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The ROTC+ vision

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

Michael Segal of the Advocates for ROTC responds in detail to Diane Mazur’s attempt to rewrite the history of the ROTC ban and makes the case for the “ROTC+” model of the future:

Leaving out the 1964 law from the history of ROTC in the 1960s is a serious omission since it ignores the fact that many top colleges knowingly removed the legal basis for ROTC, and thereby left the military no option under the law but to leave. However, we should also credit top colleges with planting the seeds for the enhanced “ROTC+” programs of the future. There is much value in the ROTC+ vision of high quality courses with joint university and ROTC credit, whether taught by regular faculty or ROTC commanders.

There is much for both the universities and the military to do to bring about this ROTC+ vision, a theme discussed in some detail by recent Columbia graduate and Army veteran Eric Chen. Universities should extend their high academic standards to cover military-related areas, upgrading their often spotty faculty expertise in such areas. They should declare their openness to having ROTC programs on their own campuses, and give formal recognition to participation by their students in cross-town programs if the military prefers such a consolidation, including appropriate course credit along the lines of the ROTC+ model. The military should welcome the opportunity to learn from world-class faculty at top colleges, and use this opportunity both to enhance traditional military-related courses and to experiment with courses in areas of newly appreciated importance such as anthropology and game theory.