Storming the Ivory Tower: The Military's
Return to American Campuses
"The process of obtaining high human
capital for fighting units, like readiness for battle itself,
cannot be instituted at the last minute." - General Max Thurman,
A recent Supreme Court decision, Rumsfeld v.
Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights, Inc. (FAIR), has once
again opened university campuses to military recruiters. No longer
can the nation's most selective schools accept federal Education
or Health and Human Services Department dollars while restricting
military recruitment on their grounds. As we go forward, it is important
to understand the evolution of these universities' antipathies toward
the military and to craft a reasoned recruiting response targeting
students from schools that have previously shut their doors to the
After more than 50 years of cooperation between
the US military and universities, antiwar protests culminated in
the Reserve Officers' Training Corps' (ROTC) exile from many campuses
in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Two decades later, not content
with the mere absence of ROTC, some prominent institutions, such
as Harvard and Yale, went so far as to erect barriers to military
recruiting on campus, claiming that US Defense Department regulations
were incompatible with the schools' own non-discrimination policies.
In the mid-1990s, Congress attempted to bring the military back
to these campuses through federal legislation, but several of the
schools and their faculties petitioned the courts to overturn these
The Rumsfeld v. FAIR2
decision is a signal victory in the ongoing effort to return the
military to the country's most selective universities. Granted,
during the past four decades, many schools never severed their ties
with the military. Recruiters have continued to play valuable roles
in job fairs and career counseling, successfully ushering thousands
of students into uniform. For example, today 272 campuses host Army
ROTC programs; Army ROTC generates more officers than the US Military
Academy, Officer Candidate School, and direct commissions combined.
One might be tempted to say that the military has gotten along quite
well despite the hurdles to recruiting and lack of ROTC programs
on most Ivy League campuses; why try to fix what's not broken? This
article does not intend to denigrate the quality of existing campus
outreach efforts but rather to address the reintroduction of the
military to schools that have been hostile to the military since
the Vietnam War. There is a largely untapped pool of talented young
men and women at universities such as Harvard, Yale, Stanford, and
Columbia. Our armed services would be remiss if they did not take
appropriate steps to bring the military to these individuals with
an eye toward bringing these individuals into the military.
This article provides a brief exposition of
Rumsfeld v. FAIR then examines the origins of one school's antipathy
toward the military as a representative case amongst the country's
premier academic institutions. The article finally turns to a discussion
of strategies by which to reinstate the military on these campuses
in the wake of Rumsfeld v. FAIR.
Rumsfeld v. FAIR and the Solomon Amendment
On 6 March 2006, the US Supreme Court ruled
in Rumsfeld v. FAIR that universities accepting certain federal
funds must allow military recruiters the same access that other
prospective employers enjoy on campus. Prior to this decision, many
of the country's top academic institutions had restricted military
recruiting, claiming that the military's so-called "don't ask,
don't tell" approach toward homosexuals violated the universities'
own non-discrimination policies. In 1994, Congress responded in
its annual defense appropriation bill by adopting what is now commonly
known as the Solomon Amendment. The Amendment tied millions of dollars
in federal funding to universities' willingness to allow military
recruiters on campus.3
For years, the Solomon Amendment languished
in the law books. After 11 September 2001, however, the federal
government expanded the scope of the Solomon Amendment and stepped
up its enforcement, triggering a backlash in the halls of academia.
Moreover, in 2002 Defense Department officials interpreted the Solomon
Amendment to require the cancellation of federal funding to an entire
university if even one of its sub-divisions restricted military
recruiting. For example, the Yale School of Medicine, which relies
heavily upon federal dollars, would have been crippled by Yale Law
School's hostile position toward recruiters. In addition, instead
of merely requiring universities to allow recruiters on campus,
Congress instructed universities to accommodate recruiters "in
a manner that is at least equal in quality and scope to the access
to campuses and to students that is provided to any other employer."4
At the time, career counselors at the country's most selective schools
worked hand-in-hand with prospective private-sector employers but
pointedly prohibited military recruiters from participating in the
schools' formal interview systems.
Considering the Solomon Amendment a violation
of their own First Amendment freedoms of speech and association,
an anonymous consortium of 31 law schools and professors banded
together to form the Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights,
Inc. and challenged the Solomon Amendment's constitutionality. Several
universities announced that they were temporarily suspending their
non-discrimination policies until there was a legal resolution to
the constitutionality dispute. In the meantime, these schools, under
protest, permitted military recruiters to participate in their interview
programs and job fairs.
The controversy came to a head in the case
of Rumsfeld v. FAIR. In 2003, FAIR filed suit against the federal
government, seeking to prevent enforcement of the Solomon Amendment.
After contradictory decisions in lower courts, the US Supreme Court
agreed to hear the arguments of FAIR and the Department of Defense.
Reasoning that Congress could legitimately require universities
to provide military recruiters with equal access, even without tying
the issue to the receipt of federal funds, the Supreme Court ruled
unanimously, 8-0, against FAIR.5 Campus
gates once again swung open to the military.
A Case Study: Yale University
One of the great ironies of the Solomon Amendment
battle is that among the most bitter foes of the armed services'
presence on campus were those institutions with the longest traditions
of military service. Yale University is such a school.
At Yale today, there are about 5,200 undergraduates
and 6,000 graduate students. The college remains one of the most
selective undergraduate programs in the nation, offering admission
to only 8.6 percent of the more than 21,000 applicants for the Class
of 2010. A walk across the campus in New Haven, Connecticut reveals
monumental war memorials of granite and white marble, celebrating
the ultimate sacrifice of past graduates. Neat rows of carved names
attest to passersby of the school's past commitment to military
service: 227 graduates killed in World War I; 514 in World War II.
Indeed, one of the iconic images of Yale is a statue of Army Captain
Nathan Hale, Class of 1773, facing execution during the Revolutionary
War and regretting that he had but one life to give for his country.
University as Military Camp
Yale's tradition of military service remained
strong through the first half of the 20th century. Even before the
United States entered World War I, Yale had established a military
training program for its students. In 1915, when the university
called for the formation of a field artillery unit as part of the
Connecticut National Guard, more than 1,000 Yale students and graduates
volunteered. Turning half of the prospective artillerymen away,
the school sponsored four National Guard batteries.6
A year later, a generous alumnus funded the building of the Yale
Armory, which first functioned as a US Cavalry training center.
Congress created ROTC in the National Defense Act of 1916, and Yale
President Arthur Hadley folded the university's program into the
larger national effort. Yale faculty members voted 38-0 to award
academic credit for ROTC training.7
On 27 March 1917, ten days before the United
States officially entered World War I, the Yale administration's
senior officers announced that for any junior who enlisted in the
military "due credit towards a degree will be given him for
satisfactory work in the Army or Navy."8
In total, more than 9,000 Yale students and graduates served in
the military during the war. And, as already noted, 227 Yale students
lost their lives in the conflict. The administration acknowledged
the sacrifice of these men and celebrated the role of the university
in supplying such individuals to the war effort.9
After World War I, ROTC maintained its position
on Yale's campus and spread rapidly across the country. There were
135 campuses that featured ROTC units in 1919; the program counted
220 colleges and universities by 1940.10
In the National Defense Act of 1920, Congress provided more uniforms,
equipment, and instructors for ROTC, and cadets began to receive
a subsistence allowance for haircuts and uniform maintenance, as
well as a stipend during the six-week summer program between junior
and senior years. During the inter-war period, ROTC involved four
years of military science instruction, including a basic course
of three hours per week during a student's first two years and an
advanced course of five hours per week during his final two undergraduate
years. Each school could determine the number of credit hours awarded
for the military science courses. Some Yale professors, however,
harbored reservations about the intellectual value of the courses
that comprised the ROTC curriculum; furthermore, professors took
issue with the quality of the instructors that the military assigned
to the school.
The clouds of international conflict stifled
faculty objections to ROTC's content and instructors. As Nazi Germany
swept through Poland and France, Yale President Charles Seymour
prepared the school for war, believing that "the justification
of a university is to be found in the service which it gives to
the nation."11 After the Japanese
bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941, hundreds of Yale students rushed to
military recruiting stations and Seymour announced that the university
would operate year round, granting undergraduate degrees in three
years in an effort to provide graduates to the military as quickly
as possible.12 Enrollment soared and,
as Yale professor Paul Kennedy has observed, Yale became a crowded
"military camp" for the second time in its history.13
By the conflict's completion, 18,678 Yale alumni had served in the
military and 514 of these men had died in uniform.
With the conclusion of World War II, the armed
services attempted to keep ROTC viable while the country's campuses
demilitarized. A total of 129 schools claimed Army ROTC units in
September 1945.14 As the Cold War set
in, professors and administrators at the country's most prestigious
universities still trumpeted the importance of retaining a military
presence on their campuses.15 The Korean
War brought with it a powerful incentive to join Yale and other
schools' ROTC programs; by the terms of the Universal Military Training
and Service Act of 1951, a student who enrolled in ROTC gained a
deferment from the draft.16
When the Korean War ended, student interest
in ROTC began to flag. Furthermore, university faculty members again
began to express doubts about the inclusion of ROTC in a liberal
education. In 1960 the Army attempted to silence academic critics
of ROTC by unveiling the Modified General Military Science Program,
which permitted students to use college courses in fields such as
psychology, political science, and communications to fulfill certain
ROTC curriculum requirements. Then, to boost officer production,
Congress passed the ROTC Vitalization Act of 1964, which featured
5,500 scholarships, a raise in the monthly subsistence allowance
from approximately $27 to $50, and an abbreviated, two-year curriculum
option.17 The expansion of the draft
in 1964 added further incentive for students to enter the military
on their own terms by earning commissions through ROTC; other students
participated in ROTC with an eye toward avoiding military service
The Banishment of ROTC
As the Vietnam War progressed, campus sentiment
at many schools began to turn against the military. The Viet Cong's
Tet Offensive in January 1968 touched off a succession of student
and faculty rallies against United States involvement in Vietnam.
Antiwar sentiment at universities crystallized around opposition
to the most visible sign of the military on campus: ROTC. Protests,
violence, and vandalism erupted across the Ivy League. On 9 April
1969, Harvard students occupied their school's chief administration
building, University Hall, in protest of the Vietnam War. Antiwar
faculty members at Yale set their sights on the school's ROTC program,
resurrecting the old arguments that "[s]ince 1917 ROTC . .
. had been an academic anomaly, providing credit toward the Yale
degree with courses of slight intellectual weight taught by officers
with courtesy faculty rank but slight teaching experience."19
These professors contended that ROTC instruction was a vocational
intrusion, rather than a legitimate part of a liberal education,
and thus was not fit for Yale's campus.
Two weeks after the student occupation of Harvard's
University Hall, the Yale faculty asked Yale President Kingman Brewster
to call an open meeting of the school community to discuss the military's
presence on campus. Brewster obligingly held such a meeting at the
Yale's Ingalls Hockey Rink on 1 May 1969. Nearly 4,000 people attended
the meeting, including the majority of the university's trustees.
The question of whether the university should sever all connections
with ROTC resulted in a tie: 1286 to 1286.20
The next day the faculty voted to end credit for ROTC courses and
faculty status for officers and, as Yale had provided office and
training space to ROTC without charge, to shift the full cost of
the program to the government. On 3 May, the university's trustees
endorsed the faculty's decision.21
After a few months of desultory discussions between the university
and the Army and Air Force, ROTC abandoned Yale's campus. Across
the country, ROTC units weakened and vanished.22
Harvard's Army ROTC unit left campus the following year, and that
school's Air Force and Navy ROTC units commissioned their last officers
As the Vietnam War drew to a close, many universities
simply refused to renew ROTC contracts with the Department of Defense;
the DOD removed other units. ROTC was reeling: "ROTC enrollment
plummeted by 75 percent (from 165,430 to 41,294) between school
years 1967-68 and 1972-73."24
In response, Congress struggled to make ROTC more attractive with
financial incentives.25 It took the
military nearly a decade to retrench, however, and only did so by
offering additional training options and more scholarships to prospective
cadets.26 Between 1978 and 1983, the
number of Army ROTC units increased by 40 percent (from 297 to 416).27
Yet ROTC continued its exile from the country's
most selective schools. Any Yale, Columbia, or Harvard students
who wanted to participate in ROTC had to go off campus and affiliate
with other schools' programs. Yale students had to travel to other
Connecticut schools; Columbia students had to commute to Fordham
University; and Harvard students had to go to the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology. In leaving campus for ROTC instruction
several days each week, students forfeited the ability to take many
courses at their primary institutions. The handful of Yale students
who did participate in ROTC could earn scholarship money but not
college credits through the program.
In the 1990s, another wave of anti-military
sentiment swept college campuses, this time coalescing around the
military's policy toward homosexuals.28
The Clinton Administration's "don't ask, don't tell" compromise
in 1993 permitted gays and lesbians to serve in the military as
long as they did not openly discuss their sexual orientations. The
"don't ask, don't tell" policy did little to blunt the
anti-military sentiment at the country's most selective universities,
however. Campus protests continued and the schools themselves, citing
their own non-discrimination policies, restricted recruiters' access
to students. In response to these restrictions, Congress passed
the Solomon Amendment in 1994, but, as noted previously, the legislation
The Doors Open
It took the tragedy of the terrorist attacks
on 11 September 2001 to galvanize the federal government into making
good on the threats implicit in the Solomon Amendment. Furthermore,
campus opinion shifted dramatically in the immediate aftermath of
the attacks on American soil, as professors and students alike reevaluated
their schools' attitude toward national service. Yale's daily newspaper
called for the outright reinstitution of ROTC at Yale.29
A new Harvard president, Lawrence Summers, earned national attention
for praising students' military service.30
Alumni from the country's most selective schools formed the group
"Advocates for ROTC" to press for the program's reinstatement
at their alma maters.31
In 2002, the Department of Defense stepped
up its enforcement of the Solomon Amendment, notifying premier academic
institutions that the federal government would withhold funds if
the universities persisted in restricting military recruiting. At
the time, Yale received about $350 million in federal funds annually.
In the face of the Solomon Amendment's impending enforcement, universities
like Harvard and Yale tentatively opened their doors to the military,
fearful of losing significant sources of funding. For example, Yale
Law School finally allowed the military access to its Career Development
Office. Military recruiters could participate in career fairs and
on-campus interviews, though they faced protests from campus gay
and lesbian groups still upset with the "don't ask, don't tell"
Disgruntled faculty members also fought back.32
Citing, among other things, Harvard President Summers' favorable
comments about ROTC. Harvard's faculty members passed a "no
confidence" vote on Summers' presidency; he resigned soon after.
Likewise, in a Columbia University Senate vote, President Lee Bollinger
voted with the majority to oppose the restoration of ROTC on campus.
In contrast, Yale President Richard Levin straddled the issue: "I
believe that would be a concern of many individuals in our community
if ROTC were to be restored, but there may be numbers of our students
who would very much like to participate in ROTC. . . . It's a difficult
question of values."33 Rumsfeld
v. Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights filed suit against
the Department of Defense in 2003, and 44 Yale Law professors filed
an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief in support of FAIR's
position. In addition, law professor Robert Burt led a group of
45 Yale Law faculty members in separate litigation against the military
in federal district court in Connecticut.
As their professors mobilized against the Solomon
Amendment, students across the Ivy League demonstrated mixed reactions
to the idea of ROTC's return. For example, in a 2003 referendum,
Columbia University undergraduates voted 973-530 in favor of ROTC's
return. Vocal gay and lesbian rights protestors, however, challenged
the military recruiters at every turn. With their professors' increased
focus on the Solomon Amendment, some student groups took a step
back from advocating the return of ROTC.34
The Situation Today
Of the more than 11,000 students who now attend
Yale, only five- two Army cadets and three Air Force cadets-participated
in ROTC programs last year.35 Yale's
Air Force cadets commute about 70 miles to the University of Connecticut
in Storrs every Thursday, whereas Yale's Army cadets commute about
23 miles to Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut three
times each week. Despite faculty members' protests against university
support for ROTC, Yale supplies transportation to help cadets attend
their weekly classes at other Connecticut campuses. Those students
who do seek out ROTC continue to pay significant academic consequences.
Like their counterparts at Harvard and Columbia, Yale students still
receive no academic credit for ROTC courses. Scheduling conflicts
incurred by the need to commute to distant campuses exact their
own costs, preventing students from participating fully in certain
classes, sports, and other extracurricular activities.36
Despite the protests and law suits, the military's
presence at Yale has slowly been growing. These days, military recruiting
posters are splashed across campus bulletin boards, and recruiters
preside over stations at career fairs. Undergraduates founded the
Yale Student Military Organization in 2002, and in January 2005,
the Yale College Republicans initiated a "Bring Back ROTC"
drive.37 Later in 2005, a Yale junior
founded the Semper Fi Society, whose members-among other things-man
a table in the middle of campus and encourage other students to
enroll in the Marine Corps' summer Platoon Leaders Class.38
In light of these and similar efforts, last year the New York Times
observed that the campus climate at highly selective universities
has become increasingly favorable toward the military.39
Prior to the US Supreme Court's Rumsfeld v.
FAIR decision, a district court injunction was issued against the
Solomon Amendment's application to Yale Law School. Despite the
higher court's contradictory ruling, the law school is still invoking
the injunction, which is currently under review by the US Court
of Appeals for the Second Circuit. While the appeal is pending,
the school continues to deny military recruiters full access to
its formal interview program. Recruiters are; however, welcome to
meet with students on school grounds.40
The combination of campuses' changing attitudes
to the military and Supreme Court-mandated access for recruiters
presents a historic opportunity for the armed services. The military
is now poised to avail itself of a group of talented young men and
women from which it has largely been cut off for the past three
decades. There are three approaches that the military could use
to take full advantage of the current state of the American educational
First, the military could concentrate upon
cultivating the study of specific disciplines that dovetail with
national security concerns. As the US defense community's interest
in certain areas of the world intensifies, the country can look
to institutions of higher learning to provide potential service
members with expertise in relevant fields. In fact, the military
can even stimulate the supply of these specialists. It is not unusual
for the military to recognize and reward the study of particular
academic disciplines as a means of bringing experts in these areas
into uniform. The military already has several programs that target
individuals with useful academic skill sets. In order to attract
soldiers with medical backgrounds, the Army provides the Health
Professions Scholarship Program. Likewise, by offering direct commissions
to attorneys, the Army swells the numbers of its law officers. The
list of useful academic disciplines is not just limited to medicine
and the law.
Geopolitical realities suggest other areas
of expertise that would be useful to today's military. Given our
current and possible future activities in the Middle East, for example,
relevant regional language and culture experts would be a welcome
addition to the force. The existence of more service members who
speak Arabic would both foster more goodwill to Coalition Forces
in Iraq as well as give troops a tactical advantage on the ground.
The Army already supplies cultural awareness classes to soldiers
before they deploy; while basic Arabic commands and greetings often
prove useful in Iraq, there is still a heavy reliance upon interpreters
for more complex communications with local nationals. The Army has
taken steps to increase soldiers' fluency and now offers free Rosetta
Stone lessons in Arabic and other languages. Furthermore, the military
has a history of providing financial incentives for soldiers who
maintain proficiency in critical languages.41
The current military's high operations tempo, however, makes its
service members' learning environments less than ideal. It would
be far more effective to produce language and regional experts in
university classrooms, without recourse to the Defense Language
Institute or other military programs.
By fostering the study of key languages and
cultures at American universities, the military can improve the
quality of its recruits. In many cases, potential service members
would be able to avail themselves of preexisting language resources
at their respective universities. Depending on the need, the military
could even go so far as to increase the universities' capacity for
instruction by sponsoring relevant professorships at certain schools.
Given the Army's sponsorship of NASCAR drivers, the funding of university
chairs in Middle Eastern Studies is not too farfetched. The federal
government promoted domestic science education during the Cold War
in response to perceived Soviet advances. Likewise, the military
can strive to increase the number of college students who are proficient
in much-needed skills and, through well-targeted recruiting, facilitate
these students' transition into uniform.
Second, as the military is helping to mold
the student body's programs of study, the defense community can
focus on increasing the points of intersection between itself and
students. Many young people at schools such as Harvard and Yale
have had little if any exposure to the possibility of military service.
Without knowing individuals in their peer group who have enlisted
or are contemplating enlisting, these students face significant
barriers to understanding the military lifestyle. Recruiters can
continue to identify and work with student groups, such as the Yale
Student Military Organization and the Semper Fi Society, whose members
might be especially inclined to represent the military's interests
on campus and, eventually, enlist. Moreover, the armed services
can position representatives at every career fair and in every round
of on-campus interviews. The military should not leave the possibility
of enlisting to students' imaginations.
Given the relative scarcity of recent veterans
from universities such as Yale and Harvard, it is necessary to provide
role models to whom students can relate. The military could continue
to work with like-minded student organizations to bring charismatic
service members to speak on campus. Granted, students at the country's
most selective universities often have lucrative job prospects in
the private sector, and the privations of military life initially
may be daunting. In order to demonstrate that military service and
financial well-being are not mutually exclusive, recruiters could
introduce students to veterans who, after honorably fulfilling their
military commitments, have succeeded in business, medicine, law,
or politics. Alumni groups, such as "Advocates for ROTC,"
are already poised to provide such representatives.
Third, the military should reassess the availability
and existence of ROTC programs at the schools in question. An on-campus
ROTC program is an important symbol of legitimacy for the military,
as well as a portal to its ranks. In reestablishing ROTC programs
at highly selective schools, the military should take a long-term
view: the possibility of low initial participation rates would be
offset by the quality of the cadets and the creation of a foothold
on these campuses.42 Furthermore, as
has been the case at Harvard, interested alumni may be more than
willing to fund ROTC programs out of their own pockets. Today, as
in years past, keeping the military a competitive career choice
In waging a campaign to restore the awarding
of academic credit for ROTC classes, the military should be prepared
to face the same attacks that proved fatal to the program in the
late 1960s. Even today, Yale and Harvard professors with reputations
for the most advanced scholarship could claim that standard ROTC
courses, taught by military officers, do not deserve the same credit
as courses taught by the school's more traditional instructors.
To answer this criticism, the military could certify existing faculty
members to teach certain ROTC courses; less preferably, and with
a nod to the Military Science Core Curriculum of 1970, the military
could recognize more existing classes as applicable toward ROTC.44
In pursuing the first option, the armed services could reach out
to educators who might be willing to add sufficient scholarship
components to standard ROTC courses so as to qualify them for credit
at otherwise exacting academic institutions.45
In any case, the vocational-content arguments
that carried the day in 1969 bear less weight now. The academic
landscape has undergone a sea change. Increasingly, undergraduates
can take courses for credit at professional schools within the university.
For example, students can now participate in Yale's Teacher's Certification
program for academic credit. Furthermore, a student can earn undergraduate
credit for completing up to four courses in Yale University's M.B.A.
program. It would be difficult to argue that troop-leading procedures
are less intellectually challenging than double-entry bookkeeping.
The idea that ROTC classes are too vocational has become attenuated
as the liberal arts education has itself become liberalized. Indeed,
as Yale President Arthur Twining Hadley had anticipated in the early
1900s, "the content of a liberal education [is] now so uncertain
that the [inclusion of military instruction] would make no difference."46
The question of awarding academic credit will
still largely fall within the province of university faculty members,
some of whom are secure in their tenure and continue to exhibit
great antipathy toward the military.47
Although the accreditation of ROTC courses would go a long way toward
dispelling the current disadvantages of participation in the program,
ROTC could, in the alternative, exist on selective university campuses
as an extracurricular organization. Cadets, like those few at Yale
today, already commit much of their time to traveling off campus
to participate in ROTC. Academic credit or no, an on-campus program's
proximity to students would constitute a significant attraction.
In the short-term, the military could treat extracurricular ROTC
as a halfway house for the eventual reestablishment of full accreditation.
Princeton University, whose faculty also voted to end the awarding
of academic credit for ROTC in 1969, still boasts an on-campus,
albeit extracurricular, ROTC program.
Without ROTC on campus, students who are considering
becoming military officers may look to attending Officer Candidate
School after graduation. With private universities often costing
more than $30,000 a year, however, college graduates can easily
leave school with six-figure debt. While enlisting offers the possibility
of student loan repayment, Officer Candidates do not qualify for
this benefit, discouraging some otherwise qualified individuals
from pursuing military careers in general and the officer track
in specific. In the absence of ROTC programs on campus, increased
eligibility for student loan repayment would attract prospective
officers from the country's most selective schools.
In recent years, the military has been able
to expand its presence at the country's most selective universities.
Moreover, student attitudes toward the military have vastly improved
since the Vietnam era. The Supreme Court's Rumsfeld v. FAIR decision
has removed remaining restrictions on recruiting and has opened
the door to the possibility of reinstating ROTC on American campuses.
In consideration of these changed circumstances, the military should
press to take full advantage of the high human capital available
at these institutions.
1. USAREC Manual No. 3-0, April
2. 547 U.S. __, 126
S. Ct. 1297 (2006).
3. The federal funding
sources now covered by the Solomon Amendment are as follows: Departments
of Defense, Homeland Security, Transportation, Labor, Health and
Human Services, and Education, and the Central Intelligence Agency
and the National Nuclear Security Administration of the Department
of Energy. 10 U. S. C. A. §983(d)(1) (Supp. 2005). The Amendment
was named for its original sponsor, Representative Gerald Solomon.
4. 10 U. S. C. A. 983(b)
5. Justice Samuel A.
Alito, Jr. did not participate in the deliberations because he was
not a Supreme Court Justice at the time of the parties' oral arguments.
6. Brooks Mather Kelley,
Yale: A History (New Haven, Conn.: Yale Univ. Press, 1974), p. 348;
George Henry Nettleton, Yale in the World War: Part One (New Haven,
Conn.: Yale Univ. Press, 1925), p. 365.
7. Kelley, p. 350. A
total of 24 abstentions, however, suggested the outline of the opposition
that would develop in later years.
8. Nettleton, "Memorandum
on the Attitude of the University in the Present Crisis," 27
March 1917, p. 368.
9. Gaddis Smith, "Yale
and the Vietnam War," draft paper, University Seminar on the
History of Columbia University, 19 October 1999, http://beatl.barnard.columbia.edu/cuhistory/yale.htm.
Yale President Arthur Twining Hadley commented in 1919 that "the
men of Yale who had died in the Great War were the fortunate ones,
for they had fulfilled the ultimate purpose of the University in
service to the nation."
10. Arthur T. Coumbe
and Lee S. Harford, U.S. Army Cadet Command: The 10 Year History
(Fort Monroe, Va.: Government Printing Office, 1996), p. 14.
11. Kelley, p. 396.
12. Ibid., p. 397.
13. Jeremy Kutner,
"Panel Urges Ties Between Yale, Military," Yale Daily
News, 10 April 2003, http://www.yaledailynews.com/Article.aspx?ArticleID=22506.
14. Coumbe and Harford,
15. Michael Neiberg,
Making Citizen-Soldiers: ROTC and the Ideology of American Military
Service (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press, 2005), p. 36. Former
Harvard President Nathan Pusey recalled that in the 1950s, ROTC
units "were sought often by many institutions, and where awarded,
were welcomed by administrators and students alike." Ibid.,
p. 44. And as late as 1960, Harvard College Dean John Monro wrote
that "[t]he powerful reason why the ROTC should stay in the
colleges is that our national defense requires it. . . . [N]o responsible
college administrator of my acquaintance argues that we should deprive
the armed services of their most-favored recruiting position on
16. Likewise, university
officials petitioned for more ROTC units, fearful that non-participating
students would be conscripted and student bodies would dwindle.
17. Coumbe and Harford,
p. 26. Under the new curriculum option, students who had not participated
in ROTC during their first two years of college could catch up to
their peers by attending a six-week basic camp during the summer
before their junior year
18. Neiberg, p. 118.
In a February 1969 report to alumni, Yale President Kingman Brewster
remarked that these student draft exemptions had resulted in "sourness"
toward both the military and universities.
19. Gaddis Smith,
"Time and Change - Yale 1952 - The 50th Reunion," quoted
in Joseph Callo, "ROTC and Yale: Which is the Four-Letter Word?"
The Yale Free Press, December 2005, http://www.yalerotc.org/YFPCallo.html.
20. Jennifer Wang,
"Student Activism Resurfaces at Yale," Yale Daily News,
26 April 2000, http://www.yaledailynews.com/article.asp?AID=12259.
21. Coumbe and Harford,
p. 34. A month after Yale's trustees ended the awarding of academic
credit for ROTC, Secretary of Defense Melvin R. Laird appointed
George C. S. Benson, former president of the Claremont Colleges,
to chair a committee whose purpose was to review ROTC and suggest
ways in which to redesign the program. Even before the publication
of the Benson Committee report, the Army introduced the Military
Science Core Curriculum, also known as Option C. Option C integrated
military instruction into regular academic departments and relegated
the more vocational areas of training-those arguably unworthy of
academic credit-to summer sessions. This compromise came too late,
however, to satisfy ROTC's critics at Yale.
22. Neiberg, p. 116.
ROTC enrollments fell from 218,466 in October 1968 to 161,507 a
News," Harvard Magazine, July-August 2006. By 1973 the Harvard
Crimson had analyzed the military's presence throughout the Ivy
League and concluded that "the ROTC program is . . . dead and
buried at Harvard, Yale, Brown, Columbia and Dartmouth." The
newspaper also commented that "ROTC is so far gone at Yale
that even the administrators no longer remember clearly when it
began, when it ended or who was in charge of it." "A Survey
of ROTC's Status in the Ivies," Harvard Crimson, 28 September
1973, http://www.thecrimson.com/article.aspx?ref=118807. The Harvard
faculty even forbid students from participating in ROTC, a ban which
the school only lifted in 1976.
24. Coumbe and Harford,
25. In 1971, Congress
raised cadet subsistence allowance from $50 to $100 per month in
and increased scholarship authorizations from 5,500 to 6,500.
26. Training options
included Air Assault and Northern Warfare Courses (1979), Flight
Orientation/Training (1982), and the Russian Language Course (1983).
In 1980 Congress increased the number of available ROTC scholarships
27. Coumbe and Harford,
Ban on Gays Protested Nationwide," The Chronicle of Higher
Education, 17 April 1991, http://chronicle.com/che-data/articles.
dir/articles-37.dir/issue-31.dir/31a00202.htm. In 1991, more than
100 schools nationwide held protests against the military's ban
on homosexual service members.
Should Reinstate ROTC," Yale Daily News, 3 December 2001, http://www.yaledailynews.
com/Article.aspx?ArticleID=17416. Its editorial concluded: "a
new generation of Yalies should tirelessly push the University to
reinstitute the program and provide the opportunity for men and
women to serve their country and obtain a world-class education
in the process."
30. William M. Rasmussen,
"Summers Expresses Pride in ROTC," Harvard Crimson, 9
October 2001, http://www.thecrimson.com/article.aspx?ref=121544.
In October 2001, Summers commented: "We need to be careful
about adopting any policy on campus of non-support for those involved
in defending the country. . . . Every Harvard student should be
proud that we have in our midst students who make the commitment
31. Yale and Harvard
each have established chapters of the organization. Harvard alumni
activists gathered hundreds of signatures, including that of former
Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger, in an attempt to bring ROTC
back to campus. Yale alumni followed suit, gaining the support of
such alumni as New York Governor George Pataki. At its 65th reunion,
Yale's Class of 1937 even called for the restoration of ROTC to
32. "A Nation
at War: Campuses; With Current War, Professors Protest, As Students
Debate," New York Times, 5 April 2003, http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?
res=F60A13FF3E5C0C768CDDAD0894DB-404482. As New York Times correspondent
Kate Zernike noticed, the military's involvement in Afghanistan
and Iraq was "disclosing role reversals, between professors
shaped by Vietnam protests and a more conservative student body
traumatized by the attacks of September 11, 2001."
33. Jessica Marsden,
"Return of ROTC Is Debated," Yale Daily News, 21 January
Other Yale faculty members, such as law professor Peter Schuck,
publicly asked themselves: "Should universities like Yale,
where I teach, place extra obstacles to military recruitment on
campus? In shielding students from military recruiters, universities
disserve both their students and the military whose policies they
hope to liberalize." "Fighting on the Wrong Front,"
New York Times, 9 December 2005, http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/09/opinion/09schuck.html?
34. "Bring In
ROTC as Soon as 'Don't Ask' Is Out," Yale Daily News, 28 January
The Yale Daily News, which only three years prior had come out as
a staunch supporter of the reinstatement of ROTC on campus, now
editorialized that ROTC should return when the military abandoned
its "don't ask, don't tell" policy.
35. Interview with
Yale ROTC Advisor, Commander Jerry Hall, US Navy Retired, 25 July
2006. Undergraduate participation has remained relatively constant
for the past three years: 2004-2005, two Army cadets, three Air
Force cadets; 2003-2004, three Army cadets, three Air Force cadets.
By contrast, Princeton's on-campus Army ROTC program generated eight
commissions in 2006 alone.
36. Caroline Massad,
"In Small ROTC Corps, Focus and Discipline," Yale Daily
News, 3 March 2003, http://www.yaledailynews.com/Article.aspx?ArticleID=22082.
ROTC conflicts with Tuesday-Thursday and Monday-Wednesday-Friday
lecture schedules, the two most common at Yale.
37. Maureen Miller,
"The Next Battle: ROTC at Yale," The Yale Herald, 21 January
38. Jessica Becker,
"Marines Bring Message to Campus," Yale Daily News, 23
February 2006, http://www.yaledailynews.com/Article.aspx?ArticleID=31986.
The student aspect of the Semper Fi Society's founding quieted administration
misgivings about hosting the military on campus. "The table
in the Cross Campus is not set up by the military - it's set up
by an organization," Yale Dean of Student Affairs Betty Trachtenberg
said. "Every organization has the right to set up their wares,
so to speak, on Cross Campus."
39. Nicholas Confessore,
"Offering ROTC a Truce: Uniforms Losing Stigma on Elite Campuses,"
New York Times, 1 May 2005.
40. Harold Koh, "A
Message From Dean Harold Hongju Koh: Fair Forum at Yale Law School,"
3 October 2006, http://www.law.yale.edu/news/3568.htm.
41. A soldier can
now earn up to $1,000 per month for maintaining proficiency in such
languages as Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, Korean, and Pashtu.
42. Marsden, http://www.yaledailynews.com/article.asp?AID=27897.
As Lieutenant Colonel Brian Baker, the commander of the Army ROTC
battalion at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, commented,
"There is a renewed focus on bringing in a higher-caliber officer.
. . . So it's conceivable that if you go to the schools with the
best and brightest in the country, you might do that."
43. Coumbe and Harford,
p. 13. Even in 1915, the General Staff acknowledged that imposing
a "uniform program of military instruction on the nation's
highly diversified system of higher education . . . would be difficult
in the extreme."
44. Summer and weekend
training could provide the necessary military indoctrination outside
of the classroom.
45. To this end, the
military could begin by making overtures to professors, such as
Yale law professor Peter Schuck and history professor Donald Kagan,
who have already gone on the record about the positive benefits
of the reintroduction of ROTC to campus.
46. Kelley, p. 348.
"President's Report, 1915," pp. 13-16.
47. "Alumni Seek
ROTC's Return," Yale Alumni Magazine, April 2002, http://www.yalealumnimagazine.com/issues/02_04/l_v.html#2.
Current Yale President Richard Levin has declined to take a stand
on the issue of credit for ROTC courses, deferring to the Yale faculty.
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