08 April 2009

40-year exile of ROTC at Harvard to end?

From today's WSJ, written by two seniors at Harvard University who will be commissioned second lieutenants in the United States Marine Corps in June.

Sadly, the number of Harvard students who choose military service has dwindled. Harvard, where ROTC was founded in 1916 and which once boasted over 1,000 participants, is now home to only 29 cadets and midshipmen, spread over four years and four branches of service. Recruitment opportunities are deliberately limited, and the student handbook cautions students against joining ROTC, remarking that the program is "inconsistent with Harvard's values." And cadets begin every semester seeking to avoid the professors known to exhibit hostility toward students who wear their uniform to class.

Rather than embracing the mutually beneficial relationship Harvard might share with the military, the faculty prefers to stand in the way of progress, abdicating its responsibility to contribute to one of our nation's most important institutions. The same Harvard that once produced 10 recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor, and warrior-scholars such as Teddy Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy, now turns its back on its proud, patriotic history.

But there are reasons to be hopeful that the 40-year exile of ROTC may be drawing to a close.

Read the enire opinion piece at the WSJ.

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