ROTC and the Korean War
With the Korean War looming on the horizon, UNL student life was beginning to change. According to the History of the Military Department, Both the US government and the UNL ROTC program was putting pressure onto students to enlist in either the military or the on campus ROTC program. Both parties were using the slogan "enlist before you're drafted" in order to convince the students to enlist. As a result, 1500 students eligible for draft were now in a state of confusion, chaos, and worry as the war broke out.
At the end of World War II there was a severe drop in ROTC cadets, from over 1000 young men in 1942 to only 388 by the end of 1943. But at the start of the Korean War, campus once again was filled with cadets, totaling at 1046 on the UNL campus. This soon proved to be a problem however. Cadets were completing their training, but the war was coming to an end, and the need for officers from the ROTC program was dramatically declining. Enrollment rates fell 50%. In addition, the current cadets ready to be commissioned were being denied. New officers were no longer in high demand. This meant that many cadets on campus were not given their commission, forcing them out of the military and into a civilian life they did not sign up for.