National ROTC Coverage: 2007
- January/February 2007 Columbia College Today letters from Josh Arthur
December. Note: Arthur, recently graduated from ROTC and
Columbia, describes his deployment and experiences in Iraq.
1 January 2007 The Weekly Standard
of Columbia" by Austin Byrd. Note: A first year
student and Marine Corps officer candidate responds to the 18 December
item on the military and Columbia by noting that "the general feeling
toward the military community is one of apathy, which in some ways is more
difficult to confront than the passion of campus radicals". Byrd
explains that the pro-military students at Columbia "have adopted the
strategy of promoting interaction between the military community and the
general student body" to overcome this apathy.
1 January 2007 Marine Corps Times column "Missing the big
picture" by Matt Sanchez. Note: Military veteran and
Columbia student Matt Sanchez describes how at a recruiting event a group of
students started chanting "The military exploits minorities!" to which he
responded "I'm a minority; I joined the military, and I don't think I'm
being exploited." and was told "That's because you're stupid — too stupid to
realize you're being used as cannon fodder." Sanchez goes on describe that
"For the academics, joining the Corps over attending an Ivy League school
was an obvious sign of desperation."
8 January 2007 The Morningside Post (official blog for
Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs) blog video item "Columbia's
Student Soldiers". Note: Columbia Provost Alan Brinkley said
"We're not a particularly attractive campus for ROTC because we don't have
space, and the level of interest among our students would probably be
relatively low and the Pentagon has not asked us to host an ROTC unit, so
its not as if we've refused".
- 15 January 2007 The Eye (Columbia Spectator) article "Special
Web-Only: Interview with Lt. Josh Arthur, CC ‘04" Matt Mireles.
Note: Arthur, recently graduated from Columbia and ROTC, describes
how he decided to serve in the military.
18 January 2007 The New Republic column "Military
Academy" by Anthony Grafton. Note: A Princeton
professor notes that Princeton has more connections to the military than
many other elite colleges, and recommends that "We
who teach young men and women need to know more about what we ask some of
them to do on our behalf and what it takes to do their jobs".
22 January 2007 Columbia Spectator op-ed "No
Shame in Service" by Sean Wilkes CC'06. Note: The
recently graduated head of Advocates for Columbia ROTC quotes Lt. Gen. Sir
William F. Butler, who warned that "The nation that will insist upon drawing
a broad line of demarcation between the fighting man and the thinking man is
liable to find its fighting done by fools and its thinking by cowards."
22 January 2007 Daily Princetonian article "Princeton,
in the nation's service? With a shifting social ethos, alumni in the
military are a vanishing and isolated breed". Note: "At
a recruiting conference last fall, [military sociologist Charles] Moskos
said, he asked recruiters whether they would rather have their advertising
budget tripled or have Jenna Bush, President Bush's daughter, join the Army.
Unanimously, the recruiters chose the latter option.". Not
mentioned in the article is that the son of Princeton alumnus Gen. David
Petraeus is in an ROTC program.
24 January 2007
Military Recruiting at Barnard's Activities Fair 2007
27 January 2007 Wall Street Journal Op-Ed "Gliberalism"
by Ruth Wisse. Note: Professor Wisse, a member of
Advocates for Harvard ROTC, cites the
ban on ROTC at elite universities as a prime example of an attitude "that
leaves to others the responsibility for governance, and arrogates to itself
the right to criticize". See 28 January comment by Columbia Prof.
28 January 2007
Comments on Prof. Ruth Wisse's article "Gliberalism" by Prof.
Silver. Note: Silver, a sociology professor at
Columbia and a a leading proponent on the faculty for return of ROTC to
Columbia, suggests that both the universities and the country's leadership
could do better to create an atmosphere conducive towards return of ROTC to
elite universities. His comments were prompted by Prof. Wisse's 27
article in the Wall Street Journal.
29 January 2007 Public Radio International "Open Source"
Americans Need to Serve?" by Christopher Lydon. Note:
Lydon interviews Alan Khazei, Alan Gropman, Frank Schaeffer and Seth Moulton
'01 about the value of national service.
- 1 February 2007 The Eye (Columbia Spectator) article "Letter
from Baghdad - Dispatch # 3" by Josh Arthur CC '04. Note:
Arthur, recently graduated from Columbia and ROTC, describes an engagement
with a lone sniper and how his men showed restraint until they were
confident they had identified the attacker.
5 February 2007 Washington Post article "Officers
With PhDs Advising War Effort". Note: Gen. David
Petraeus, the new military commander in Iraq, is assembling "a small band of
warrior-intellectuals" from "one of the most selective clubs in the world:
military officers with doctorates from top-flight universities and combat
experience in Iraq." Petraeus has described himself to
Advocates for ROTC as a "huge supporter of ROTC"
and said that graduates from top programs are "true national assets".
8 February 2007 The Eye (Columbia Spectator) article "Letter
from Baghdad - Dispatch # 4" by Josh Arthur CC '04. Note:
Arthur, recently graduated from Columbia and ROTC, describes his most
enduring memory in Baghdad, retrieving a soldier with a fatal wound.
14 February 2007 Harvard Crimson article "More
Than Just an Anthem". Note: Four Harvard ROTC
students participated in a color guard at a Harvard-Princeton basketball
game on 9 February, the "first at a Harvard athletic venue in many years".
14 February 2007 Cornell Daily Sun editorial "A
Tradition Worth Keeping". Note: The Sun calls for
support for ROTC, writing "It is more imperative than ever that the
University continues to support this program to ensure that the best and
brightest are where we need them."
15 February 2007 Columbia Spectator Op-Ed "When
Anti-war is Anti-peace" by Eric Chen GS'07. Note: One
of the leaders of the ROTC and veterans' movements at Columbia observes how
anti-war sentiment is undermining nation-building. Through an error, a
non-final version of this article was published. The version that was
suppose to be published is
17 February 2007 New York Post column "Dodging
Rangel's Draft" by Flagg K. Youngblood. Note:
Youngblood, an army veteran and Yale alumnus, asks "Why should America
pursue a measure as coercive as the draft without first seeking to cultivate
voluntary military participation, especially at schools where the Reserve
Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) does not exist or its enrollment is low?"
22 February 2007 Wall Street Journal article "A
Retreat From Big Cities Hurts ROTC Recruiting: Though Army Seeks More Ethnic
Officers, It Shuns Northeast" (free link with the article
attributed to AP
here). Note: By having few ROTC
programs in big cities, the military is missing out on recruits who have
familiarity with foreign cultures and languages. One of the offices said of
New York City "There were times when I felt like I was back
in Iraq. There were people dressed in those man-dresses that they wear in
Iraq. The women had veils. I know I shouldn't say this, but it made me want
to look for IEDs". Some additional material is at
this free WSJ link. See 25 February
Intel Dump blog
item for discussion.
22 February 2007 Harvard Gazette article "Student
KSG, HBS veterans honored: Panelists say lead by example biggest wartime
lesson". Note: The event, co-sponsored by the Center
for Public Leadership and the Institute of Politics, featured an hourlong
panel discussion followed by a half-hour of questions from the John F.
Kennedy Jr. Forum audience.
23 February 2007 Chronicle of Higher Education article "Harvard's
Historic Choice". Note: At Penn, Harvard President-elect Drew
Faust "was one of a half-dozen professors who met each Tuesday at 7 a.m.
during the late 1980s and early 90s to talk informally with the provost
about such topics as the expansion of the medical school, the reorganization
of the library, and the place of ROTC on the campus".
25 February 2007 Intel Dump Blog item "ROTC
retreats from American cities". Note: Blogger Phillip
Carter discusses the 22 February
article and many respond, including sources for the original article.
25 February 2007 Boston Globe editorial "Crimson
and camouflage". Note: The Globe notes that there are
100 active-duty or reserve officers at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of
Government and the Business School and reflects on the "salute to Iraq and
Afghanistan combat veterans" panel, where five officers discussed leadership
in combat. "A 1983 Kennedy School graduate, Lieutenant General Douglas Lute,
director for operations of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Lute said it was his
Kennedy School experience that helped him commit to a full career in the
military. He encouraged the officers to treat Harvard as a "two-way street,"
where they are both learners and contributors." Click links for the 20 February 2007 event
March / April 2007 Harvard Magazine column "The
War at Home" by Casey N. Cep '07. Note: The writer
quotes ROTC student Olivia Volkoff ’09 who "emphasizes the value of having
an ROTC program at a university like Harvard: “It’s a means for people to
put a face with the armed services.”" Efi Massasa ’09 said "Even though all
students don’t serve, it is important they interact with people who did so
they will be able to shape their own opinions about military service."
March 2007 Military Officer article "ROTC
at Harvard: One Man's Experience" by Jeffrey Race '65. Note:
Race, a member of Advocates for Harvard ROTC,
describes how his service in Vietnam led to his writing the book "War
Comes to Long An", about which a White House staffer said "A
lot of people are alive today who would be dead if you had not written that
9 March 2007 Massachusetts Daily Collegian article "Tempers
flare at ROTC Rally: Groups nearly come to blows outside Student Union".
Note: After "a recent incident in which a list of prospective
recruits was taken off a ROTC table by members of the Radical Student Union"
a pro-ROTC rally was held, which was disrupted by protestors yelling
comments such as "Get the ROTC off campus" and "I'm proud to be a traitor!"
14 March 2007 Cornell Daily Sun column "Orgies,
Adultery and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell" by Bill McMorris. Note:
McMorris argues that homosexuality is but one of many areas in which the
tolerance of the university and the military are, and should be different.
"In July 1998, 10 United States naval personnel, seven male and three
female, participated in an orgy in a Hong Kong hotel room. Every sailor,
regardless of their sexual orientation, was charged, indicted and found
guilty of “adultery, sodomy and fraternization.” No one had any problem with
the moral judgment that was cast down upon these sailors."
15 March 2007 Brown Daily Herald column "Reconsidering
ROTC at Brown" by Brian Barbata '68. Note: Barbata
notes that "For schools like Brown to blindly resist ROTC is a very
short-sighted, non-productive stance which clearly has no effect other than
to contribute to the gradual downgrading of the officer corps."
16 March 2007 film "Indoctrinate-U".
Note: According to the film maker Evan Coyne Maloney, "about 5 minutes
or so in the film" is material dealing with ROTC "near the end of the film. A number of
people have told us they feel it is the most infuriating footage in the
film." "The segment discusses both ROTC and military recruiters on
and the various efforts to bar them from campus. We have footage from San
Francisco State, U.C. Berkeley, Columbia and Hobart. U.C. Santa Cruz,
Yale.... We get right inside the protests themselves, some of which were
quite nasty. All of this is discussed in the context of what sorts of views
are welcome on campus (Ward Churchill, for example) and what is not (quite
literally, the American flag, which was actually removed from a number of
campuses immediately following the September 11th attacks). It packs quite
an emotionally powerful punch."
19 March 2007 Brown Daily Herald letter "ROTC
should be welcome at Brown" by Paul Kechijian MD '61. Note:
Kechijian observes that "Men and women interested in ROTC who attend Brown
would enrich the University's diversity" and "Brown graduates who serve in
the military would bring a diversity of concepts and ideas that might
greatly benefit the military".
19 March 2007 Columbia Spectator column "Bringing
the Military to Columbia" by Matt Sanchez. Note:
Sanchez describes discussions with Columbia officials about healing the rift
between Columbia and the military.
- 20 March 2007 Wall Street Journal book review "Between
Classes, Getting Ready for Combat". Note: Kyle Smith
reviews the book about ROTC "Army
101: Inside ROTC at a Time of War" by David Axe, and explains why drill
- 21 March 2007 Harvard Crimson article "Miss
Bad-Ass". Note: Harvard's student newspaper profiles
Shawna L. Sinnott ’10, the only female from Harvard in the Marine Corps
branch of the Navy ROTC. Sinnott has competed in several beauty
pageants, and observes “You can prepare as much as you want, but it’s not
like the Corps where you can just train and see an improvement. You can work
as hard as you want but in the end, it’s still about people’s opinions.”
- 28 March 2007 Young America's Foundation press release
"Stage Lighting & Ceramics—More Important
than National Defense at William & Mary?". Note: Matt Pinsker, a William & Mary sophomore who is pursuing an Army commission
through ROTC, comments, “In effect, William & Mary is telling me that the time I
spend studying the art of leadership to defend our country is much less
important than understanding stage lighting or how to make a vase. By studying
lighting techniques for one semester, I can earn the same number of credits it
takes me two years to earn in ROTC. Talk about discouraging!” He successfully
petitioned William & Mary’s Student Senate to ratify a resolution seeking
course credit equality for ROTC on behalf of the school’s student body. The
symbolic resolution passed unanimously.
- April 2007 Inter-University Seminar on Armed Forces and Society article
"ROTC and the
Catholic Campus" by Ward Thomas. Note: Thomas argues
that "claims of a basic contradiction between the religious identity of
Catholic institutions of higher learning and ROTC programs do not stand up
well to scrutiny."
10 April 2007 Harvard Crimson article "Guns
n' Roses: Freshman in Navy ROTC takes home 'Miss Boston' crown".
Note: Shawna L. Sinnott ’10 showed it is possible to be a
Harvard student, a US Marine in training, and a beauty queen, all in one
person. "Pageants are judged based on poise, intelligence, fitness,
and confidence, which are all the exact qualities we are looking for in an
officer, especially in the Marine Corps," Sinnott said.
placed heavy emphasis on her platform issue of Veterans Affairs, which was
the topic of her on-stage question.
- 10 April 2007 Cornell Daily Sun column "College,
Not Combat" by Laura Taylor. Note: Taylor claims that
ROTC students don't understand what they are getting into and calls for
Cornell to refuse all ROTC scholarships and replace them with full financial
aid for all students that need it. See responses on 11 April (here
and here) and
- 11 April 2007 Cornell Daily Sun letter "Cornell’s
military program attracts best, brightest" by Jonathan Green ’08.
Note: Green notes Laura Taylor's
column opposing ROTC
scholarships, and observes that "ROTC scholarships are paid for by the U.S.
Government and not the Cornell endowment... the money is not Cornell’s to
- 11 April 2007 Cornell Daily Sun letter "Columnist
unjustly attacks ROTC" by Webster Beary ’07. Note: An
ROTC cadet rebuts the claim in Laura Taylor's
column that ROTC students
don't understand what they are getting into by noting "Cadets on scholarship
can go through an entire year of the program and decide, “Hey, the Army is
not for me."
- 11 April 2007 The Primary Source column "In
Support of ROTC" by Daniel Mencher. Note: Tufts
students are allowed to transfer credit from ROTC courses at Boston
University but not MIT, where Tufts ROTC students typically train.
- 12 April 2007 Cornell Daily Sun letter "Columnist’s
position on ROTC program misguided" by Richard Menger ’07. Note:
Menger notes Laura Taylor's column opposing ROTC scholarships and observes "Following her logic, if
Laura served one less poor person would have to."
- 18 April 2007 Brown Daily Herald Opinion article "Brown
and the ROTC?". Note: The article announced a panel
discussion to take place that evening on ROTC and issues of the
- 18 April 2007 Harvard Crimson article "
Here from Over
There: Harvard's military veterans look like normal students, but their
identity as soldiers rarely fades away". Note:
Seth W. Moulton
’01, a Marine Reservist who has been accepted to do graduate work at
Harvard, said "I’m shocked at how disconnected Harvard students are from the
war, and I’m shocked because these people are not that different from the
young Americans fighting and dying overseas".
- 18 April 2007 Harvard Crimson article "Student
Soldiers: ROTC's Challenge". Note: Harvard ROTC
students describe why they have chosen military service.
- 20 April 2007 Salem Oregon StatesmanJournal editorial blog item "The
value of ROTC" by Dick Hughes. Note: A retired Air
Force officer writes that "A heavy mixture of ROTC officers keeps the
military more the way civilians would like it to be and less "military" yet
still competent and professional."
- 26 April 2007 Brown Daily Herald article "Student
group stirs up ROTC debate". Note: Jason Carr '09 and Josh
Teitelbaum '08 are founding a pro-ROTC group "to take steps toward breaking
down the campus community's isolation from what they say is an important
- 27 April 2007 Stanford Review column "Stanford’s
Anti-ROTC Policy is Self-Contradictory" by Yishai Kabaker. Note:
A gay man argues that it is unfair to restrict the rights of students to do
ROTC because of the federal "don't ask, don't tell" law, and notes that
"ROTC courses like “The Evolution of the United States Air and Space Power,”
“Naval Ship Systems” and “Navigation and Naval Operations” are today deemed
academically unfit for Stanford while “Chick Flicks and Breakup Songs”
receives full credit without question."
- 7 May 2007 Federal Register "Military
Recruiting and Reserve Officer Training Corps Program Access to Institutions
of Higher Education: Proposed rule" (in PDF form
here). Note: These proposed rules implement the
changes in the Solomon Amendment. Of particular note is the
"Supplementary Information" similar to language in the ROTC Vitalization Act
of 1964 about faculty appointments and course credit: "The criterion of
``efficiently operating a Senior ROTC unit'' refers generally to an
expectation that the ROTC Department would be treated on a par with other
academic departments; as such, it would not be singled out for unreasonable
actions that would impede access to students (and vice versa) or restrict
- 14 May 2007 U.S. Army News Release "President
to host first joint commissioning ceremony for ROTC cadets and midshipmen at
the White House: 23 Army ROTC Cadets Chosen for Joint Commissioning Ceremony".
Note: 55 ROTC Cadets and Midshipmen from the Army, Navy,
Marines and Air Force will be commissioned on 17 May, representing all U.S.
states, the District of Columbia, and territories.
- 17 May 2007 The Stanford Daily article "Cadet
to White House: ROTC senior will meet president, take oath".
Note: Stanford student Diana Clough ‘07 will take her oath, "the
first time the president has conducted the swearing-in ceremony for ROTC
- 17 May 2007
Remarks by the President at Joint Reserve Officer Training Corps
Commissioning Ceremony. (Video
Note: President George W.
Bush said "All of you have made many sacrifices to receive your commission.
Yet some of you have had to endure even greater hardships -- because your
universities do not allow ROTC on campus. For those of you in this position,
this can require long commutes several times a week to another campus that
does offer ROTC, so you can attend a military class, participate in a drill.
Most of all, it means living a split existence -- where your life as a cadet
or midshipmen is invisible to most of your fellow students. Every
American citizen is entitled to his or her opinion about our military. But
surely the concept of diversity is large enough to embrace one of the most
diverse institutions in American life. It should not be hard for our great
schools of learning to find room to honor the service of men and women who
are standing up to defend the freedoms that make the work of our
universities possible. To the cadets and midshipmen who are graduating from
a college or university that believes ROTC is not worthy of a place on
campus, here is my message: Your university may not honor your military
service, but the United States of America does. And in this, the people's
house, we will always make a place for those who wear the uniform of our
country." Among the officers sworn in at the ceremony were Erik Sand
of Harvard, Diana Clough of Stanford and Bret Woellner from Columbia.
- 17 May 2007 Associated Press article "Bush
says ROTC has a place on campus". Note: "Three of the
officers in the White House ceremony came from schools that don't allow ROTC
on campus, including Harvard University, Stanford University and Columbia
University. Bush saluted their extra sacrifice."
- 17 May 2007 United States American Forces Press
Service article "Gates
Commissions ROTC Cadets at White House". Note: "A change in the 2007 National Defense Authorization Act allows the president, vice president or secretary of defense to administer the oath of commission or enlistment".
- 17 May 2007 United States Department of Defense photos "White
House Commissioning Ceremony". Note: One of the
photos is of U.S. Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff with graduating Harvard ROTC student Erik Sand and his mother.
More photos here
- 17 May 2007 Chronicle of Higher Education News Blog item "Bush
Assails Colleges That Shun ROTC Units". Note: The
Chronicle notes that in addition to colleges that ban ROTC there are
colleges where there is no ROTC program because the Pentagon concluded that
there were "poor prospects of finding good recruits".
- 17 May 2007 New York Sun article "Bush
Rebukes Universities On ROTC Ban". Note: "Yesterday's
ceremony featured a diverse group of cadets from all 50 states and included
a graduate student at Columbia, Bret Woellner, who was commissioned as a
second lieutenant in the Army. The president's statement took
officials at a few leading universities aback. Spokesmen at NYU and Harvard
and Yale universities, which also do not offer ROTC on campus, did not
respond publicly. Riaz Zaidi, president of Columbia's Hamilton
Society, a military group, said the president's words were "gratifying."
Mr. Zaidi, a cadet in the Fordham ROTC program, said that while he thought
the military should reconsider the "don't ask, don't tell" policy, Columbia
should reinstate the officer-training program regardless." See
response by Paul E. Mawn,
head of Advocates for Harvard ROTC.
- 18 May 2007 New York Sun reader comment "Observations on the
commissioning select ROTC students in the White House" by Paul E. Mawn.
Note: The head of Advocates for
Harvard ROTC responds to the previous day's
article and wrote that
universities "need diversity which is also based on opinion and provides a
climate of tolerance and acceptance for undergraduates who believe in duty,
honor and country".
- 18 May 2007 New York Sun editorial "Redeeming
Columbia". Note: Citing Columbia's rejection of ROTC
in 2005 and the ROTC commissioning of Columbia student Bret Woellner, the
Sun wrote "a generation or so hence the shame of Columbia will be lessened,
its honor redeemed by the fact that Lieutenant Woellner made his choice, got
up early, did his drills, learned to lead, and, in the East Room of the
White House, stepped forward to accept a commission from the Congress in a
time of war."
- 18 May 2007 The Stanford Daily article "Bush
condemns schools without ROTC programs". Note:
Graduating ROTC student Diana Clough ‘07, who was commissioned at the White
House, said that "the President’s speech writers met with her before
yesterday’s White House ceremony in the East Room. “I felt like he was
talking about me the entire time, which is really insane"". Jeff
Wachtel, special assistant to Stanford President John Hennessy "said that
Hennessy and Prof. William Perry, formerly a U.S. secretary of defense, held
a lunch in the fall to honor ROTC students on campus." "Clough said
that the University misses out on “a vital chance to influence the student
leaders of tomorrow.” “Stanford is really into producing future leaders in
every area, but they don’t include the military, which is interesting
considering the times we’re in,” she said".
- 18 May 2007 The Stanford Daily article "Bush
honors Stanford cadet at White House: Top ROTC scholar, markswoman becomes
an Army Lt.". Note: "This year, about 4,000
graduating college seniors will commission into the Army. Clough’s decorated
service record and strong performance in drills places her among the top 50
cadets in the country."
- 18 May 2007 Harvard Crimson article "Bush
Commissions Dunsterite". Note: Erik Sand '07 said
“Harvard has a great tradition of involvement with armed forces, and it’s
important to both the University and country that the tradition be renewed,
but if change doesn’t happen, we’ll still keep doing what we’re doing.”
- 25 May 2007 The Stanford Daily editorial "Time
to rethink ROTC". Note: Stanford's student newspaper
calls for the university to "rethink its rationale for banning on-campus
ROTC programs". One of the ideas raised is for ROTC to "have access to
Stanford facilities in a manner akin to extra-curricular student groups",
which does not meet the full requirements of the
ROTC Vitalization Act of 1964.
27 May 2007 Washington Times editorial "Bring
back ROTC". Note: "It's time for Harvard, Columbia,
Yale and other schools to heed what President Bush said last week: "It
should not be hard for our great schools of learning to find room to honor
the service of men and women who are standing up to defend the freedoms that
make the work of our universities possible." It's time to give ROTC a
27 May 2007 New York Times column "The
Quiet Americans" by Thomas Friedman. Note: Friedman
describes graduation at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and being impressed
by "the number of R.O.T.C. grads, including women, who came up and collected
their degrees in full dress uniforms. It was not only the pride with
which they wore those uniforms that was palpable, but also the respect they
were accorded by their classmates. I spoke to one young man who was going
from graduation at Rensselaer right out to sea with the United States Navy.
As bad as Iraq is, they just keep signing up."
29 May 2007 The Stanford Daily article "Azia
used Stanford to get ROTC spot". Note: A woman
masquerading as a Stanford student and squatting in a Stanford dorm forged a
Stanford transcript and convinced the Army ROTC program at Santa Clara
University to allow her to take ROTC classes. In the comments on this
article "Hooah" notes "If the ROTC program was run on the Stanford campus,
the ROTC Cadre would have easily identified Ms. Kim's fraud as they could
check enrollment through the registrar -- something they cannot do as a
third party without the student's permission, which is the case now."
30 May 2007 Letter
from Columbia University School of General Studies Dean Peter J. Awn
inviting members of the armed services to apply to Columbia. Note:
Dean Awn wrote that "the experience and talents that these students bring to
Columbia enhance immeasurably the academic discourse in the classroom" and
announced Columbia's new military-veteran Web site:
1 June 2007 Chicago Maroon column "ROTC
bans counterproductive to their cause" by Alec Brandon. Note:
Brandon writes "Without a doubt, the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”
policy is discriminatory, but it is just silly to respond to a
discriminatory policy with your own version of a discriminatory policy."
(The "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy is specified by
4 June 2007 ABC News story "Disparity
of ROTC programs raises concern that cadets aren't diverse enough: Virginia
has 11 ROTC programs while New York City only has 2".
6 June 2007 Harvard ROTC
Commissioning Ceremony 2007.
6 June 2007 Remarks at the Harvard ROTC
Commissioning Ceremony 2007 by Stephen
Rosen, Kaneb Professor of National Security and Military Affairs at Harvard.
6 June 2007 Remarks at the Harvard
ROTC Commissioning Ceremony 2007 by LTC Leo McGonagle,
Professor of Military Science at MIT.
7 June 2007 Harvard University Gazette article "Eleven
elevated to officer: ROTC proudly celebrates commissions". Note:
The father of Ensign Donald Coates '07 said of his son’s choice to enter the
military "This wouldn’t have been my first choice, but I’m proud that he’s
achieved what he wanted to. He had to get up at 7 a.m. to take the train
down to MIT while his roommates were still sleeping."
8 June 2007 Wall Street Journal editorial "Faustian
Bargain". Note: The Journal notes that former Harvard
president Lawrence Summers spoke at the ROTC Commissioning Ceremony every year
of his presidency, yet this year neither acting president Derek Bok nor
president-elect Drew Gilpin Faust accepted invitations to attend.
"Faculties now say they object to the military's "don't ask, don't tell"
policy on gays, but the anti-ROTC hostility seems more owing to the
sentiments of the "antiwar" movement and other ideological academic causes.
Chastened by Mr. Summers's toppling, Ms. Faust is no doubt wary of upsetting
this constituency, if she is not a part of it herself."
8 June 2007 Video "MIT
Army ROTC Year in Review '06-'07".
14 June 2007 Boston Globe Op-Ed column "The
patriot and the Harvard president" by Brian Wright O'Connor '78.
Note: O'Connor recounts "an example of the political confrontation
needed to allow every patriot to serve in uniform". Charles V.
"Chuck" DePriest '77 "marched into Massachusetts Hall and sat in Derek Bok's
outer office until the Harvard president had no choice but to see him."
President Bok arranged for Harvard to cash DePriest's ROTC scholarship
check, but kept the ROTC program off campus and denied credit for ROTC
courses taken at MIT, despite the cross-registration agreement with MIT.
However, as Steven Peck '79 related to Advocates for ROTC, DePriest's
actions were only the first step towards allowing "every patriot to serve in
uniform". "DePriest was allowed to enroll secretly", relates Peck. "While he
was enrolled I was told cross registration couldn't be allowed" but after
Peck "found out half way through the year they let him in" and protested,
Peck became the second person to enroll in ROTC, and through these efforts,
cross-registering in ROTC at MIT became open to all Harvard students.
22 June 2007 Harvard Crimson article "After
Harvard Leaders' Absence, ROTC Supporters Fear Return to Icy Relations: Wall
Street Journal, student Republicans criticize Bok, Faust for failing to
speak at commissioning ceremony". Note: Former
President Lawrence Summers commented that while one can "disagree passionately
with the elected officials who bear responsibility for military policies on
issues ranging from the war in Iraq to gays in the military," these concerns
are not sufficient "not to support those who commit themselves to the
defense of our country." The article referred to the text of
Prof. Rosen's speech as being on "ROTC's Web site"; actually it is
25 June 2007 Inside Higher Ed column "The
Defense Department vs. Free Speech on Campus" by John K. Wilson.
Note: The author of Patriotic Correctness: Academic Freedom
and Its Enemies writes that the military is about to "invade" American
colleges. Sparked by the
proposed regulations to implement the
changes in the Solomon Amendment, Wilson objects to the provisions in
Vitalization Act of 1964 about faculty appointments and course credit
for ROTC, without making it clear that these provisions are due to the 1964
law. He also claims that language in the regulations about military
recruiters experiencing "an inferior or unsafe recruiting climate" would
"ban all protests against military recruiters", even though the
oral arguments before the Supreme Court indicated that protests are
permitted. He also states that "there is no college that has actually
banned the military from renting space on campus like any other group and
holding ROTC training sessions". Such a plan could be tested most
easily by a non-governmental query because the Pentagon doing so "would
trigger the Solomon Amendment"
according to Fred Cook, who has served on the Defense Business Board.
July 2007 Harvard Magazine article "Warriors".
Note: Harvard's alumni magazine covered the annual ROTC
Commissioning and noted "Lawrence H. Summers spoke at the event in each of
his years as president, but President Derek Bok did not attend."
July - August 2007 The American Interest article "Beyond
the Cloister" by Gen. David Petraeus. Note: The top
general in Iraq argues that "We need officers comfortable not just with
major combat operations but with operations conducted throughout the middle-
and lower-ends of the spectrum of conflict, as well. That is why it is
so important to get the officers who will be our future commanders and
leaders out of their intellectual comfort zones... Just as the best way by
far to learn a foreign language is to live in the culture where the language
is spoken, the best way to learn about other worldviews is to go to and live
in another world" such as that of a civilian university. "When I first
went to Iraq in 2003, my colleagues and I were repeatedly greeted by
Iraqis—in the case at hand, in Mosul—who would say to us in the course of
conversation: “We love democracy!...What is it?” I particularly remember
being pulled aside after a provincial council meeting by an Iraqi business
professor from Mosul University who cautioned, “You know, general, this idea
of free markets scares some of these individuals.” I was not surprised,
because as a Princeton international relations/economics Ph.D. (and later an
assistant professor at West Point) I was well aware of the uneven spread of
liberal ideas. And I was not totally at a loss for answers .."
July 2007 PS: Political Science & Politics article "Students
in Uniform: ROTC, the Citizen-Soldier, and the Civil-Military Gap" by
David L. Leal. Note: The article has many details about
ROTC that are useful background to issues related to ROTC on campuses.
For example, the article notes that "except for the time involved in summer
military activities, students are not subject to the Uniform Code of
Military Justice (UCMJ)".
6 July 2007 Boston Globe article "NU
dismissing faculty without advanced degrees". Note:
This article about Northeastern University provides context for the concern
among academics about credentials of ROTC faculty. The article
describes "a national trend" to have faculty with higher degrees and
research experience. Although this seems to run afoul of the
provisions about faculty appointments for ROTC professors in the ROTC
Vitalization Act of 1964, there may be a workaround to this problem.
The Globe article describes how after a communication studies faculty member
was fired and students protested, she was "rehired for her previous lecturer
position through Northeastern's School of Professional and Continuing
Studies, which does not have the same restrictions on credentials as the
regular undergraduate programs". Harvard's Kennedy School of
Government is another example of having non-traditional faculty appointments
for people with government or media experience. The Kennedy School's
National Security Program, which has retired military leaders as faculty,
may be a good home for Harvard ROTC faculty appointments.
20 July 2007 New Yorker blog item "Guns
and Brains" by George Packer. Note: Packer predicts that
current military conflicts will reduce the civilian-military divide, citing
as examples the "soldiers whose reputations have been made and not destroyed
in Iraq—General David Petraeus, Colonel H. R. McMaster, Lieutenant Colonel
John Nagl—have doctorates in the humanities".
20 July 2007 Marine Corps News article "MECEP
student spent five years in Corps before returning to Harvard".
Note: Talya C. Havice left Harvard Colleges after one year, served
in the Marines, and came back to finish her degree.
20 July 2007 Harvard Crimson "postcard" "There
Once Was a Base…" by Reva P. Minkoff '08. Note: A
Crimson editor is housed on a military base while working at Google and the
experience of having soldiers around her gets her "to think differently
about the military and military life".
22 July 2007 Washington Post article "Their
war". Note: "since the end of the draft in '73, the
percentage of officers educated in the isolated bubble of the military
academies, instead of in ROTC, has doubled. This is producing an officer
corps that collectively is less and less representative of the civilian
world it serves, a trend observed by professor and national security
specialist Michael Desch." See
letter on 31 July.
22 July 2007 Harvard ROTC Aviation
Award 2007. Note: Harvard Navy ROTC graduate Danielle
Thiriot '07 zoomed into the sky on two flights in vintage east-block
aircraft as winner of the 2007 Harvard ROTC Aviation Award.
31 July 2007 Washington Post letter "A
Military World Apart" by Stephen K. Trynosky. Note:
The writer, a captain in the Army Reserve, wishes the
article "had explored those actions taken by the military to hasten this
disconnection ... I have seen a disturbing trend of the military moving to
distance itself from larger society".
6 August 2007 Cybercast News Service article "Harassment
of Military Recruiters Sparks Lawsuit at College". Note:
America's Foundation filed a lawsuit against Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates to compel him to enforce the Solomon Amendment at the University of California-Santa Cruz. The
university "allowed military recruiters to be harassed and forced off campus by student protesters" and "In 2007, the military recruiters opted out of the job fair". The
Solomon Amendment is invoked when "the Secretary of Defense determines
that that institution (or any subelement of that institution) has a policy
or practice (regardless of when implemented) that either prohibits, or in
effect prevents ... the Secretary of a military department ... from gaining
entry to campuses, or access to students (who are 17 years of age or older)
on campuses, for purposes of military recruiting". If the Secretary of
Defense can be required to make such a determination, such a ruling will
also be applicable to ROTC, also covered by the Solomon Amendment, and
clearly prohibited at some colleges.
17 August 2007 Wall Street Journal column "Professors
on the Battlefield: Where the warfare is more than just academic." by
Evan R Goldstein. Note: Goldstein suggests that "the
Vietnam-era legacy of mistrust--even hostility--between academe and the
military may be eroding" and cites a "shift in the zeitgeist is embodied by
Gen. David H. Petraeus". However, an academic denounced such
civilian-military cooperation as "the militarization of the social sciences"
and an activist
denounced it as "counter to the historic freedom of university life".
28 August 2007 Associated Press article "Vets
Welcomed at Colleges". Note: Students who are
veterans are bringing current real world experience to campus.
3 September 2007 Washington Post article "Talk
About Field Trips!: Petraeus Gave Student Summer VIP Tour of Iraq".
Note: Gen. David Petraeus took a 19 year old Princeton ROTC
cadet under his wing. "I think he's universally well known for finding
smart people who are interested in doing things a little differently, and I
think that's a major reason for his success," says Capt. Elizabeth McNally,
West Point graduate and Rhodes Scholar who is Petraeus's speechwriter.
Petraeus said "We need all the brilliant young people we can get. I'll just
have to wait three years or so for this one."
7 September 2007 Wall Street Journal
by Shane Cotner. Note: Responding to an
article about the role of alumni in university governance, Cotner wrote
"Dartmouth alumni are fortunate to have a man like T.J. Rodgers to represent
their views, and a mechanism that allows those alumni to elect leaders like
him to its board of trustees. As an alum of Columbia, my views have no
comparable representation of which I am aware. When I hear about Columbia
pursuing policies such as the banning of ROTC, and its lack of punishment
for students who abuse conservative speakers, I realize I have no recourse
7 September 2007 ROTC Cadets Get Petraeus
Visit at Fort Benning Ceremonies.
8 September 2007 Associated Press article "Petraeus
travels to Benning to see son jump". Note: Gen.
Petraeus took a break from preparing for his congressional appearances to
pin jump wings on his son, an Army ROTC cadet at MIT. Stephen Petraeus said "My dad is a jumpmaster and a master parachutist,” he said. “I
hardly think he’s nervous about giving a speech."
17 September 2007 Harvard Crimson editorial "A
Laudable Battle: The University should not shy away from military
scholarship". Note: The editors of Harvard's student
newspaper observe "For all our devotion to the values of academia, we hardly
study the war in Iraq and its ramifications .... Since the social uprisings
of the late sixties, Harvard has distanced itself from the military. The
Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) was banished from Harvard in 1969, the
same year as the student takeover of University Hall to protest the Vietnam
War. With it went the close ties between Harvard and the military that
defined the institution during World War II and even into the Kennedy
administration. While bringing ROTC back to campus should not be conflated
with studying war, both stem from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences’
continuing apathy toward a more comprehensive study of national security ...
Harvard has a handful of war scholars and courses directly related to the
subject. But the topic is so vast and important to our nation’s immediate
and long-term future that we believe Harvard—and academia at large—should
devote more resources to its study and teaching. Otherwise, the University
will have abdicated an important part of its mission—to educate wise and
informed citizens." A
opinion lists many courses about war at Harvard and suggests: "If you
intend to study war as a social, political, and cultural phenomenon, Harvard
can ably meet your needs. But if you’re still curious about how best to
crush the infidels, then take the T to MIT, or better yet, the train to West
18 September 2007 New York Sun editorial "Faust's
First Move". Note: The Sun notes the support for ROTC
by former Harvard president Lawrence Summers and suggests about incoming
president Drew Faust that "one of the things people will be watching for her
to say" when she is installed as president is "some words about the
responsibilities of a university to its country in a war against an enemy
determined not only to destroy Israel but also the rest of Western
18 September 2007 New York Times article "Is
‘Do Unto Others’ Written Into Our Genes?". Note: A
moral psychologist defines the varied mental systems underlying morality,
providing a framework for understanding how different groups are talking
past each other when they address the issues relating to ROTC from different
perspectives such as duty or rights of minorities.
20 September 2007 Weekly Standard column "Columbia
University: Ahmadinejad Yes, ROTC No" by William Kristol. Note:
Kristol contrasts hosting a talk and question period by the Iranian
president with Columbia's prohibition of ROTC based on its campus.
20 September 2007 Wall Street Journal "Best of the Web Today" item "Columbia's
Priorities" by James Taranto. Note: Taranto
embellishes William Kristol's
point about the Iranian president and ROTC by noting that Iran executes
people for homosexual acts.
20 September 2007 New York Sun article "Outrage
Builds Over Ahmadinejad Visit to Columbia". Note:
Mr. McCain said "A man who is
directing the maiming and killing of American troops should not be given an
invitation to speak at an American university. Rather than rolling out the
red carpet for the leader of a terrorist-sponsoring regime, Columbia should
be welcoming the Reserve Officers' Training Corps back on campus to honor
the men and women who put their lives on the line every day defending our
21 September 2007 Wall Street Journal editorial "Lee
Bollinger, Tough Guy". Note: The Journal criticizes
Columbia for hosting the Iranian president, yet not allowing ROTC.
- 22 September 2007 Fox & Friends
Interview with Ted
Graske Jr., Chairman of the Columbia
Alliance for ROTC. Note: Graske discussed the irony
of Columbia hosting Iranian President Ahmadinejad and banning ROTC from
- 24 September 2007
Fox News interview with Columbia student Kelley Victor-Gasper '09.
Note: Victor-Gasper, a Marine corps officer candidate notes the
irony of Columbia's welcoming of Iranian President Ahmadinejad and banning
of ROTC from campus. He notes that the ROTC ban is a protest against
US law about homosexuality in the military, yet Ahmadinejad's regime
executes people for homosexuality.
27 September 2007 speech by Senator
John McCain at the Hudson Institute. Note: McCain
noted that the Iranian president was welcomed at Columbia but ROTC was not,
and said "Harvard and other great American universities remain closed to
ROTC, whose graduates represent the bulk of the officers commissioned into
our Armed Forces each year. Some academic elites may not like ROTC, and
they are free to voice their objections. But they are wrong, and I stand
with the many graduates of these institutions who for years have been trying
in vain to bring ROTC back to their campuses."
29 September 2007 Boston Globe article "On
campus & in training: As the Iraq war continues, it's a challenging time for
area ROTC students". Note: The article describes
experiences of ROTC students in the Boston area, including a protest by the
City of Cambridge about military exercises.
29 September 2007 Boston Globe article "Controversy
at Harvard". Note: The Globe interviewed LTC Leo
McGonagle, Professor of Military Science at MIT, who said "Would I love to
see Harvard allow ROTC on campus? Absolutely. But if that's not going to
happen in the short term, that's OK because Harvard is producing some
fantastic Army officers right now." The numbers given in the article
for Harvard students are only for the Army program; others are in similar
Air Force and Navy programs. The Globe misquoted Paul Mawn, chairman
of Advocates for Harvard ROTC, about the
administrative fees paid to MIT. Those expenses are paid by an
independent privately managed fund, established in 1995, not connected to
Advocates for Harvard ROTC.
- 4 October 2007 Columbia Spectator column "ROTC
Presence Is Not a Free Speech Issue" by Rebecca Evans. Note:
Evans observes "We certainly did not, and will not, invite Ahmadinejad to
set up a campus-based institution intended for recruitment and training... A
more apt and pressing statement is this: if Columbia truly cares about
questioning the ideologies and actions of those with whom it disagrees, it
will welcome a military or government official who would be willing to speak
to—and be spoken to by—the Columbia community".
- 11 October 2007 Harvard Crimson article "ROTC
Guard To Greet Faust". Note: At the request of
Harvard ROTC students, Harvard President Drew Faust agreed to a color guard
of ROTC students at her inauguration. President Faust also said that
she would consider attending next year’s commissioning ceremony if she were
15 October 2007 Minding the Campus blog item "The
ROTC Is Not Invited At Harvard" by Anthony Paletta. Note:
The item points out that recent appearances by Harvard ROTC students at
Harvard events have come as a result of requests by the students.
16 October 2007 Chicago Maroon editorial "Allow
room for ROTC". Note: The student newspaper of the
University of Chicago called for the university to reverse its exclusion of
18 October 2007 Morning Prayer
remarks by Prof. Harry Lewis at Harvard. Note: The
former dean of Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences quotes from Romans
14:13 "that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his
brother's way" and opines on Harvard's gay-rights concerns about ROTC "I
don’t think Harvard’s stance on ROTC is morally tenable. We should not
attempt to remove the barriers facing some of our students by placing
stumbling blocks in the path of others... The issue is not bringing an
ROTC unit to Harvard. Units are merging today, not splitting. We should
normalize Harvard’s relations with MIT ROTC. Harvard ought to pay its bills
to MIT directly. It ought to bus our ROTC students as it buses our
- 29 October 2007 Columbia Spectator column "Why
Columbia Needs the Marine Corps and Vice Versa" by Michael Christman. Note: A 2000 engineering graduate joined the Marines and urges
others to do the same. "How can Columbia hope to produce the next
generation of American leaders if it refuses to walk a mile in the shoes of
those of whom we ask the most?"
November 2007 Proceedings (U.S. Naval Institute) article "The
Few. The Proud. The (Harvard???) Marines". Note:
Veterans at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and Harvard Business
School report no hostility at Harvard these days - just a mixture
of appreciation, curiosity and indifference. "Harvard’s
Marines—and many other recent veterans as well—say they feel a special
obligation to try to bridge the civilian-military divide. “I’m the
only Marine in my [class] section, and I take very seriously my obligation
that I may be the only Marine people meet,” Captain [Maura] Sullivan says."
See also the December letter by Owen West '91 commenting on this issue from the perspective of
ROTC. Reprinted from Proceedings with permission; Copyright © 2007 U.S. Naval
14 November 2007 Harvard Crimson Op-Ed "Stumbling
Blocks" by Harry R. Lewis ’68. Note: A member of the
Steering Committee of Advocates for Harvard ROTC and former dean of Harvard
college notes the appearance of an ROTC color guard at the inauguration of
Harvard president Drew Faust, writes "I don’t think Harvard’s stance on ROTC
is morally tenable. We should not attempt to remove the barriers facing some
of our students by placing stumbling blocks in the path of others. To
quote Democratic Congressman Barney Frank ’61 (Massachusetts), speaking
courageously some weeks ago on a related matter, “idealism that is empowered
by pragmatism is the way in which we make progress.”"
14 November 2007 Fordham Law Review 76: 955-79 "Myth
and Reality of University Trusteeship in the Post-Enron Era" by José A.
Cabranes. Note: Judge Cabranes, a
trustee of Columbia University, notes how "trustees play no significant
role even on major questions relating to the external relations of
universities to the government that subsidizes them in so many ways, for
example, whether a university should offer its students the opportunity to
participate in reserved [sic] officers’ training corps (ROTC) programs.
The usual playbook is this: Trustees are informed by presidents that, for a
variety of political or academic reasons, the faculty would find the return
of ROTC intolerable and that any action to the contrary by trustees would
make the president’s own position within the university untenable. Given the
power of the faculties, the president is probably right. In any case,
trustees will be reluctant to make the president vulnerable in the polity he
knows far better than they."
17 November 2007 Washington Post article "Petraeus
Helping Pick New Generals: Army Says Innovation Will Be Rewarded".
Note: "It's unprecedented for the commander of an active
theater to be brought back to head something like a brigadier generals
board," said retired Maj. Gen. Robert Scales, former head of the Army War
College. "Dave Petraeus in many ways is viewed as the archetype of what this new
generation of senior leader is all about, a guy . . . who
understands information operations, who can be effective on
Capitol Hill, who can communicate with Iraqis, who understands the
value of original thought, who has the ability through the power of his
intellect to lead people to change." Petraeus, who merges
real world military leadership with the best of academic openness, is
defining a new model of leadership that bears a striking resemblance to the
combination produced by ROTC training at top universities. Those
institutions that shun the military are likely to find that their graduates are not at
the table when the next generation of leaders gets together to get things
26 November 2007 Brown Daily Herald article "ROTC
exchange with [Providence College] down to a lone student".
Note: The article profiles the lone Brown student enrolled in
ROTC, Adam Swartzbaugh '09. Keeping down the numbers is a lack of
interest on the part of the Brown community and the attitude of the
admissions office towards military service.
26 November 2007 Brown Daily Herald editorial "Bring
back ROTC?". Note: The student newspaper of Brown
University called for opposing ROTC because "it is unacceptable that
discrimination against openly gay students would be allowed on our campus".
- December 2007 Proceedings (U.S. Naval Institute)
letter in response to "The
Few. The Proud. The (Harvard???) Marines" by Owen West '91.
Note: West takes issue with the statement in the original
article that Naval ROTC
midshipmen "are as much at home at Harvard" as veterans who are graduate
students. He points out that the faculty has a "clear disdain" of ROTC
and that there was a
similar attitude from the university administration except during the term
of President Summers. Reprinted from Proceedings with permission; Copyright © 2007 U.S. Naval
- 2 December 2007 Army ROTC
Commissioning Ceremony at Columbia University.
- 22 December 2007 New York Times article "Scholars
and the Military Share a Foxhole, Uneasily". Note: At
a conference about counterinsurgency co-sponsored by Harvard's Kennedy
School of Government, "Gen. David H. Petraeus, now the top American
commander in Iraq, was impressed with what he heard ... and on the spot
began assembling a team to revise the doctrine." As recounted in an
article in the US Naval Institute's
Proceedings magazine, Harvard's Kennedy School is a part of the university
that is quite receptive to the military.
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