The Senior ROTC Program, better known as the "Trojan Warriors" at Virginia State University was established in 1947 as a Quartermaster unit.
Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Robert M. Hendrick (then Captain) served as the first Professor of Military Science of the unit from 1947 until 1951. The ROTC program was established as a mandatory program for freshman and sophomores and continued in that status until school year 1967-68 when it was made an elective program. The ROTC building was built in 1958 and named the J. B. Bolling building in honor of First Lieutenant Bolling who lost his life in the Korean Conflict in 1951. The building was last renovated in 1985.
In 1948, a satellite unit was established on the Norfolk State campus of Virginia State University to offer the basic program (MS I and MS II) only for the students enrolled on that campus. The Norfolk campus satellite unit continued to offer the basic program only until the school year 1965-66 when an advanced program was initiated.
In 1964, the Quartermaster ROTC curriculum changed to that of a General Military Science curriculum. By 31 May 1979, the program had commissioned 1,088 officers. The number of commissions declined after the program became an elective. However, during the 1970's and early 1980s, the number of cadets getting commissioned remained extremely good.
Since activation of the ROTC unit the following special units and societies have been established as auxiliaries to the unit:
- An Orienteering/Ranger Challenge unit
- A unit of the National Scabbard and Blade Society
- A drill unit
In February 1969, the Norfolk State Division of Virginia State University was made a separate institution and re-designated Norfolk State University. Soon after that action, the President of Norfolk State applied for the establishment of an independent ROTC unit on that campus. His request was approved and effective 1 July 1969, the satellite unit was changed to an independent ROTC unit per Department of the Army General Orders Number 44 dated 8 July 1969.
Since its establishment, the ROTC Battalion at this institution has been well accepted and supported by the University Presidents, faculty, staff, students, and by individuals and organizations in the nearby community.
Females were first admitted into the program in 1972 and the first one commissioned in the spring of 1976 (LTC (Ret.) Irene Fitzgerald Logan). The first female to attend and be awarded a four-year scholarship was COL (Ret.) Patty Barbour, class of 1978.
The ROTC Hall of Fame was established in June 1961 to honor those officers who exhibited the will to compete and successfully graduate in the upper 10 percent of their class while attending service school. Since that time the criteria has been expanded to include several other categories. There currently are over 100 graduates and supporters of the program who have been inducted in the Hall of Fame. The criterion is available for anyone wishing to nominate someone into the Hall of Fame. The ROTC Hall of Fame is located in the main corridor of the ROTC building. Plaques of those inducted appear in the hall of the J.B. Bolling Building. A board meets each January to vote on nominations for the Hall of Fame.