"The NROTC is an institution that has been a part of the University since World War Two, yet in today's society many students probably wouldn't realize how unique it really is. Since its inception in the summer of 1946, the NROTC unit on campus has produced 22 Admirals and Generals in the United States Navy and Marine Corps. At one point, there had only been two four-star generals in the U.S. Marine Corps, one of them the Commandant of the Marine Corps, and they had both been graduates of this very program." -LT Morris 9-7386
There had also been a point in the not too distant past where of the six Command and Executive Officer Positions of the Nurse Corps, four of them had been held by Villanovans. And although in the past the various academic programs of Villanova have been ranked within the top 20 of regional schools the NROTC unit has been multiple times considered within the top 10 or top 5 Naval ROTC schools in the country.
Continually changing over the decades to fit the needs of the Navy and the society that was indirectly funding it, the NROTC unit has each time met that challenge and evolved to maintain this same top-mark level. From the very first time a prospective midshipman walks onto Mendel field for their indoctrination program there is an effort to totally immerse them in not just the ways of the Navy but also of Villanova University.
There are specific Navy and Marine Corps classes that must be taken, uniform days on Tuesdays, physical training days and tests, extra-curricular programs that range from sports teams to rifle-shooting, and a basic premise from the start that “a midshipman does not lie, cheat, or steal”. By the time the second week of May comes around and their four years have come to close, it has been deeply ingrained into each midshipman what it means to be a professional, and what it also means to be a Villanovan.
Literally hundreds of midshipmen have gone through this exact same outline to join the ranks of what can be considered the “extended” Villanovan community in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, and although the times have changed and so has the specifics of training, it is still essentially the same program that has descended from World War Two.