Bring ROTC back to Harvard and Yale

Starting with protests over the war in Vietnam and continuing through protests over the discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, many of the nation’s most exclusive colleges and universities barred ROTC from their campuses. (You may recall that some conservatives held that against Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan during her confirmation hearings; as the dean of Harvard’s law school, she had argued in favor of the policy.)
It’s time for Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Columbia and those other elite universities to bring back ROTC. Some college presidents — and military officials — have argued that too few students at those top universities would be interested in military careers to make opening an ROTC office cost-effective. From The NYT:

Eileen M. Lainez, a Defense Department spokeswoman, said Monday that it would be “premature to speculate” on plans for new R.O.T.C. units.

Diane H. Mazur, a law professor at the University of Florida and a former Air Force officer, said she doubted whether the military would reinstate the R.O.T.C. at Ivy League colleges because it is expensive to operate there, particularly for the relatively few number of students the services are likely to recruit.

“I think the military is much more persuaded by output, is much more persuaded by economic efficiency,” Ms. Mazur said.

Drew Faust, the president of Harvard, said over the weekend that she was looking forward to “pursuing discussions with military officials and others to achieve Harvard’s full and formal recognition of R.O.T.C..” . .
The Student Affairs Committee of the Columbia University Senate, a policy-making body of students, faculty members, administrators, alumni and others, said Monday that it had formed a Task Force on Military Engagement to consider whether the university should formally participate in the R.O.T.C.

Before making any decision, the committee said, it would conduct an opinion survey and hold hearings on the issue. The committee’s chairman, Tao Tan, said the process would be driven by students, rather than faculty members.

Several Columbia students said this week that while they would not object to the return of the R.O.T.C., they did not expect their classmates to show much interest in military careers.

“Most people come here to have a specific career,” said Alex Gaspard, 18, who hopes to go to law school. “Investment bankers or lawyers.”

Regardless, it is in the nation’s best interest to include among its military officers as many of the best-educated leaders as it can find. And some of those can be harvested from colleges such as Harvard and Yale.
There has been much concern, over recent decades, that the all-volunteer Armed Forces is increasingly different from the civilian nation that it serves — more religious, more conservative. (I’m not so sure that’s true, given the Pentagon’s survey on “Don’t Ask,” which showed that most troops were quite comfortable with having gays and lesbians serve openly.) One of the ways to ameliorate that trend is to be sure that the officer corps is recruited broadly, including recruitment from the elite universities.
— by Cynthia Tucker

360 comments Add your comment


December 23rd, 2010
9:13 am

keep- most productive Congress in 50 years and that was before the lame duck.

Most productive and lowest rated all at the same time. I guess we’ll have to wait until it passes before we realize all the wonderful things inside it.

Quantity before quality is the Demwit rule of the day. I’m guessing next session will be the “Do Nothing” congress because they are going to have to spend all their time repealing all the travesties of the last session.


December 23rd, 2010
9:30 am


jesus on the down-low

December 23rd, 2010
9:49 am

With the repeal of DADT, Jesus can/could now join the military. Of course, the prince of peace believes in making love not war:

A youth, looking upon him (Jesus), loved him and beseeched that he might remain with him. And going out of the tomb, they went into the house of the youth, for he was rich. And after six days, Jesus instructed him and, at evening, the youth came to him wearing a linen cloth over his naked body. And he remained with him that night, for Jesus taught him the mystery of the Kingdom of God”.

The REAL GodHatesTrash, Superstar

December 23rd, 2010
10:02 am

Homophobia correlates strongly with low IQ and low scholastic achievement. Homosexuality, just the opposite.

Military psychiatrists should develop testing instruments that can help the military to identify homophobes in the enlistment process, as they make for stupid soldiers.


December 23rd, 2010
10:10 am

Scout. “Wait until the whiners (and they are good at that) start complaining about not getting promoted (whether they should have or not), etc” So what! There “ain’t” no perfect world. A lot of people moan and groan about being (some are some not) passed over for jobs. I am sure that you have heard about the “angry White male”. You need to pick another excuse for your little thought out logic.

David S

December 23rd, 2010
11:08 am

Folks who graduate from Harvard and Yale (especially those in the Bones and Skulls) are the one who start wars, not the ones who ever fight in them. That’s left to the ones too stupid to know that the empire is just using them as cannon fodder to promote their new world order and to justify the money transfer to the military industrial complex.


December 23rd, 2010
12:10 pm

@ David does S stand for stupid…yea you never could see the true historical meaning to war. I had a known choice of my ancestors? from western Carolina my great, great ,great,great grandfather got a land grant after the revolutionary war he was a farmer in middle Georgia. .My great,great,great uncle was the Capt. of the Georgia Volunteers Civil War, my father a WW11 pilot, uncle Navy pilot Pacific campaign, nephew went to Somalia as a medic. So bed wetting mama’s boys can call us all cowards and dumb, you wouldn’t be her slick if it were not for a good Cobra pilot like me saving your uncle or dads bacon in Vietnam. So say what you want and please study history Sebastain Junger is a good start on what war is!! not what girly men like you think it is.

Common Sense isn't very Common

December 23rd, 2010
12:16 pm

David S@11:08 am

Folks who graduate from Harvard and Yale (especially those in the Bones and Skulls) are the one who start wars, not the ones who ever fight in them. That’s left to the ones too stupid to know that the empire is just using them as cannon fodder to promote their new world order and to justify the money transfer to the military industrial complex.

I somewhat agree with you, but a slightly different take on it.

A large portion of our industrial/financial and political leaders do come from the Ivy League schools. they are in position to do either great things for or great damage to the US economy.

Since the US has lost a large portion of its manufacturing capabilities (offshoring) some of what is left is geared to the military (armaments etc.) without the proper people in place in the military procurement process (up and coming Ivy League military officers) these contracts may be let to the wrong bidders (non insiders).

Also when these Ivy League officers become Admirals or Generals they will be in the position to advise the politicians on the advisability of US involvement in conflicts (or starting them (IRAQ)). They are the holders along with the CIA etc. of the information pipeline to the Pres. (IRAQ WMD’s).

Not a good scenario eh.


December 23rd, 2010
12:46 pm

The REAL GodHatesTrash, Superstar
December 23rd, 2010
10:02 am

Do I detect a pronounced affinity for Homosexuality in your comments? I don’t suppose there’s any problem with that in our “enlightened” society, but you seem to be taking it to an extreme. If indeed your bent is as I suspect, then you’re counter to your very own point. I mean by that, you don’t exhibit the “superior intellect” that you credit to homosexuals. Are you quite sure that the homophobia that you seem to believe infects most of us in general, and the military in particular, isn’t just a case of heterophobia locked away in your id?


December 23rd, 2010
12:58 pm

REAL GodHatesTrash: A more significant list of what homosexuality correlates to (as I’ve pointed out several times before):

-A twenty-five to thirty-year decrease in life expectancy

-Extremely promiscuous sexual activity

-20 times more frequent use of methamphetamine

-Primary and secondary syphilis that is more than 46 times that of other men and more than 71 times that of women

-A much higher rate of gonorrhea, various forms of hepatitis, and anal and genital warts

-HIV diagnoses that is more than 44 times that of other men and more than 40 times that of women

-Frequently fatal rectal cancer

-A much higher than usual incidence of suicide

Just how smart is it to engage in activity that leads to such consequences?