The origin of the Reserve Officers Training Unit began on April 3rd 1965 with the establishment of the 1st infantry battalion branch of the reserve army at the University of Malaya. It started as a reaction and concern of the staff and students of University of Malaya with regards to the confrontation with Indonesia in 1963.
At its formation stage 30 students from different faculties underwent an elementary recruit course at Seputih training camp in Batu Gajah Perak during their term break. Most of these students had a military or police background, and they were all former students of the royal military college. Racial events of 13th May 1969 resulted in this company spreading to other institute of higher learning, with the establishment of A Company in Mara Institute Of Technology, B Company in the Putra University Of Malaysia, and C Company in the National University Of Malaysia, with University Of Malaya remaining as its battalion headquarters