ROTC Bids Farewell to Longtime Home

Aug. 25, 2010

Event: Military and university officials will formally decommission Russell A. Steindam Hall (RAS) as a Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) facility. University President William Powers Jr. and U.S. Army Lt. Gen. (Ret) Lawson W. Magruder III will lead the ceremony, which includes removing the ROTC plaque and lowering the American flag outside the building. The ROTC units are preparing to move into a newer, permanent home on the same site in about two years.

When: Friday, Aug. 27, 10 a.m.

Where: Russell A. Steindam Hall on East Mall.

Background: With ROTC enrollment at record levels in the 1950s, the university commissioned the construction of a new building to house the program. The building was officially renamed the Russell A. Steindam Hall on Veterans Day, 1972. Steindam was a University of Texas Army ROTC graduate who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor in 1970 for giving "the last full measure of devotion" in service of the nation in Vietnam. Steindam Hall has housed classrooms, study areas, office space and training facilities for the university's three ROTC units (Army, Navy, Air Force), which are part of the College of Liberal Arts.

The U.S. Army and Navy units recently moved to the George I. Sanchez Building and the Air Force Unit moved into Bellmont Hall. They will be there for about two years until the new Liberal Arts building is complete on the East Mall on the site of Steindam Hall. The new building will house ROTC and other academic units.

For more information, contact: Gary Susswein, Office of the President, 512-471-4945.

15 Comments to "ROTC Bids Farewell to Longtime Home"

1.  Stuart Rohre said on Sept. 1, 2010

It is sad to see the old building go. At one time, it housed a large gun director analog computer for training on the 5 inch gun turret mounted outside the South side of the building. This was used by the Naval cadets for familiarization with Naval gunnery.

In 1963, Two NCO's of the ARMY ROTC staff established the first Army MARS (Military Affiliate Radio System) short wave station for training and emergency communications on campus. Regular schedules were kept with other Army MARS stations around the state using the call sign A5KVR. There were also schedules maintained with the amateur radio station W5AC at Texas A&M University, linking students at both institutions who had a common public service hobby.

2.  Don Nash said on Sept. 1, 2010

My dad was the military property custodian for the Army and Air Force ROTC when I was kid. I spent many a summer vacation day using his office on the bottom floor of RAS as the headquarters for my explorations around campus and in Waller Creek, or investigating all the cool stuff that an MPC is responsible for (dummy rifles for drill practice, sabers for dress uniforms, etc.) I have many good memories or RAS, and I'll miss seeing it on campus. I wish I had known about the decommissioning ceremony in advance.

3.  Stuart Chan said on Sept. 2, 2010

Thanks for this news.

I was an ROTC graduate and served in Iraq. Good to hear that we will have a new building...

4.  Joe Studer said on Sept. 2, 2010

I hope that there is some provision to include some appropriate honor to Russell Steindam at the new Liberal Arts building.

5.  Don Burgess said on Sept. 2, 2010

I hope the new building or at least that part which houses Army ROTC will still bear the name of my classmate Russell Steindam to honor his memory and sacrifice.
Don Burgess
BA, 1968

6.  David Banker, LtCol, USAFR said on Sept. 2, 2010

I'm very sad to see Steindam Hall get the wrecking ball. Generations of officers have passed through it and I will always remember it as the center of my college experience.

7.  Larry said on Sept. 2, 2010

I took classes there during the 1971-72 long session.

8.  Hank Woodward said on Sept. 2, 2010

I remember the ROTC building being built during my freshman year, 1956-57. I walked by Gregory Gym and the new building en route to classes at Taylor Hall.

9.  John Harrison Cockrell, Jr. said on Sept. 2, 2010

I graduated UTAustin in 1950 with a BS in Architectural Engineering and a comission in the US Air Force through Air Force ROTC at UT. After 2 years active duty and 18 years inactive reserves I retired as Captain. The monthly stipend from ROTC was modest then; but the UT tuition in 1950 was $25 per semester! I am grateful to UTAustin and AF ROTC.

10.  mike nipper said on Sept. 2, 2010

I only hope that the ROTC units will have adequate facilities in the short run and an improved situation in the future. From what I have read in some reports, this may not be the case. With all the positive that the US military and UT ROTC units have brought us, it would be a shame if they receive anything less.

11.  Jack Porter. Sfc E-7 USA (Ret) said on Sept. 2, 2010

It was sad to hear about the elimination of the ROTC building. I was an enlisted instructor in the Army ROTC Department from July 1963-June 1967. Russell was one of the cadets assigned to my department along with other cadets who have distinguished themselves once they graduated from UT. My concern, which has not been answered in the information provided is what will happen to the recognition of Russel A. Steindam when the replacement facility for the UT ROTC program is activated? I can think of no greater honor than a UT facility named in honor of one of its graduates who received the highest award for valor this nation can award, the Congressional Medal of Honor.

12.  Erika Griffith said on Sept. 2, 2010

I'm sad to see RAS go. I hope the new facilities will hold the Steindam name and be an improvement from the old. I also hope the construction does not extend beyond two years.

Erika Griffith, LtCol, USAFR
Class of '92

13.  Jim Eberhardt said on Sept. 2, 2010

I was disappointed the RAS building will be torn down. I hope the new building provides improved facilities for the ROTC programs at UT. In memory of a UT grad who paid the ultimate sacriface for America. How can we ensure the new building will be named Russell A. Steindam Hall in his honor? His memory must live on.

14.  David Dale said on Sept. 3, 2010

I certainly hope the new building will honor the memory and service of a Medal of Honor recipient and alumnus of the UT ROTC program. I received my Air Force commission from the AFROTC program in 1984 and gladly served 20 years. Does The University of Texas at Austin truly understand what it means for Russell Steindham to have been awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously? All gave some, but some gave all! Please name the new building for a UT hero, Russell Steindham.

15.  Jeanne Oliver said on Sept. 7, 2010

How much does it cost to get one's name on a building on the UT campus? I would certainly think that ultimate sacrifice - your life in the service of your country - would cover it. I hope that the new, improved facility is recommissioned back to the Russell A. Steindam ROTC building upon completion and that all ROTC programs are once again under the same roof.

Jeanne Oliver
UT AFROTC 1979-1983
USAF 1983-1992