ROTC in New York City

An Untapped Resource

ROTC Distribution Map

WSJ Statistics

National Umbrella Group

Columbia ROTC Homepage


Columbia Students for NROTC

Alliance for ROTC

Hamilton Society

2002-2005 Effort led by Advocates for Columbia ROTC



The Solomon Amendment


Despite having a population comparable to that of entire states, New York City and its citizens are not granted the same opportunities for service as military officers as many other regions of the United States:

  • There are 594,000 university students in New York City, the highest number of any city in the United States.1
  • New York is the nation's largest importer of college students, according to statistics which show that among freshmen who leave their home states to attend college, more come to New York than any other state, including California. Enrollment is led by New York City, which is home to more college students than any other city in the United States, even Boston.2
  • With over 8 million residents, New York City has a greater population than either the state of Virginia or North Carolina.  While both Virginia and North Carolina maintain twelve Army ROTC programs each, however, New York City hosts only two.
  • Both ROTC Programs are located a significant distance away from the areas most concentrated in colleges and universities, as evidenced by this map.
  • The City University of New York is the third largest public university system in the nation, though all of its campuses are located within a single city. It provides post-secondary higher education in all five boroughs of New York.3
  • The City University of New York system, with more than 450,000 students, confers nearly 3 percent of all bachelor's degrees awarded to African-Americans in the United States. Former Secretary of State Gen. Colin Powell is a CUNY ROTC product. Yet today there is no longer an ROTC presence to be found anywhere in the CUNY system.4
  • Neither is there an ROTC presence in Brooklyn, home to a diverse population about the size of Mississippi, which has five Army ROTC units despite a much lower per capita college attendance. In 2005, two of the top five ZIP codes for Army enlistments were in Brooklyn, yet there are no commissioning opportunities in the borough. Could one imagine no ROTC programs for the population of Mississippi?
  • New York City also has a vast array of private universities, including Columbia University, a prestigious Ivy League university and the fifth oldest educational institution in the nation, and New York University, the largest private, non-profit university in the United States. Yet neither university graduates more than a handful of military officers per year.
  • The allocation of ROTC recruiting assets in urban areas is insufficient to serve the large population assigned. Three recruiting officers are expected to canvass the more than 100 colleges and 13 million people in New York City, Long Island and Westchester County. Compare this with the 10 recruiters assigned for 4.5 million Alabamans or five for 2.5 million Mississippians.
  • The scarcity of commissioning opportunities in New York City hurts our community and the military. Moreover, in light of September 11th, we have a distinctly personal stake in the Global War on Terror. New Yorkers should be afforded every opportunity to serve as military leaders, and to be granted the responsibility for defending our city and our nation.

     "If the United States Army wants to dedicate itself to recruiting more minority officers, it could begin by allocating more resources to the urban Northeast in the same proportion it does the South."4  

- CPT Stephen Trynosky, USAR


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