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V-12 Navy College Training Program


V-12 Navy College Training Program

The V-12 Navy College Training Program was designed to supplement the force of commissioned officers in the United States Navy during World War II. Between July 1, 1943, and June 30, 1946, more than 125,000 participants were enrolled in 131 colleges and universities in the United States.

The V-12 program's goal was to produce officers, unlike the Army Specialized Training Program (ASTP), which sought to turn out more than 200,000 technically trained personnel in such fields as engineering, foreign languages, and medicine. Running from 1942 to 1944, its recruits were expected but not required to become officers at the end of their training.


  • History 1
    • Inception 1.1
    • Scope 1.2
  • Participating institutions 2
    • Line units 2.1
    • Medical units 2.2
    • Dental units 2.3
    • Theological units 2.4
  • Notable graduates 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • Further reading 6
  • External links 7


The purpose of the V-12 program was to generate a large number of officers for both the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps to meet the demands of World War II, far beyond that turned out annually by the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis and standing U.S. Naval Reserve Midshipmen's School to that point. Once enrollees completed their V-12 subsidized Bachelor's degree programs, their next step toward obtaining a commission depended on service branch:[1]


  • Navy officer candidates were required to complete the Naval Reserve Midshipman's school's V-7 program, a short course of four months, including one spent in indoctrination school. Graduates were commissioned as ensigns in the U.S. Naval Reserve and the majority entered into active duty with the U.S. fleet.[2]



When the United States entered the Second World War in the early 1940s, American colleges and universities suffered huge enrollment declines because men who would have normally gone to college were either drafted or volunteered for service. As a result, some colleges worried they would have to close their doors. Helping offset this, the federal government backed U.S. Navy run V-12 Program paid tuition to participating colleges and universities for college courses that were taught to qualified candidates. Those eligible included naval enlisted personnel who were recommended by their commanding officers, Navy and Marine Corps ROTC members, and high school seniors who passed a qualifying exam.[1]After the V-12 Program was established on July 1, 1943, public and private college enrollment increased by 100,000 participants, helping reverse the sharp wartime downward trend.[1]

Depending on the V-12 enrollees' past college curriculum, they were enrolled in three school terms, or semesters, which lasted four months each. Students were paid $50 per month, required to wear service uniforms, and engaged in rigorous physical training.[1]

Captain Arthur S. Adams, from the Training Division of the Bureau of Naval Personnel, was the officer-in-charge of the V-12 program.[1] Richard Barrett Lowe, future Governor of Guam and American Samoa, was one of its early commanding officers.[3]


The primary purpose of the program was to "give prospective Naval officers the benefits of a college education in those areas most needed by the Navy." The Navy did not want to interrupt the "normal pattern of college life," but instead, the goal was for the participants to complete a degree in their field of study; while supplementing their course work with Navy classes, for which the colleges awarded regular academic credits.[1]

The Navy's plan was to contract not only classroom, mess hall, and dormitory space for a "stipulated amount of instruction," but also plans were made to make use of each campus' instructors and administration; a much needed infrastructure that was already in place. The students were expected to "have the benefits of faculty counseling, of extracurricular activities -- in short, the best undergraduate education the colleges can offer."[1]

Vice Admiral Randall Jacobs, USN, the Chief of Naval Personnel, announced plans for the joint venture between the Navy and the colleges and universities during a national conference which was held at Columbia University on May 14 and 15, 1943. Administrators from 131 colleges and universities under contract with the Navy attended the conference along with Naval officers from the Bureau, who were designated as the administrators of the V-12 Program.[1]

The colleges and universities were "expected to keep academic standards high" and were ultimately placed in charge of the implementation, which was accomplished in six months. Captain Adams stated that the Navy had no intent of "taking over the colleges," but instead, the Navy wanted to take "full advantage" of each institution's academic resources and to make use of the experience and knowledge of the college administrators. This included all details of the program such as the length of the college day, scheduling of exercises, meals, recreation, textbooks, and class time.[1]

Participating institutions

During the advent of World War II, the U.S. Navy turned to liberal arts colleges to provide a basic education for their recruits.[4]

Line units

Medical units

Dental units

Theological units

Notable graduates

Alfred J. Eggers served as NASA's Assistant Administrator for Policy from January 1968 through March 1971. After that he accepted a position as Assistant Director for Research Applications at the National Science Foundation. Dr. Eggers came to the NACA (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics) Ames Aeronautical Laboratory in 1944 from the Navy's V-12 college program.

See also


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  19. ^ Warren Giese Rejects Central Coaching Job, Ludington Daily News, March 24, 1951.
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  25. ^ a b (archived 2012)
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  60. ^ , Spring 2009, pp 18-19.Park University Magazine"S.S. Park Victory"
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  87. ^ Moore, Frank E. "Redlands, Our Town" Moore Historical Foundation, Redlands, CA 1987
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  93. ^ McHenry 2007, p.25.
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  98. ^ a b c d e f g h i
  99. ^
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  103. ^ Two Towers: The Story of Worcester Tech 1865-1965 URL accessed on July 23, 2006
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  105. ^ a b c d
  106. ^ a b
  107. ^ a b
  108. ^
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  110. ^ a b c
  111. ^
  112. ^ a b
  113. ^ Carroll bio
  114. ^ Martin, Douglas. "Henry S. Coleman, 79, Dies; Hostage at Columbia in '68", The New York Times, February 4, 2006. Accessed September 12, 2009.
  115. ^ BGSU HOF profile, accessed October 2, 2010
  116. ^
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Further reading

  • Cardozier, V. R. Colleges and Universities in World War II (1993) online
  • Westerlund, John S. "Anchors Aweigh: The U.S. Navy's WWII Port of Call at Flagstaff," Journal of Arizona History (2002) 43#1 pp 69–86. Arizona State Teachers College (now Northern Arizona University)

External links

  • V-12 History
  • V-12 at Bates College
  • V-12 at Wesleyan University
  • Luray, Rhonda - Training the world's greatest Navy, 2004
  • All Hands Naval Bulletin - July, 1943
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