Type of entity
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Canadian Officers Training Corps
Parallel form(s) of name
- University of Manitoba Canadian Officers Training Crops
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The University of Manitoba's Canadian Officer's Training Corps (C.O.T.C.) began in 1914 as a patriotic response to the outbreak of war in Europe. A series of meetings were held in September 1914 to organize a training program to prepare male students for active service overseas. The University Council appointed a Committee on Military Instruction which authorized the teaching of military science and tactics. A university corps was organized in the fall semester of the 1914-1915 year with 64 students taking extra classes to qualify as officers. Later, in March 1915, the Department of Defence instructed the University of Manitoba to join other universities throughout Canada to establish an official training curriculum under the auspices of the Canadian Officer Training Corps. Eight companies of sixty men each were formed with Professor E.P. Featherstonhaugh serving as captain and adjutant. In 1915 the Western Universities Battalion was established with the University of Manitoba contributing a company and a platoon. With the introduction of conscription legislation in 1917, military training was made compulsory for all male students. After the war, in 1920, the C.O.T.C. was reorganized by Lt. Col. N.B. Maclean. It continued in relative obscurity for nearly twenty years until the Second World War.
With the outbreak of the Second World War, the C.O.T.C. was quickly revitalized and its membership mushroomed from its peacetime level of 150 personnel to over 800. The Senate also passed regulations relating to academic credits or "bonuses" for students who joined the C.O.T.C. By 1941 all male students were once again required to enlist in a compulsory program of military training. After the war the C.O.T.C. continued to offer military training on a voluntary basis with new modernized and attractive programs, but with the return of peace its popularity rapidly declined with the organization dissolving in 1966.
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Created by Curt Campbell (1997). Revised by N. Courrier (December 2019).