Once a year a sham battle fought between the two battalions on campus highlighted Auburn’s military training. This battle was photographed in the early 1900s. “It was all made as real as possible except that each rifleman was given five blank cartridges that could be fired to his best advantage” wrote W.K. Askew, a 1917 graduate. “The battle was the crowning event and culmination of all of the constant drilling, marching, reviews, inspections, parades, and particularly the rivalry between the battalions.” Such training helped make Auburn men in great demand when the United States entered World War I in 1917. Little boys watched this skirmish line charge toward Auburn’s first gymnasium.
Colonel John J. Waterman, commandant of the Army ROTC unit, found an attentive audience for his remarks about this artillery piece at the gun shed west of Bullard Field in 1943. Pete Turnham, second from right, became an Auburn businessman and served in the Legislature for many years. Edwin R. Goode, Jr., fifth from right, became a prominent veterinarian with the federal government and returned to Auburn with his wife, the former Betty Ware, upon retirement in the late 1970s.
Why does George S. Patton’s Jeep have “War Eagle!” written on it? There are several possible answers. “General Patton was stationed at Fort Benning and apparently liked Auburn football” said alumnus Pete Turnham, who served under Patton during World War II. “I have been told that he said he wanted his troops to fight like those fight like those fighting Auburn Tigers.” Turnham “also heard that one of Patton’s aides was an Auburn man, and sold the general on Auburn.” Another theory is that Patton’s driver was an Auburn fan. Still another theory is that Patton was simply using a subordinate’s vehicle while he inspected units of the 301st Combat Team at Strakonice, Czechoslovakia soon after Germany surrendered in 1945. If so, that commander might have been an Auburn man. Perhaps the explanation is as simple as coincidence. Photo Source: Auburn Alumnews
ROTC cadets on parade with the Quad in the background.
Excerpt from the 1972 Glomerata: The Counterguerrilla Company is a volunteer organization for those ROTC cadets motivated toward a professional military career. The training is designed to place the cadet, by frequently rotating leadership positions, in situations where his leadership abilities are developed and tested. Small unit tactics such as rapelling, hand-to-hand combat, and survival are stressed. The necessity of teamwork is emphasized in all types of situations and has developed within the company a special esprit-de-corps seldom found in other ROTC units.
Excerpt from the 1990 Glomerata: Jeff Parsh and Andy Reeves trudge through a small local stream. Midshipmen often hiked cross country on Marine Corps physical training exercises.
2017 Naval ROTC Commissioning Seniors photographed overlooking the stadium.