Air Force ROTC unofficially began with the passage of the Morrill Act (Land-Grant Act) in 1862, which established military training at land-grant colleges and universities. But the name “Reserve Officer Training Corps,” or ROTC, was actually created by the passage of the National Defense Act in 1916.

The beginnings of our university didn’t start until three decades later when the Charlotte Center of the University of North Carolina was opened in 1946 to serve, retrain, and educate the large number of returning WWII veterans. What started as a student body of just over 200 student veterans has now grown to become the fourth largest university in North Carolina.

Our detachment started in 1981 as Detachment 590A, a branch of UNC Chapel Hill’s Detachment 590, when Major Roy C. Smith (retired) transferred from Chapel Hill to Charlotte to build what would become Detachment 592. Within one year, the detachment had grown to an 80 cadet corps and has been going strong ever since. In 1989, the detachment divested its ties with Detachment 590 and officially became Detachment 592.

Despite being a relatively young program, we take pride in building the best leaders in the nation. Our earliest Detachment 592 grads are only just beginning to achieve the rank of Brigadier General, but we have produced leaders who have gone on to command our Air Force’s Groups and Wings, become Senior Defense Officials, Master Air Battle Managers, and world-class pilots. Every year around 50 cadets join our program and become a part of this growing legacy. If you are a motivated individual who is up to the challenge of solving our nation’s biggest problems and leading tomorrow’s airmen—and want to join our legacy here at Detachment 592—contact us and we’ll answer any questions you may have.

UNCC Air Force ROTC Circa 1986-88