Photograph of a technical instructor at the UT School of Military Aeronautics stands between two engine components and uses a wooden pointer to explain pieces of the engine from a chalkboard diagram. In 1917, President Woodrow Wilson and the Council of National Defense established military schools for aviators at six college campuses around the country. The Schools of Military Aeronautics (SMAs) were to provide basic technical instruction for beginning pilots before they moved on to flight training. The SMA students were not considered regular university students. Those attending the SMA became soldiers in a new branch of the US Army called "Air Service," later becoming the United States Air Force. The UT SMA was initially housed in B. Hall, but moved housing once enrollment expanded from 50 to several hundred men. By the end of the war, the UT SMA had over 1,000 men enrolled--the largest in the country--and was known as the "West Point of the Air." It would be the prototype for the Air Force Academy.
Copy print of Squad 36 standing in four lines on the steps in front of the State Capitol. The men are all wearing their uniforms and holing their campaign hats in their right hands at their sides as they stand at attention.