Anchors Away & Semper Fidelis

In addition to serving as a pipeline for the Army, the SATC also had Navy and Marine units. There were a little over 90 colleges and universities with Navy SATC units compared to over 500 institutions with Army focused SATC units. Members of these Naval units would participate in military training and take classes like their Army counterparts, but would emphasis instruction in engineering in preparation for serving on ships.

In Virginia, the only Navy units were at University of Virginia (UVA) and Virginia Polytechnic Institute (VPI), due to their excellent engineering programs. UVA’s School of Engineering and Applied Science, as it’s now known, traces its origins back to 1836, when the School of Civil Engineering was founded as the “first engineering school in the south and the fourth university-level engineering school in the nation.”1 VPI began as Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College and has been Virginia’s leading engineering school since its founding in 1872.2

Photograph of the Navy SATC unit at the University of Virginia, December 2, 19183

The Marine Corps had only twelve SATC units across the country. Virginia Military Institute (VMI) had the only Marine unit in Virginia and was one of four in the south.4 Like their Army and Navy counterparts, members in the Marine Corps SATC units also received military training and took academic classes, but were encouraged to focus their efforts on preparing to be infantry officers and aviators.5


  1. “History,” University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science, June 6, 2017,
  2. “Virginia Tech History,” accessed February 19, 2023,
  3. University of Virginia Naval Unit Student Army Training Corps Photograph, 1918, Accession # RG-30/1/1.992, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, VA.
  4. The Students Army Training Corps Descriptive Circular Second Edition Corrected to October 14, 1918, Box 3, Folder 8, Records of the Dean of the College, Theodorick Pryor Campbell, RG 11/1, Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA.
  5. Instructions to Officers in Charge of Marine Corps Sections of Student Army Training Corps, Box SF047, Folder SATC Correspondence 1918 May, World War I Students’ Army Training Corps (SATC) and Training Camps Records, 1917-1919, Office of the Superintendent, administrative subject files, Virginia Military Institute Archives, Lexington, VA.