Army R.O.T.C.

Delaware ROTC

Delaware ROTC Headquarters

I have neglected you all, dear photo loving friends, and for that I apologize. I just didn’t seem to have enough time to do anything the past couple weeks and I didn’t realize that so much time had passed!

Hopefully you are a forgiving lot, heh. For this week’s Sepia Saturday we have a prompt showing a doorway. The doorway on this photo of the Delaware Army R.O.T.C. leads to a Headquarters building flanked with wooden barracks un an unpaved/ungroomed plot of land. The young men pictured supposedly include my grandfather Horace A. Nunn, but I can’t discern his face among them. My mother or sister might have better luck.

Horace was born in 1902. If he was in college during his stint in the R.O.T.C. we can guess he was about 18 years of age, and so this photo is from approximately 1920-1921. Any military historians who can better date this, please comment! I am only guessing he was college aged because that is my experience – R.O.T.C. was open to college boys. But, military uniforms are often a good way to date photos, and I know nothing about them.

UPDATE: A site visitor schooled me that R.O.T.C. may not be understood outside of the USA, my apologies! R.O.T.C. stands for Reserve Officers Training Corps, and was designed to train future military leaders. Established in 1862, it was a requirement for men attending a land-grant college to participate in R.O.T.C. A land-grant college is a federally funded college or university, and to retain federal funding the college must offer agriculture, science, military science and engineering. Up until 1862 apparently, most colleges offered a liberal-arts curriculum. While a man who joins the military after college can become an office without R.O.T.C. it is preferred that he have completed the training during school. The practice of compulsory R.O.T.C. spread to many private universities, until the 1960s, and now it is voluntary for men to join. Many of my male friends in college were in R.O.T.C. We called their weekends away “doing the green thing.” 

Hopefully I won’t neglect you again, thank you for sticking with me! For more photos of doorways from around the world, please click over to Sepia Saturday. You will be happy you did!

Come on in!


22 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mustang.Koji
    Nov 15, 2013 @ 12:07:23

    Very nice detailed scan! But to address your query, I am not a uniform expert, especially if these young men are ROTC. If there was one piece of identifiable military equipment, it would have been easier… Sorry. :-(


  2. Auntie Kat
    Nov 15, 2013 @ 12:23:00

    I kind of think he’s the 4th guy on the left sitting down. Mom or Dad could verify for sure. I have his army discharge papers somewhere that would give you a more firm date but I think he was in in the early-mid 1920’s.


    • Mrs Marvel
      Nov 18, 2013 @ 08:18:12

      You may be right. I was trying to picture his wedding portrait to compare. I only know his older face.


  3. Mike Brubaker
    Nov 15, 2013 @ 16:05:01

    That’s quite a collection of characters. Somehow their personalities are accentuated by wearing the same uniform. It’s also interesting how slim and scrawny they seem in comparison to young men of today.


    • Mrs Marvel
      Nov 18, 2013 @ 08:19:01

      I always notice that about older photographs. Especially groups of men like this, sports teams, etc. Even the muscles just look smaller. Life sure is different!


  4. boundforoz
    Nov 15, 2013 @ 21:13:26

    They are all so young. A couple of faces there who look as though they’d rather be elsewhere !


  5. Alan Burnett
    Nov 16, 2013 @ 01:42:36

    It’s a great photo and it’s great to have you back. Sepia so must be a forgiving group of people – after all they have put up with me for so long!


  6. Deb Gould
    Nov 16, 2013 @ 07:19:16

    You win the prize for MOST people in a doorway!


  7. La Nightingail
    Nov 16, 2013 @ 10:03:25

    As someone who has taken a number of formal group photographs, one of the first things I usually notice about a group shot is the uniformity. I looked at the neatly cross ankles of most of the fellows in the front row. I say most because 3, possibly 4 (5th from right behind sign), do not have their ankles crossed as they were obviously asked to do. There are always a few in any group who don’t comply – whether from obstinacy or lack of attention. But I’m surprised it happened with a group such as the ROTC. The do look awfully young, though.


  8. Bob Scotney
    Nov 17, 2013 @ 02:51:10

    A great group photo even without the door.


  9. Jackie van Bergen
    Nov 17, 2013 @ 03:06:38

    Welcome back – a strong return!


    • Mrs Marvel
      Nov 18, 2013 @ 08:20:20

      Thank you! I’m going to make the rounds today in between work and chores if it’s the last thing I do lol.


  10. Tattered and Lost
    Nov 17, 2013 @ 20:57:15

    Don’t you want to know what was inside the building? I want to go through the doorway into the dank darkness and see what was in there.


    • Mrs Marvel
      Nov 18, 2013 @ 08:21:03

      I figure desks, maybe some cabinets of equipment…but yes, I love to explore old buildings and in this case, imagine what is inside. :-)


  11. jofeath
    Nov 18, 2013 @ 02:54:59

    A lovely sepia doorway photograph with so many men posing before they went in or perhaps after coming out. As an Aussie I had to look up ROTC but am wiser now.


    • Mrs Marvel
      Nov 18, 2013 @ 08:21:51

      Ah! I didn’t realize this was not a well known term! I will make amends above. At least you learned something new, heh.


  12. Wendy
    Nov 18, 2013 @ 12:26:53

    I didn’t realize ROTC was required. Interesting history!


  13. Pat Morrison
    Nov 18, 2013 @ 17:56:14

    a very Sepia photo indeed and good thing they were all in front of that door way, they could not have fit!


  14. Karen S.
    Nov 19, 2013 @ 11:38:28

    Never feel bad, we do what we can when we can. I had a big weekend and just now am getting to the posts that I didn’t already visit when I posted (actually a day early) I also will catch up with what ever you have, (great photo here too, what a group) and I know you are visiting me when you can as well! Have a great week.


  15. Boobook
    Nov 21, 2013 @ 18:04:16

    Still catching up on the Sepian’s posts this week. You post is fascinating and I learned something new – I had no idea about ROTC.


  16. grammaa
    Nov 23, 2013 @ 21:47:07

    Today is 11/23/13 – I have been away and busy catching up. Yes indeed Horace is in the first row, 4th from the left holding the corner of the banner. His eyes are the tell tale ingredient in the mix.


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