A Cadet's Life at OSTC

Kitchen Staff

OSTC's first cafeteria, established in the basement of the Swart building, was equipped with many modern appliances of its day, such as steam tables and an "automatic dish washing machine."


P2005.24.117. Courtesy of Oshkosh Public Museum.

A cadet's life at the OSTC was still an army life and thus a busy one. His day began with Reveille at 5:50 am and continued to Taps at 9:45 pm. Breakfast was at 6:00. Classes began at 7:00 and continued until 2:00 pm, with various study halls throughout the day. All cadets had military drill at 4:00 pm before their "retreat" to the barracks at 5:00.


Cadet Song Sheet

The cadets at Oshkosh were very musical, as they had several bands that played at their dances.  The troops also sang songs, even learning an old Wisconsin favorite, "Roll Out the Barrel."

Series MS10-45. Courtesy of Murray State University, Pogue Library, Special Collections.

 The cadets may have griped about the food served to them by cafeteria manager Mrs. Marian Anderson and her staff of 20 assistants, but the soldiers ate better than many in Oshkosh during the war. Normal menus consisted of steaks, chicken, roast beef, and ice cream. Since no cafeteria existed on campus before the cadets arrived, OSTC built one in the basement of the Rose C. Swart Training School. The Army’s allowance for food had been contracted at $1.04 per meal, and despite its rich offerings, the school managed to bring the price per soldier down to $0.79 a day, saving the Army $25,000. When supper was over, the cadets were required to study at the library for two hours every night before doing the same thing all over again the very next day.  Despite this strict schedule, cadets still found time for relaxation and nights out on the town.

Cadets in barracks

Cadets at leisure in their converted classroom quarters.

P2005.24.126. Courtesy of Oshkosh Public Museum.

Section 2: Operation Social Life
A Cadet's Life at OSTC