UAB Blazer Battalion History

The Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) began in the Fall of 1980 as part of a TRADOC project known as "Expand the Base." UAB was one of the forty-one universities from around the country selected to become an extension center. The thrust of the program was to increase the Army's output of junior officers. An extension center relationship was established with the University of Alabama. 

As an extension center, no formal contract was initiated between the U.S. Army and UAB. Rather a "Memorandum of Agreement" was drafted and approved by the president of UAB and the Professor of Military Science (PMS) of the University of Alabama. This agreement directed the operation of an extension center predicated on academic credit for ROTC, university support facilities and equal opportunity to compete for ROTC scholarships with VA students.

The program grew from 12 cadets in September 1980 to 35 in September 1983. Officer production increased from four commissionees in FY '81 to 17 in FY '83. The program continued to show such significant potential that in October 1983 UAB applied for and received designation as a host institution.

Once designated as a host institution, the cadre strength increased from three officers and one NCO to a total authorized strength of four officers and four NCOs. This increase in cadre personnel allowed the department to expand its cadet enrollment by enrolling and recruiting from other local universities. Starting in the Fall of 1984, cadre began teaching MS I thru MS IV at the University of Montevallo. The detachment also established cross enrollment agreements with Miles College, Samford University, Birmingham Southern College, and Jefferson State Community College.

In the fall of 1983 a Ranger Platoon was established with an initial participation of three cadets. In the fall of 1985 the Cadet Corps was organized and recognized by the school's Student Government Association (SGA) as an official student organization.

Blazer 6’s Top Three Commitments


The mission we accomplish for our country is worth the demands we place on our leaders and Soldiers. This is our commitment to our Nation.


We will train our cadets to the standard and be prepared to execute our mission, worldwide, at a moment’s notice. This is our commitment to our future Soldiers and Leaders.

We owe our Families a great debt of gratitude which we can never repay, and must never forget. When duty calls, these young officers will be placed in unbelievable stresses – the Blazers will provide “Calendar Predictability.” This is our commitment to our Families.

Blazer 6’s Intent


Basics – grounded in fundamentals
  • Academically sound
  • Physically fit
  • Tactically Competent
  • Doctrinally and Culturally Acute

Leaders – always from the front
  • Enable Mission Command
  • Deliver task, conditions, & standards for every event; manage time
  • Clear, complete, and concise 5 Paragraph OPORDS (clear CDR’s intent Sitrep, Tasks)
  • Fundamentals of planning utilized (MDMP, TLPs, 10 step training model) throughout all phases of the operation

Adaptive with outcomes based focus
  • Understand ambiguous situations and solve complex problems
  • Anticipates change and makes sound and timely decisions under stress
  • Able to analyze situations and act within Cdrs guidance and intent
  • Remains flexible and focused on the final outcome

Zealous to both their community, profession, and country
  • Focused on stewardship and engaged with their community and the CIty of Birmingham - Strategic outreach focused and planned to link Soldiers, Families, and community
  • Supportive of the University of Alabama – Birmingham
  • Role models for the JRTC cadets throughout the greater Birmingham region
  • Focused on enhancing the legacy of this great battalion and its history

Ethical – focused on moral principles
  • Live the Army Values (Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, Personal Courage); Soldiers of character
  • Resiliency planned and integrated within the Battalion
  • Allocated time provided to support Spiritual fitness
  • SHARP program implemented IAW Army/DOD policies and regulations

Responsible to peers and subordinates
  • Personal Accountability nurtured throughout training
  • Consequence management tied to individual actions, supported through Army counseling program
  • No late OERs/NCOERs/Awards
  • Leaders maintain themselves and their equipment: no report of survey or statement of loss

Supervise subordinates to ensure mission success
  • Deliberate risk assessment utilized for all operations; gap mitigation implementation (reviewed, updated, assessed)
  • Rehearsals executed (Backbriefs, CAM, CAR, Fires, Sustainment)
  • Inspections, combat checks, test fires, comms checks, final conditions checks completed to standard (PCC’s, PCI’s, RMCS)
  • AARs conducted after every event/operation; PlanOp refinements