Military Training at Catholic Colleges, 1910

Georgetown University Cadets stand in the forefront at the university’s centennial celebration, 1889. Note the similarity to West Point cadet uniforms. 

Students and Cadet Military Companies
Many of our Catholic colleges employ competent military instructors to give lessons in military drill and tactics. These exercises are important features of physical training, inasmuch as they develop erect carriage, precision of movement, and concerted action, and are regarded as very valuable in developing both mind and character. Besides these special advantages, military exercise exists, in a general way, a beneficial influence on our young men.

Captain John Drum, U.S. Army (1840-1898) served as Commandant of Cadets at St. Francis Xavier College, Manhattan (now Xavier High School) during the 1890′s. He was killed in battle during the Spanish-American War.

The theoretical is one hour per week, and is limited to students of the Senior, or graduating class. The course consists of lectures by the Military Professor on Discipline, Military Hygiene and Etiquette, Military History, and kindred subjects and of recitations in Wagner’s text book, “The Service of Security and Information.” Each student of the Senior Class is required to submit, at the close of the academic year, an essay on some military subject to be announced by the Military Professor.

Student cadets at St. John’s College, Rose Hill (now Fordham University), during the 1880′s. 


Proficiency in the Military Department is necessary for the student to receive the military diploma awarded graduates. The names of the three students of the graduating class standing highest in the Military Department are published in the Annual Army Register.

Our Church and Country: The Catholic Pages of American History (Volume II) (New York: The Catholic History League of America, 1910), 522-523.

About Pat McNamara
  • Anonymous

    This is great work, Pat. Now we can start tackling a reality we all know: the Catholic all-boys military school, e.g. Christian Brothers Academy.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13097254988446524947 Pat and Marcus

    I have a question that I've posed on one my blogs (the anemic history one) that sort of relates to two themes this touches upon, those being Catholics in universities and the military. That thread is here:http://lexanteinternet.blogspot.com/2011/08/prejudice.htmlWhat brings the question about, however, was a series of comments on one of the threads on the Society of the Military Horse (www.militaryhorse.org) forums, and the reaction to later post relating to that on the World War Two email list. Specifically, I've heard it maintained, and I think it correct, that Catholics really entered universities in strength for the first time due to World War Two, or rather immediately post war due to the war. Prior to that, with some exceptions, Catholics tended to go into various laboring fields. On the WWII list an older gentleman agreed with that proposition based upon observations, and on SMH a well educated individual maintained it, but it also drew a "ridiculous" comment on the WWII list from somebody who couldn't otherwise back up their disbelief.I'm really curious about that, and I wonder if the author of this excellent blog might be induced to comment on it, perhaps in a thread here?


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