Organized military training in the University of the Philippines started in 1912 at the old Padre Faura Campus when it was made a required subject for all able-bodied male students in all colleges, institutes, and schools of the University.
During the early years after its inception, military training in the University was mainly in infantry and the use of the rifle. Captain Silvino Gallardo of the Philippine Constabulary was named first military instructor and assumed office during the first semester of 1912.
Although the Philippines had no significant military involvement during World War I, the conflagration made the Philippine Government realize the need for a good reserve force of able-bodied Filipinos trained in the art of war capable of resisting foreign aggression.
With the formal organization of the UP DMST on March 17, 1922, military drill was superseded by the term “military science and tactics”. Together with this, the objectives and purposes of the Department were announced:
- To develop patriotic, physically sound, upright and disciplined citizens;
- To create a Corps of Trained Officers for the Reserve Force; and
- To take the lead in fostering the University Spirit.