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At Sea–NROTC in the Northeast

Friday, November 19th, 2010

An interesting item for today’s POLITICO Morning Defense:

SHIP JOINS FLEET, FUTURE CAPTAIN DRINKS A JUICE BOX – Roughead will be on hand in Wilmington, N.C., Saturday for the commissioning of the destroyer USS Gravely, which he cited in an appearance this week as a great value for taxpayers. The ship will be around so long, Roughead said, that its final commanding officer is now seven years old. The ship is named for Vice Adm. Samuel L. Gravely Jr., who was the Navy’s first black NROTC officer. His window, Alma, is the sponsor. [Emphasis mine.]

I note this because Vice Adm. Gravely did his naval training at the University of California in Los Angeles, Pre-Midshipman School in New Jersey, and Midshipmen School at Columbia University. In fact, he was the first African-American to graduate from Columbia’s midshipman’s school (which was formally established as an NROTC unit in 1946).

Today, the only school listed above at which you can do Navy training is UCLA. At Columbia, NROTC was terminated in 1969, and enrollment in the nearest NROTC program is strictly limited to students attending SUNY-Maritime Academy, Fordham University, or Molloy College. Students from Columbia, NYU, or the diverse CUNY system need not apply. New Jersey (along with Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire) does not have a single NROTC program.

Image from the U.S. Navy.