UA 023.021 Guide to the University Archives Photograph Collection, Military Training and Service Photographs, 1896-1992

The collection is organized by format: photographic prints and negatives. Arrangement is by University Archives Photograph Collection subject classification.
Portions of this collection have been digitized and made available online.
The entire collection, including materials not available online, may be viewed in the Special Collections reading room in D.H. Hill Library.
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[Album 1] Army ROTC, 1920-1969
Includes photographs of military drills, inspections, exercises, and classroom education during World War II.
[Album 2] Army ROTC, 1970-1979
[Album 3] Air Force ROTC, 1943-1992
Includes photographs of sentry dog training at Homestead Air Force Base (Fla.) and images of military training produced by the United States Air Force at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base (N.C.) and Richards-Gebaur Air Force Base (Mo.).
[Album 5] Military personnel, 1903-1983
Contains formal, informal, and group portraits of officers and cadets. Many are not identified. Includes some photographs transferred from the John William Harrelson Collection (MC 1). Notable military figures include United States Air Force General Samuel E. Anderson; United States Army generals Herbert A. Darque and John R. Hodge; N.C. State alumni, generals Maxwell R. Thurman and William C. Lee, “Father of the Airborne”; also, Captain F. E. Phelps, Colonel T. W. Brown, Colonel Samuel A. Gibson, and other commanding officers of N.C. State’s Department of Military Science.
[Album 6] Military personnel, 1942-1983
[Album 7] Military life. General, 1941-1988
Contains photographs of all aspects of military life other than training and education, including dining, recreation, dances, and other activities.
[Album 8] Military life. Parades and ceremonies, 1896-1964
Contains photographs of military bands, parades, awards, decorations, and ceremonies. Includes some photographs transferred from the John William Harrelson Collection (MC 1) and some of North Carolina Governor William Kerr Scott attending Army Day celebrations at N.C. State College.
[Album 9] Military life. Parades and ceremonies, 1961-1981
[Album 10] Military life. Parades and ceremonies, 1975-1989
[Card Box 11] Military training and service. Negatives
[Half Box 12] Military training and service. General
[Half Box 12] Military training and service. Slides, 1951, 1974


North Carolina State University.


7.5 Linear feet

General Physical Description note

10 albums (678 photographic prints) ; 1 box (287 negatives)


For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Special Collections Research Center Reference Staff external link.



Acquisitions Information

This is an open collection created by the University Archives from various sources.


Processed by: Jonathan Underwood and Robert Burton;machine-readable finding aid created by: Linda Sellars

Scope and Content Note

Chiefly black-and-white photographic prints, 8 x 10 in. or smaller, documenting military training and education at North Carolina State University and the military service of people associated with N.C. State University. Some photographs were taken by N.C. State student and staff photographers, and some were taken by United States Army and Air Force photographers. Photographers are not identified on most photographs.

The collection shows N.C. State ROTC students involved in military drills, inspections, exercises, classroom education, social functions, and military life in general; also, military bands, parades, award presentations, decorations, and other ceremonies, including North Carolina Governor William Kerr Scott attending Army Day celebrations. It contains formal, informal, and group portraits of officers and cadets. Many are not identified, but notable military figures include N.C. State alumni generals Maxwell R. Thurman and William C. Lee, known as the "father of the Army's airborne command"; Captain F. E. Phelps, General Bruce Magruder, Colonel T. W. Brown, Colonel Samuel A. Gibson, and other commanding officers of N.C. State's Department of Military Science; and Colonel J. W. Harrelson, chancellor of N.C. State. Noteworthy alumni not pictured include Admiral David Worth Bagley and General William E. Ingram Jr.

Historical Note

Established as a land-grant state college, North Carolina State University was required by law to include military training and education in its curriculum. N.C. State University's Department of Military Science and Tactics was introduced in 1894 under the direction of United States Navy Lieutenant Richard Henderson. Following World War I, the U.S. Army Reserve Officer Training Corps became the accepted method through which N.C. State, like other land-grant institutions, provided military training and education.

From 1919 to 1942, more than 14,600 students received military training in the Army ROTC program at N.C. State. Over 5,000 alumni, including more than 2,500 officers served in World War II. N.C. State was among 22 colleges and universities in the Army Specialized Training Division of the Fourth Service Command during the war, and it played a major role in supplying the U.S. Navy with reserve officers trained in diesel engineering.

Colonel Samuel A. Gibson was named head of military training and education at N.C. State after World War II, and he established a separate Air Force ROTC unit in 1951. A Naval ROTC program was not established until 1979 when it was expanded from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill through a cross-town enrollment agreement. All male students at N.C. State were required to enroll in two years of ROTC, but after the ROTC Vitalization Act of 1964 made it completely voluntary, N.C. State abolished the compulsory two-year requirement.

N.C. State alumni have achieved wide recognition in military service. Notable figures include General William C. Lee, "Father of the Airborne" and the first commanding general of the 101st Airborne Division, and General Maxwell R. Thurman, who led the 1989 invasion of Panama and was a principal architect of the all-volunteer Army. A total of 457 N.C. State alumni died during military service in World Wars I and II, Korea, and Vietnam.

Alternate Form of Material

Digital copies of many photographs are available online external link.

Access to Collection

This collection is open for research; access requires at least 24 hours advance notice.

For more information contact us via mail, phone, fax, or our web form.


Special Collections Research Center
Box 7111
Raleigh, NC, 27695-7111


(919) 515-2273


(919) 513-1787

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], University Archives Photograph Collection, Military Training and Service Photographs, UA 023.021, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, NC

Access to Collection

The nature of the NCSU Libraries' Special Collections means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The NCSU Libraries claims only physical ownership of most Special Collections materials.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Access to Collection

This collection may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which North Carolina State University assumes no responsibility.