|HARVARD FACULTY CLUB, 15 April 2004 --
Security Fellows and ROTC Cadets and Midshipmen attended the third annual National Security Fellow - ROTC
Mentorship Breakfast at the Harvard Faculty Club.
The National Security Fellows are senior military officers with about 20 years of military experience who come to Harvard's Kennedy School of Government for a year of advanced study. The ROTC cadets and midshipmen are undergraduates at Harvard who do their ROTC training as part of the nearby MIT ROTC program.
The Fellows offered advice to the students about leadership and success. LTC Chuck Harrison (USA) advised "Do the hard right rather than the easy wrong". He told of one of his Apache helicopter pilots, Chuck Fortenberry, who was killed near Falluja 4 days previously. When Fortenberry reported to his new commander he said "Sir, I'm you're worst nightmare ... I will tell you the truth, no matter what". When his commander expressed approval, Fortenberry said "but that has gotten me into trouble before". LTC Harrison related that Fortenberry "turned out to be phenomenal ... moral courage is what that guy had".
The breakfast also marked the emergence from Harvard archives of the ceremonial saber of Captain Constant Cordier, the first Professor of Military Science at Harvard, appointed in 1916.
The Mentorship Breakfast allows all the students and Fellows get to get to know each other in addition to the one-on-one mentoring with designated mentors. As a result of the previous year's Mentorship Breakfast, Midshipman Peter H. Brooks '06 arranged an internship at the Pentagon in the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Western Hemisphere defense policy, with help from his mentor CDR Bruce Loveless.
The director of the National Security program at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, LTG Tad J. Oelstrom USAF (Ret), attended the breakfast and remarked "This breakfast, now in its 3rd year, has become a cherished event that captures an immense outpouring of wisdom and comradery. The vignettes and comments passed from Fellows to Cadets are worth chapters in a book. However, the transfer is not one way. The energy, vibrancy, and excitement that cadets pass to the Fellows represents all that is good and reassuring about the next generation of officers. This is a classic "win-win" event."
Army ROTC cadet Brandon Trama '06 said "I thought the breakfast with National Security fellows was a tremendous experience for us as cadets and midshipmen. The fellows are some of the American military's best and brightest leaders and they shared their experiences with us. I got a lot out of it."
The breakfast was supported by the Harvard ROTC Alumni Fund, which sponsors many activities to support the ROTC students at Harvard. In attendance at the breakfast were representatives of the Harvard ROTC Alumni Fund and Advocates for Harvard ROTC.
(click photos for more detail)