In 1951, Marshall College was selected by the Department of the Army to participate in the Reserve Officer Training Corps Program under the direction of Lieutenant Colonel William P. O’Neal. The Curriculum initially adopted was to prepare officers for duty in the Army ordinance Corps. An elective type program with a two-year basic and two-year advanced course was adopted and remains in effect today. The first Corps of Cadets was organized along the lines of an Infantry battalion for leadership and command instruction. In 1954 the curriculum of the program was changed from Ordinance Corps to General Military Science so Cadets could apply for any branch in the Army.
The Cadet Corps battalion was reorganized in 1958 along the lines of the Pentomic Infantry Division Battle Group and designated the Marshall College Battle Group. At this time, its headquarters was established as a permanent facility within the Military Science Department. In September 1960, the Military Science Department was transferred from the College of Arts and Science to the College of Applied Sciences, and the Curricula was changed to give emphasis to academic achievement of the students. This program incorporated university taught elective subjects into the military science curriculum. During 1961, the Military Science Department was relocated from the Old main Annex to its present location in Gullickson Hall. Effective with the 1963-1964 school years, and in keeping with the modernization of the Army, the Cadet Battle Group was reorganized and designated the Marshall University Battalion. In 1972 the college of Business and Applied Sciences was formed, under which falls the Department of Military Science.Early in 1987, in an effort to follow the spirit of the University, the Battalion was renamed “The Thundering Herd Battalion” and carries that name today.
Distinguished graduates include Lieutenant General Johnnie Corns, Major General James Baylor, Major General David Stallings, Major General Albin G. Wheeler, Major General Jerry A. White, Major General Anthony G. Crutchfield, Brigadier General Terry Ferrell, and Major General James C. Hylton.