Campus History

Classrooms Mobilized


To prepare soldiers for service, the UW offered instruction in a number of trades, including auto mechanics. UW Archives UW.VocationalSection.p0036

The first UW men left for France to serve in the American Field Ambulance Corps in January 1917. A few months later, the university authorized an intensive military training course to prepare students for officers’ commissions, and the UW had officer-training camps in full swing six weeks before the national camps were ready.

Every department offered classes geared toward war service, including instruction for telegraphers, wireless operators, aviation engineers, sanitary engineers, army doctors, and poison gas experts. There were also courses to train quartermasters, nurses, relief workers, county farm and home agents, and special war and reconstruction workers. Students earned credit for these classes like any other.

Published in the Spring 2017 issue


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