Archive for March 3, 2011

SHAKO: Harvard Allows ROTC to Return to Campus

Seems Like Old Times

After more than 40 years, Harvard University is allowing the Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC), back on campus, the New York Times and other news outlets are reporting.

The nation’s oldest university gave ROTC the gate during the turbulent Vietnam anti-war fervor. Even after the war ended, the ban continued, the ban remained because of the military’s restriction on gays and lesbians serving openly in the services.

With Congress’ repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy of the Clinton administration, several groups – including conservative pundits – started petitioning Harvard’s leadership to rescind the ban, according to the Harvard Crimson.

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus and Harvard President Drew G. Faust are slated to sign an agreement Friday allowing an ROTC presence on the Cambridge, Mass, campus once President Obama and the Pentagon are assured the gay policy change will not significantly disrupt the armed services.

In the meantime, ROTC cadets will have to continue training at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as they have done for decades, according to the Associated Press.

The Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps program was established in 1926 to provide a broad base of citizens knowledgeable in the arts and science of naval warfare. Harvard was one of the six original colleges to host Naval ROTC. The other schools welcoming the first ROTC cadets were: the University of California at Berkeley, Georgia Tech, Northwestern, the University of Washington and Yale.

Soon Navy ROTC cadets, like these from Florida's Jacksonville University, will be returning to the Harvard campus. (U.S.Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Gary Granger Jr.)

March 3, 2011 at 11:40 pm Leave a comment


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