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Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)



Committee Chair(s)

Keri Holt


Keri Holt


Jonathan Kenworthy


Brian Champagne


The Department of the Military Science at Utah State University was created in 1898 and is the oldest department at USU. Until the mid-1950s it was mandatory that all male students be enrolled in Military training at the school and, if they so decided, would finish up the last two years of military training to become officers in the United States Military. This program is known as ROTC. Fully implemented at USU in 1916 the ROTC program continued to grow and would help fund the growth of campus during the 1920’s and 30’s. Following World War II the program became the largest ROTC unit in the nation and was nicknamed “West Point of the West”. The school produced more officers than any other college besides the Military Academy at West Point.

The documentary film that I made follows the history of Utah State University from its founding in 1888 to the modern day research University of today. Using interviews of past and current ROTC cadets as well as the experts on the history of USU and ROTC, the film weaves the history of the expansion of the USU campus and the role that the Army ROTC unit had in the school’s development. Much of my research was done in special collections at the USU library where many of the photos for the film were found. Some of my research took me to the National Archives and the Library of Congress which proved to be invaluable when finding early military photos and documents. A total budget cost of USD$10,000 was spent on camera gear, travel expenses, drone footage, and digital storage solutions. The film was fully funded, written, shot, edited, and finished by myself and took 1 ½ years to make from start to finish. The end result is a 53-minute documentary delivered on a Blu Ray disk, the film is also accessible to the public via online streaming.