The Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) program was established in 1926 to offer the opportunity for young men to qualify for commissions in the United States Naval Reserve while attending college. Later, NROTC was revised to offer both men and women the opportunity to graduate with a bachelor’s degree and a commission as either a Navy Ensign or a Marine Corps Second Lieutenant.
During the summer of 1940, authorization was obtained for establishing a NROTC Unit at UNC, and since then there have been many changes. Women were first enrolled in the NROTC program in 1974. In 1979, a cross-town enrollment program for NROTC was created at North Carolina State University. In 1988, a unit staff was established at NCSU and the location of the unit was Reynolds Coliseum (which has since been drastically renovated), and this building contains the offices and spaces of the NCSU Naval ROTC, Army ROTC, and Air Force ROTC. Later, in 1992, the North Carolina Piedmont Region was officially established which is made up of the NROTC units of UNC, NCSU, and Duke University. The expansion of the program has attracted many scholarship winners and has served to increase the unit’s total enrollment over time.