Harvard Brings Back ROTC
On Friday, Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust and Navy Secretary Ray Mabus are scheduled to sign an agreement that will establish the Naval ROTC’s formal presence on the Cambridge campus, the university announced Thursday.
Under the agreement, a director of Naval ROTC at Harvard will be appointed, and the university will resume funding the program, which will be given office space and access to athletic fields and classrooms.
Harvard cadets will still train, as they have for years, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, also located in Cambridge, just outside Boston. Currently, 20 Harvard students participate in ROTC, including 10 involved in Naval ROTC.
Harvard is the first elite school to agree to rescind its ban since December, when Congress issued its decision about the military policy on gays.
Faust said the “renewed relationship” affirms the armed forces’ vital role in “securing our freedoms.”
“It broadens the pathways for students to participate in an honorable and admirable calling and in doing so advances our commitment to both learning and service,” she said in a press release.
Mabus said the agreement would make the military better and the nation stronger because “with exposure comes understanding, and through understanding comes strength.”
I get that Vietnam caused a serious rift but always thought that DA-DT was an all-too convenient excuse to keep on, keepin’ on with this wrongheaded policy. Regardless of that, Harvard has done the right thing. As for our own Ivy League “installation,” Brown students can participate in ROTC at Providence College and there is an ongoing debate over allowing ROTC back on campus.