About the Fighting Sioux Battalion
The Fighting Sioux Battalion was first envisioned in 1888 by Colonel Homer B. Sprague, a former Union Army officer and the second President of the University of North Dakota. Col. Sprague first instructed the course in 1888, and all male University students were required to attend. Continuation of this course was passed by the state legislature in 1890. During this same year, the war department sent 2LT Leon Roudiez to be the course Officer In Charge. In 1898, all Army personnel were called upon to fight in the Spanish-American war. Civilian instructors took over the program until 1904, at which time the program was discontinued. During World War I, the program was resurrected as the Student Army Training Corps.
The UND ROTC Fighting Sioux Battalion as we know it today was formed in April of 1918. In 1946, Air Force ROTC formed it's own ranks separate from the Army ROTC. The mandatory enrollment of all cadets ceased in 1973, and women entered the ranks in 1974. The Helicopter Flight Training Program, formerly known as the Air Battle Captains program, was born in the late 80's. Today, over one hundred years after it's initial conception, UND's Army ROTC program continues it's mission of molding young men and women into the fine leaders of the United States Army.