Royal University Militias

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In 1611, the Spanish Dominicans founded in the city of Manila the University of Santo Tomas. In 1780, in it were created four Militia Companies, without a fixed number of posts, therefore dependent on the total number of pupils studying there.[citation needed] In 1785, the termination of these university militias would have been decreed and only when needed would they have been rearmed.[citation needed]

This unit wore a green coat lined with white linen, with a red collar and facings. Vest and breeches were also green with gold buttons. Shod with black cordovan shoes and white silk stockings. On their heads they wore a hat made of felt, with three points, with gold braid hemmed at its edge and a red cockade.[citation needed]

These Royal University militia companies were part of the colonial militia organized after the British occupation of Manila (6 October 1762 through 31 May 1764, or 1 year, 7 months, and 25 days) to augment the capabilities of the Spanish colonial army in the Philippines. The next time that colonial masters in the Philippines would organize a colonial military unit in a colonial university would be in 1912 at the University of the Philippines.[citation needed]

This Spanish colonial militia unit which existed for five years, was first raised in 1762 when 200 student volunteers were formed into four companies to fight the British. After the end of the Royal University Militias in 1785, the UST military unit would reemerge 151 years later, in 1936, as an American colonial ROTC unit.[citation needed]

Until 2001 when compulsory military service was abolished in Spain, University Militias (Milicias Universitarias) also known as I.M.E.C. were a method for Spaniards to fulfill military service obligation. Militiamen who completed military training became reserve officers or reserve non-commissioned officers. The program is still active, and there exists one for each of Spain's services: Army, Navy (I.M.E.C.A.R.), and Air Force.[citation needed]


  • Alía Plana, Jesús María. El Ejército Español en Filipinas: El Periodo Romántico. Madrid: Tabapress, 1993.
  • Ministerio de Defensa. Uniformes del Ejército de América y Filipinas. Vol. 3: (Sur de los Estados Unidos, Real Cuerpo de Ingenieros, Médicos y Oficiales Civiles de la Administratión Militar. Filipinas) Madrid: Artegraf, S.A., 1991.
  • The UST Golden Corps