The Return of ROTC

Reflecting a trend that’s been building in America’s elite universities since Obama eliminated the military’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Policy in September, 2011, Harvard University announced Wednesday that the Army’s Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) office will return to campus later in the year.

According to an article by James Dao in the New York Times:

Since Congress lifted that ban… a number of universities have moved to welcome R.O.T.C. back. Last year, Harvard, Columbia and Yale signed agreements to allow the Navy to have an R.O.T.C. office on their campuses.

Under its agreement with the Army, Harvard will provide office space for the local R.O.T.C. commander to conduct classes and counseling sessions with cadets. It will also make classrooms and athletic facilities available for training. And it will assume financial responsibility for administrative costs associated with the program. Those costs were covered by a Harvard alumni group since the R.O.T.C. left the campus.

In 1969, in reaction to student protests over the war in Vietnam, Harvard essentially expelled ROTC from campus; the faculty argued that the military did not meet standards for academic coursework.

After the war ended the institution continued its ROTC policy, though it eventually came to cite DADT as the reason for not allowing the program on campus.

In 2010 Harvard President Drew Faust promised to return ROTC to campus once DADT was repealed.

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Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer