Hanover College Triangle on

World War II Officer Training Program

April 17, 1942

Students at Hanover College did not write editorials or opinion articles about the war in the 1940s. Mentions in the Triangle of the war appeared if a boat ride or other activity was cancelled due to the war effort or, in the case of this article, when a program was installed in the curriculum to prepare men for Navy officer status. The Triangle devoted an entire page to applications, advertisements, and articles about the Navy V-1 Officer Training program, which suggests that the story was important to students.

During World War II, Americans made many efforts to support the war, including financial support and soldier and officer recruitment. An example of this would be the Navy Officer Training programs that were installed in college curriculums to prepare men for the Navy while they received an education. "With the nation's engineering schools heavily engaged in military research, the United States Navy looked to liberal arts colleges to provide their recruits with basic education" (Williams College). This program was like a regular R.O.T.C. program, except it required college algebra and physics since it was specifically for officer training. This program was put into effect because the Naval Academy knew that the war needed more officers than they were able to produce, and so these Officer Training Corps units were set up at colleges throughout the country. This way, those men who wanted to receive an education could do so, and they could receive officer training at the same time. This would also solve the problem of colleges having decreasing enrollment due to students and professors enlisting in the war. These recruitment and training programs were introduced in colleges across the country in the late 1930s but did not arrive at Hanover's campus until 1942. -Tara Holstine, '09

Sources: "The V-1 Program," The History of Science at Williams, Williams Science Center, http://www.williams.edu/resources/sciencecenter/center/HistSci00/chapter3_3.html#V1 (accessed Sept. 2007); Ernest J. King, "Official Reports by Fleet Admiral Ernest J. King, U.S.N.," <http://ftp.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/USNatWar/USN-IKing-1.html> (accessed 19 Sept. 2007).

N.B. The text below is transcribed verbatim, including the occasional typographical error.

"Opportunities Offered By V-1 Navy Training Will Aid in the Fraternity Rushing Program --
Will Make Graduation Likely For Acceptees," Hanover College Triangle, 17 April, 1942.

Added emphasis should now be given in fraternity rushing program to the fact that Hanover College has been accepted as an accredited school for the training of officer personnel under the Navy's new V-1 program of classification.

In the past organized men have complained about the difficulty of securing men for school here, because of lack of military preparation of any sort. This program makes Hanover as much of a officer's training school as any other institution with an R.O.T.C. unit or cavalry unit. An advantage that the Navy program has as against other types of reserve training is also apparent.

Only a small percentage of men (approximately the top one-fourth) who complete the first two years of education in an R.O.T.C. unit are allowed to go into advanced courses which qualify them as officers. The Navy V-1 system allows any man who can pass the examination upon completion of the first portion of the work to continue. There is not fixed mathematical ratio which keeps many good man out, for all that are capable are eligible upon the basis of merit alone.

These facts should surely be stressed in an attempt to bring Freshmen to school here in face of lucrative offers of industry. Too, all men in school that are now eligible upon the age basis should make immediate application for classification as assurance of the attainment of a degree.

On last Friday, April 16, Professor Grant T. Wickwire attended a conference of Navy officials and college representatives held for the purpose of clarifying the new program of V-1 classification being inaugurated this week through-out the nation. Two other Indiana schools, Butler University and Evansville College were also present, as were college deans and Instructors from throughout the east and south, including such school as Vanderbilt, Miami, and

All of these institutions, some 60-70 throughout the east, south, and middle west, have been approved as schools capable and prepared to administer naval training courses.

Under the new plan all men who have attained the age of 17 years, and who have not yet reached the age of 20 are eligible for training in the new officer personnel recruiting plan to be placed in effect now that V-7 is to expire upon the first day of May. Men who pass the physical examination, which is the normal test given to all officers, midshipmen, and enlisted men, will start training from the beginning of their Freshman year.

Upon completion of approximately 1 ½ years of college work, namely until near the end of their Sophomore year for men enlisting as Freshmen this year, an examination will be required. The first examination for men who are yet within the age limit and now finished with one or two years of schooling will be given on March first of 1943. This examination, as stated by Navy officials, will not be difficult. It is frankly designed to weed out those who are slackers, dodgers and the incapable before the navy expends any more money and effort on their training. "Anyone," said Professor Wickwire, "who works reasonable hard should pass easily, for it will be no more difficult than our regular class tests to which any college student is accustomed. Anyway we are used to the slackers failing, and certainly this time there is little room or sympathy with such an attitude."

This examination is competitive designed to select the best men for training as Naval officers. This does not mean that a certain percentage of men in college will be weeded out automatically. The exam will be graded on a nation-wide basis. So in our college it is quite possible for every V-1 man to qualify for a commission.

If your examination grade is not high enough to qualify for the final two years of education necessary for a bachelor's degree you will be permitted to complete that second or Sophomore year, and then will be assigned to active duty as Apprentice Seaman. If you do pass the examination you have to alternatives. The first is that you may volunteer for V-5, which is Naval Aviation, and train to be an Officer Pilot. If, on the other hand, you wish to continue your college education you may; for the Navy allows you to finish your Junior and Senior year in the V-7 classification status. You then are inducted into active service as an Ensign after completion of some fifteen more weeks of specialized training.

As was stated before, the training program allows the college men to pursue their regular course studies with the exception of the Mathematics, Physics, and Physical Education. Too, it should be reiterated that V-7 classification for college Juniors and Seniors is to be closed upon May first on the assumption that all interested men will have entered at the date. In the future the V-7 classification shall be drawn entirely from the men who successfully pass V-1 with its final competitive examination and wish to continue toward a degree before active service with Navy. These required courses must be taken upon entrance in the Freshman year of work.

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