969. The program of instruction consisted of a two-year basic military training course which was required for all male students. This program did not offer a commission in the Active Army or its reserve components, nor did students enrolling in the ROTC program receive any academic credit.
The college asked for a ROTC program as early as 1952 and was denied the program then, as it had on several subsequent occasions, due to the lack of quotas for additional units. After several requests to start its own program, Fort Valley State was finally successful in constituting its first program in September 1969 under a cross-enrollment agreement with Mercer University in Macon, Georgia. A unit was established at the Fort Valley State campus offering an elective four-year program of instruction identical to the Mercer program.
Department of the Army subsequently authorized the establishment of an independent ROTC program at Fort Valley State University on 25 January 1972 and assigned Lieutenant Colonel Marion T. Porter as the Professor of Military Science. The program became operational during the fall quarter, School Year 1972-1973. The program started with all four ROTC classifications – MS I, MS II, MS III, MS IV. On 16 March 1973, the ROTC program awarded its first commission to Gregory E. Love, a transfer student from Georgia State University. Lieutenant Love was commissioned in the Signal Corps, USAR.
In 1976, Albany State University became an extension center of the ROTC program at Fort Valley State University. In 1997, the Ram Battalion was deactivated and became partnership with Fort Valley State University.
Fort Valley State University Army ROTC recruits, trains, retains and commissions the future leadership of the Army and motivates young people to become better citizens.
An organization that embodies the Spirit of Excellence in all we do; lays the foundation for agile and adaptive leadership and lifelong learning; and projects a quality-centric culture revered by all students and faculty.
Shield represents the “shield of excellence – symbolizing the Army’s role in the nations defense, which is the ultimate purpose for producing warrior leaders;
Star symbolizes the Bn vision of embodying the Spirit of Excellence in all we do; laying the foundation for agile and adaptive leadership and lifelong learning; and projecting a quality-centric culture revered by all students and faculty;
3-braided cord symbolizes strength in unity – A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken;
The Mascots represent the sense of belonging for each school and honors their history and traditions.
- LTC(R) Marion T. Porter, 1972-1974
- COL(R) James Carney, 1974-1976
- MG(R) Charles M. Hood, 1976-1979
- LTC(R) Tyrone P. Fletcher (Deceased), 1979-1983
- LTC(R) Louis T. Newkirk, 1983-1986
- LTC(R) Norman Cherry, 1986-1989
- LTC(R) Charles P. Ervin, Jr., 1989-1993
- LTC(R) Rodney E. Connors, 1993-1995
- LTC(R) Ray Hill, 1995-1999
- LTC(R) Gregory K. Rooks, 1999-2002
- COL(R) Kenneth M. Ward, 2002-2004
- LTC Antonio W. Foster, 2004-2008
- LTC Terry Love, 2008-2011