The late 1970s saw a renewed interest in ROTC at the University of Kentucky.
As the stigmas attached to the Vietnam War faded, more students were attracted to ROTC.
In its earlier years it was known as the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Kentucky. One of the provisions of the Morrill Act was that military training would be required for all students, so every student at the A. The School of Military Tactics was one of the original eleven schools at the A. In 1907, Commandant Burtt traded in the old "Trapdoor Springfield" rifles for 250 bolt-action Krag Jorgensen rifles.
The Armory was officially named for General Don Carlos Buell, commander of the Union forces at Perryville and a member of the A. College board of trustees, but the building was more popularly called the Gymnasium because it housed the college's exercise center.
Approximately 65 new lieutenants a year were commissioned during the war, though there were other officer producing programs available.
The Army Enlisted Reserve Corps on campus allowed students to finish their degrees before entering the service.
The program offered ROTC access to several smaller schools which could not support a host unit of their own.Many students and some faculty at Kentucky questioned whether ROTC belonged on the campus.Even though new programs such as ROTC Basic Camp at Fort Knox were instituted and a 1969 graduate reported that cadets still proudly wore their uniforms on campus, the nationwide feelings of many people against the war hurt ROTC. In 1963, the ROTC Basic Course had been made optional instead of mandatory for all male students, and this factor also decreased enrollment.As Europe became embroiled in World War I, the future of some cadets at Kentucky State College was uncertain.The program of military training had never been intended to produce officers, although some graduates had enlisted and secured commissions on their own.The specialized training programs were disbanded, so that ROTC remained the only military training program on campus.