Welcome Back ROTC

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Harvard announced on Friday that it will lift its four-decade-long ban on the Reserve Officers Training Corps. It’s about time.

The prohibition formally ceases when the military implements Congress’s repeal of its “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy later this year. Although Harvard’s agreement now extends only to the Department of the Navy, the school intends to reach out to other branches of the military as well. Harvard’s recognition won’t likely change the burden of cadets traveling two subway stops to MIT to participate in training and education since there are too few cadets at Harvard to justify a separate unit. Recognition will grant such perks as office space, funding, and access to Harvard vehicles. During periods of ROTC’s exile, Harvard prevented cadets from meeting in unused classroom space and holding commissioning ceremonies in Harvard Yard. The attitude on the Cambridge, Massachusetts campus has become more tolerant toward martial pursuits since 9/11.

“Our renewed relationship affirms the vital role that the members of our Armed Forces play in serving the nation and securing our freedoms, while also affirming inclusion and opportunity as powerful American ideals,” Harvard President Drew Faust proclaimed. “It broadens the pathways for students to participate in an honorable and admirable calling and in so doing advances our commitment to both learning and service.” Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, a Harvard Law graduate who also spoke at the ceremony announcing ROTC’s return, concurred: “It does not serve our country well if any part of society does not share in the honor of its defense.”

Not everyone, particularly at Harvard, finds military service so honorable. Outside Friday’s historic ceremony, dozens of protestors chanted “No ROTC without trans equality” and held signs reading “R.I.P. non-discrimination policy.” Just as the exclusion of open homosexuals from military service acted as the justification for the ban on ROTC long after the original Vietnam rationale had become history, the military’s exclusion of transsexuals, some had hoped, would become the new issue blocking ROTC on campus. Harvard’s non-discrimination policy, like those at several other top schools, forbids discrimination based on gender identity.

The failure for this argument to resonate—perhaps for the obvious reason that there are few transsexuals and fewer still interested in military careers—at Harvard likely bodes well for ROTC’s reestablishment at other elite campuses. Just as colleges played follow the leader to Harvard when it first moved against ROTC in 1969, schools will likely imitate America’s most esteemed school’s move to restore ROTC in 2011. Stanford, Yale, Columbia, and Brown are among elite institutions of higher learning considering an about-face on ROTC in light of Congress’s about-face on the Clinton-era “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

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  • USMCSniper

    Yep, it is no longer "The Marine Corps Needs a Few Good Men", as Congress has mandated that the Marines recruit manly girls and girly mans. Next Harvard will be demanding that the Marines recruit transgenders, and those self-made freaks who call themselves shemales or they will ban the ROTC on campus again.

  • USMCSniper

    Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Dartmouth, Brown, and Columbia — and pretty much all the rest of the artsy fartsy Ivies — tossed ROTC out not in response to the DADT law, but back in about 1969 at the height of the Vietnam antiwar protests because the faculties were pro communists. They latched on to the DADT law only as an excuse to continue their exclusion of the military after the enactment of the Solomon Amendment in 1996 threatened their federal grant money. It's never been enforced, more is the pity. Now they want to have the military inlcude "transgenders" which would include self made human freaks called shemales.

  • Allen

    It appears that Harvard's repeal of ROTC ban is entirely conditional. The article states that the repeal of the ROTC ban applies, at least initially, to the NAVY only and IF the military "implements Congress’s repeal of its “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy later this year". Harvard is constructing conditions and position to bargain and coerce a drastic action into the military. Harvard is conniving and not authentic to support ROTC programs. Harvard just wants the money that goes with sponsoring the ROTC but wants to gut the program itself.

  • Matthew Quigley

    I wouldn't serve under some Harvard idiot…USAFA was bad enough, but the Ivy League would be worse. ROTC officers from state and some of the smaller private schools were regular guys, and OTS officers were too, but USAFA officers were worthless…and the Ivies would be as bad.

    • Sam

      So General Petraeus (USMA and PhD from princeton) is worthless?

  • bdan

    Hey harvard, GO F YOURSELF. I find it abhorrent that at the same time you could claim to foster the nations best and brightest, you could caste judgement and watch as 5,885 military members are killed in Iraq and Afghanistan based on a policy that none of them had anything to do with. If you are truly the cradle of our country's leadership, maybe you could have helped

  • taffyincanada

    Caught you lying once today Front Page. http://frontpagemag.com/2011/03/09/ahmadinejad-ma….
    Makes me question the honesty of this story.

  • waterwillows

    American Ivy League colleges sold out to the arab coin long ago. Don't expect much of anything from them. Today it is mostly dhimmi intellectuals thinking by rote.

  • tagalog

    Harvard said no ROTC on campus because of "Don't Ask Don't Tell." Now their excuse is the policy towards the transgendered.

    As college students of a particular bent once said back in the 1960s, "the agenda is not the agenda." Or, "behind every double standard, there's a single standard." You just have to isolate it.

  • Edward

    The Ivy League will all soon be fully embracing ROTC. Why? Because with the institutionalization of homosexuality in the US Military, the chain of command will be corrupted and rendered illegitimate. The homosexualization will also lead to a fundamental realignment from the military values of integrity, patriotism and courage to those supporting the covert sexual depravity that is not to be opposed. In this regard, note how the US Military dealt with Col. Hassen of Ft. Hood infamy. Not only no reprimands for his jihad madness, but he was designated "star".