Issue: Should ROTC be kept away from top colleges, in favor of Officer Candidate School after graduation?
Instance of the issue: In a Washington Post op-ed column, a former secretary of the navy and a professor of military history suggest reversing the "near-elimination of Officer Candidate School billets for those without prior enlisted service" instead of expanding ROTC at top colleges because "faculties are likely to be unenthusiastic".
Facts: Similar suggestions have been made about eliminating service academies (here and here), with estimates of their costs being 2-4 times as high as for ROTC. One of the arguments given against the service academies, but for ROTC, is that it good for civilians and future officers to interact.
New officers are currently produced in the following proportions: 23% from Service Academies, 40% from ROTC and 38% from Officer Candidate School (FY 2009; not counting direct appointments such as doctors). The proposition can be debated that one should get rid of service academies and ROTC and train all officers in OCS. However, avoiding ROTC only at top colleges where "faculties are likely to be unenthusiastic" will continue the current trend of officers coming from low cost schools in the south and avoiding top colleges and the coasts (detailed here and here). This will deepen the gap between future military leaders and future civilian leaders.