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Harvard to allow ROTC to return

Friday, March 4th, 2011

Great news: Harvard University will officially recognize its Naval ROTC program tomorrow. The agreement – to be signed by Harvard president Drew Faust and Navy secretary Ray Mabus – marks the end of the school’s 41-year ban against the program.

Participating students will still go to MIT for ROTC classes, but Harvard will resume financial responsibility for its cadets and will provide office and training space. In addition, the university has appointed a chair of a new ROTC implementation committee: Kevin “Kit” Parker, a professor at the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and an Army major who served three tours in Afghanistan.

Harvard is in talks with the other service branches about reinstating its Army and Air Force programs.

This is a great moment both for Harvard and ROTC. Other universities – Yale, Columbia, Brown, and Stanford – should follow suit.

Columbia may be poised to do just that. In still more good news, the university’s Task Force on Military Engagement just released the results of its student survey on ROTC. Sixty percent of the students surveyed approved a “return of ROTC to Columbia’s campuses.” The hecklers can consider themselves outnumbered.

Cross-posted at the Weekly Standard.