Major Warren R. Dunton

Major Warren R. Dunton was born in 1843 in Newcastle, Vermont. He enlisted in the US Army at the outbreak of the Civil War and was assigned to the 5th Vermont Regiment of Volunteers. He attained the position of First Sergeant, Company "D" and was decorated for gallantry at the Battle of Fredericksburg where he was severely wounded on December 11th of 1862.

Subsequently Dunton was promoted to lieutenant, captain, and brevetted to the rank of major prior the end of the war. He later retired from active federal service in 1878 holding the permanent rank of first lieutenant. He returned to Vermont and taught school in his hometown.

Dunton was asked by the US Army to assume the duties of "Professor of Military Science" at Kemper Military School in Boonville, Missouri in May 1898 after he had petitioned the US Army for reinstatement with the US Army for service in the Spanish American War. Dunton accepted the assignment, moved to Boonville and became the first Professor of Military Science at Kemper later that same year.

Major Dunton built a cohesive corps of cadets and transformed a modest group of students into a combat fighting force which stood ready for deployment in the event of national emergency. Before there was ever an ROTC Major Dunton forged the fundamental tenets of peer review and cadet leadership. He instilled a strong military ethic and demonstrated to the Adjutant General of the State of Missouri that the Kemper Corps of Cadets were a capable, competent fighting force when he introduced the revolutionary concept of "field trials" at the spring encampment at a location later named in his honor.

This technique of training, which incorporated classroom theory in a combination of field problems, became the basis for ROTC summer camps and, later, the fundamental underpinnings of ROTC summer camps as we know it today.