As related in "Harvard Observed: An Illustrated History of the University in the Twentieth Century" by John T. Bethell, page 76, "Harvard mobilized a "Harvard Regiment", formed in January 1916, with more than 1,000 student members, that became the first unit of the Army's new Reserve Officers Training Corps. President Lowell invited 6 French disabled officers to come to Harvard to train the Regiment." The book has a photograph of the Harvard Regiment 's thousand members marching down Columbus Avenue in Boston in a "Preparedness Parade " in May 1916.
Louis Caldera, Secretary of the Army under the Clinton Administration, said in a speech at Harvard on 10 March 2000 "The ROTC unit here at Harvard was the oldest in the nation before it was disbanded; a resumption of this program on this campus would be a wonderful vote of support for the men and women in uniform who sacrifice every day on the front lines of our nationís security efforts all over the world."
With the lapsing of Harvard's own ROTC program, MIT currently boasts the country's oldest Army ROTC unit, established in 1917. The MIT ROTC program now includes the cadets from Harvard.