The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that brought the United States into World War II caught the country by surprise but not unprepared. Minot State Teachers College established a National Defense Committee prior to the attack and was ready to provide any assistance the nation required. Classes were created to bolster skills needed by a nation at war. MSTC hosted one of the U.S. Navy V-5 aviation training programs.
Then, in February of 1942, the Department of the Navy began seeking institutions of higher learning to advance officer candidate training. The Navy dubbed this effort the V-12 program and MTSC was one of the institutions chosen to offer training for America's naval officers.