Over the years, the University of South Dakota has bolstered its ties with the military through its association with the Army ROTC program.  For those efforts, Military Advanced Education recognizes the Vermillion school as a Top Military-Friendly University.

In a press release, USD earned the honors by going out of their way to give back to men and women in uniform. Military Advanced Education cited USD for having support services like the Student Veterans Resource Center on campus to assist active duty and veteran students. USD was also praised for generating events that annually promote military service and veterans within the community, including a Veterans Day Community Supper, the annual Military Appreciation Football Game, cords for graduating students and Veterans Week activities.

According to Military Advanced Education, criteria used to designate institutions as Top Military-Friendly included the flexibility of online learning options, extent of transfer credits accepted by degree level, on campus ROTC programs, Servicemember Opportunity Colleges participation, support provided to families of service members and full-time counselors trained in veteran-specific mental health concerns.

USD’s history with the armed forces dates back even before South Dakota joined the union.  Civil War veteran Colonel John L. Jolley began military instruction in the Dakota Territory at the University of South Dakota in 1881. Today, the Prairie Fire Battalion continues to be a steady presence in the Vermillion and surrounding communities.