The Southern University Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) activated on 11 July 1948 as a Transportation Corps Unit until September, 1954. During this six-year period, Southern University produced 115 Transportation Corps Second Lieutenants. In September, 1954, the ROTC unit was redesignated as a General Military Science unit (GMS), qualified to commission Second Lieutenants in all branches of the army. From September, 1954 to 2009, over 1,200 Second Lieutenants in various branches of the army have been commissioned through the Southern University ROTC Program.
In 1972, a pilot program was started at Southern University and other select colleges, which allowed women graduates to receive Army commissions. In the summer of 1977, Hazel Young became the first woman to receive a commission as a Second Lieutenant from Southern University.
In 1980, Lieutenant General (Retired/Deceased) Edward Honor, a member of the 1954 class, became the first Southern University ROTC Battalion graduate to be promoted to General Officer. In 1981 and 1982, Southern University was again honored when Major General (Retired) Isaac Smith, Brigadier General (Retired) Donald Delandro and Major General (Retired) Charles Honore were all promoted to General Office's rank. In 1987, another tradition was established when Sherian Cadoria was promoted to Brigadier General. She was the first Southern female graduate to achieve that rank. These traditions of distinction live on with the promotions of Jude W. P. Patin (Retired) to Brigadier General, Joe N. Ballard (Retired) to Lieutenant General, Gregory A. Rountree (Retired) to Major General, and the pinning of Lieutenant General (Retired) Russell Honore.