National ROTC Coverage: 2015
- 4 February 2015 Brown Daily Herald article "Faculty endorses tie to Holy Cross ROTC program". Note: Brown is adding Navy and Army ROTC options based in Massachusetts for its students, in addition to its current Army ROTC option at Providence College. There will be "space in the Office of Student Veterans and Commissioning Programs, which was created in 2012 at the Corporation’s instruction and aims to support students who are interested or involved in the military". During the debate, "Philip Rosen, professor of modern culture and media, stressed the implications of the 1996 Solomon Amendment, which allows the U.S. Secretary of Defense to deny federal grants to institutions that prohibit or prevent ROTC or military recruitment on campus. Rosen said federal funding to the University may be threatened if ROTC programs are discontinued, adding that “Once the decision is made, it is made.”" However, that concern is not very realistic because even Republican administrations have avoided using the Solomon Amendment for ROTC, and the Supreme Court decision upholding the Solomon Amendment for recruiting made clear that the constitutionality was very different for ROTC.
- 5 February 2014 Brown Daily Herald column "ROTC: Return of the criminals" by Peter Makhlouf '16. Note: Makhlouf argues against ROTC, describing military training as "the art of killing and torturing" and concludes that "ROTC’s attempt to recruit academically elite students is a calculated attempt to rope the best and brightest into the industry of state-sanctioned violence". He criticizes the notion "that Brown students should be exposed to every potential career" and writes that allowing ROTC would be "normalizing a militant ethos on our campus through programming and information sessions would invalidate Brown’s status as a bastion of military opposition and anti-intervention sentiment".
- 9 February 2015 Brown Daily Herald letter "ROTC should not have campus presence" by Prof. William Keach. Note: An English professor maintains that ROTC having "an institutional presence at Brown ... compromises any university’s ability to function as a source of independent critical research and teaching". He did not give examples from his department or elsewhere. One commenter noted that "The mission of Brown University is "to serve the community, the nation, and the world by discovering, communicating, and preserving knowledge and understanding in a spirit of free inquiry, and by educating and preparing students to discharge the offices of life with usefulness and reputation"". Another asks "How can you have anything "independent" when predominantly only one "side" is represented?"
- 15 February 2015 Fox News article "Brown University student wants ROTC ‘criminals’ banned from campus". Note: The article describes the anti-ROTC op-ed by Brown student Peter Makhlouf "earned him criticism from readers who posted comments to his Op-Ed."
- 26 February 2015 Harvard Crimson article "Boots on the Ground: ROTC at Harvard". Note: The article describes how little has changed for ROTC students at Harvard since formal recognition of Navy and Army ROTC in 2011 and 2012. Potential changes being discussed include coordinating the ROTC and Harvard admissions processes better, paying for student living expenses not covered by ROTC scholarships, and a more clear liaison within the Harvard administration to ROTC students. One change appreciated by the students is the mentorship program with veterans affiliated with Harvard, organized by the Harvard Veterans Organization. The article also includes film of the 1969 anti-ROTC demonstrations.
- 15 April 2015 Coloradan op-ed "ROTC critical to national security" by Robert F. Collins. Note: A retired Army colonel writes "The bottom line is who do we want to lead our Army? Do we prefer a highly specialized, rigid, elitist group of mercenaries schooled in military tactics who will react unquestionably and unthinkingly to all orders no matter what they might be? Or, do we prefer to entrust the leadership of our young men and women to well educated, idealistic, questioning and responsible college graduates representative of all sectors of society?"
- 21 April 2015 Yale News article "Yale’s cadets and midshipmen ready to look ‘sharp’ for the President’s Review". Note: The 2 Yale-based ROTC units, established in 2012, now have a total of 75 students, of whom 54 are Yale students. Midshipman Andrew Heymann '15 describes how his schedule, which includes being captain of the swim team, is very packed, and having on-campus ROTC is crucial. Gabrielle Fong '16 relates that she's "gotten nothing but support and respectful curiosity. The most common question I get is ‘Why would you want to join the military?’" Madeline Skrocki '17 relates that "her friends on campus see her every Thursday in her Air Force uniform, every Monday sporting her sorority letters, and often in the dining hall with her ballet pointe shoes draped over her shoulder."
- 21 May 2015 Columbia News article NROTC Marine Graduate Is First Commissioned in 45 Years. Note: "Patrick Poorbaugh enlisted in the Marines during his senior year of high school and left for basic training soon after graduation. “We were in the middle of two wars, and I didn’t want to let others do the job,” he said. “And I knew I wasn’t ready for college.” That was in 2005. This year Poorbaugh, a 28-year-old staff sergeant in the Marines, will earn a B.A. in political science from Columbia’s School of General Studies." The article includes a video interview with Poorbaugh, including him cutting a cake with a sword.
- 22 May 2015 Defense Video & Imagery Distribution system article Mackinaw, Illinois, native becomes Columbia University’s first commissioned Marine since Vietnam War. Note: “This is a big deal!” said from Brig. Gen. Terry Williams, Eastern Recruiting Region and Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island commanding general. “This is the first Marine Corps commissioning since 1970. Your choice to continue to serve this great nation, for the commitment we know it will take from you to carry out the duties of an officer of Marines, your willingness to confront dangers on the nation’s behalf in the months and years to come are all noteworthy.”
- 25 May 2015 The Long Crimson Line: White Paper on the Integration of Harvard University and the US Military by Everett S. P. Spain, DBA ’14 & Daniel T. Fisher, MPP/MBA ’16,
Harvard Veterans Organization. Note: The paper focuses on ROTC and how Harvard has fallen behind comparable schools. The paper includes suggestions of changes in financial aid, appointments and admissions to address these differences.
- 27 May 2015 Harvard Gazette article Graduating to a life in service: ROTC commissioning ceremony honors four Harvard seniors.
- 27 May 2015 Harvard Magazine article “The Spirit of Commitment and Sacrifice”. Note: 4 Harvard ROTC students were commissioned as officers.
- 23 June 2015 AM red skies – Harvard & the various ROTC programs by Paul Mawn
'63, Chairman of Advocates for Harvard ROTC.
- 30 June 2015 DoD News article Army Explores Ways to Expand ROTC’s Geographic Reach. Note: "Alabama, with a population of just 4.8 million people, has more colleges offering ROTC than in New York City or Los Angeles, a senior Defense Department official said last week at a Center for a New American Security symposium." Army Gen. David G. Perkins, commander of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, said “One of the things we work very hard in the Army to get is diversity. But there are a lot of aspects to diversity, and one of them is geographical and regional representation. If we are the United States Army, then the Army ought to come from [all of] the United States. It shouldn’t be just from one part of the country.”
- 27 July 2015 Fortune article Blame higher education for America’s potentially weaker military by Matthew F. Cancian and Michael W. Klein. Note: The authors, a U.S. Marine Lieutenant in Afghanistan who is currently a graduate student at Tufts University’s Fletcher School and Prof. Michael W. Klein did a study that concluded that the intelligence of Marine Corps officers has declined, while others have noted that the intelligence of enlisted people has increased. "We didn’t find it was due to more minorities or women in the ranks, as many have assumed. The basic answer is that more people are going to college."
- September 2015 Brown Alumni Magazine article From the President by Christina Paxson. Note. The president of Brown University announced progress towards having "cross-town" Navy and Air Force ROTC opportunities in addition to the current cross-town Army ROTC arrangement. "The 2011 repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the full acceptance of gays and lesbians into the military was a precipitating factor in our current expansion of ROTC... I look forward to signing agreements to bring Naval and Air Force ROTC opportunities back to our students, and to Commencement weekend, when we will recognize and honor our students and alumni who provide public service leadership through military service."
- 26 October 2015 Brown University News article Cadets represent ROTC renaissance at Brown. Note: "With renewed Air Force and Naval partnerships, a new office to support military-affiliated students, and a notable uptick in the number of students participating in the Army program, the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps is experiencing a renaissance at Brown."
- 20 November 2015 Brown Daily Herald article "Brown to allow students to join two new military programs". Note: The university finalized arrangements for Brown students to do ROTC at other institutions after this was authorized by a faculty vote in February. Karen McNeil, program director of the Office of Student Veterans and Commissioning Programs said “Even just sitting next to a veteran or an ROTC student in class, seeing them as a person and knowing that people who go into the military are normal people, having that kind of interaction is very important.”
- 1 December 2015 Brown Daily Herald editorial "Expanding ROTC options". Note: "We applaud the University for expanding ROTC options by forming two new partnerships that will let students participate in the Naval and Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps next semester. Before this expansion, Brown students only had the option of participating in an Army ROTC partnership with Providence College, and Brown and Dartmouth were the only Ivy League schools to not give students an option for participating in Navy and Air Force ROTC programs." The editorial also discusses how this can bring diversity to discussions on political issues on campus.
- 30 December 2015 Wall Street Journal op-ed "At Last, Some Campus Sanity: ROTC Gains" by Jonathan E. Hillman and Cheryl Miller. Note: "Yale, with 41 midshipmen, boasts the largest NROTC unit in the Ivy League. Harvard senior Charlotte Falletta was recognized as one of the top 10 Army cadets in the nation... There are plenty of opportunities to improve recruitment efforts. Cornell, MIT and other universities allow prospective students to indicate their interest in the military on their application and pursue ROTC scholarships. Once admitted, interested students receive more information and guidance from ROTC staff. More institutions should adopt this practice... Faculty should also consider designing courses that meet both ROTC and university standards, such as Professor
’s popular military history course at Yale... As former Secretary of Defense
told an audience at Duke University five years ago: “A return of ROTC back to some of these campuses will not do much good without the willingness of our nation’s most gifted students to step forward.” But if this year’s talented graduates are any indication, many more young Americans will answer that call."
- 23 November 2015 Conversations with Bill Kristol interview with Prof. Larry Summers. Note: The former Harvard president discussed ROTC from 49:52 - 55:55 of this interview. Summers said "There’s a serious issue of the degree of estrangement between people who wear uniforms and people who are in academic communities. Public service is always a value that's being extolled in universities. I was always careful when I spoke about public service to include military service as an example of public service. That is very much the exception. I have not served in the military, but I don't understand how one can regard working in a school, though it’s not morally inferior, as morally superior to being involved in the direct defense of freedom. It seems to me it's very important to recognize that."
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