The original concept of ROTC was established in 1862 with the passage of the Morrill Act (Land-Grant Act). This act established military training at land-grant colleges and universities. It wasn't until the National Defense Act of 1916 that an ROTC and a Junior ROTC were formally created. The U.S. Army activated the first Air Service ROTC units in 1920, and by 1923, seven Air Service ROTC units had been established. After World War II, Air Service ROTC units were organized at 78 colleges and universities throughout the nation. With the birth of the Air Force in 1947, these units were converted into AFROTC units.
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base donated land to the State of Ohio in 1963 for the creation of Wright State University.