Wednesday, September 14th, 2011
Air Force ROTC will return to the Yale University campus starting in the fall of 2012. On Monday, the secretary of the Air Force and the president of Yale held a ceremony renewing ties between the school and military. Both the secretary and Yale’s president noted the crucial role of ROTC in ensuring that a broad range of perspectives are represented within the officer corps.
Air Force Secretary Michael Donley commented:
“It will be a reminder that while the United States military’s all-volunteer force remains one of our nation’s strengths, this strength depends upon broad participation by its citizens—participation that includes fellow Yale colleagues and must include men and women from every part of America.”
And President Levin noted the challenges posed by manpower and budget cuts:
“I commend Secretary Donley, General Rice and General Peck for seeing the big picture, and for seeing the importance, even in difficult financial times, of making it easier for future officers to get the benefit of a Yale education.”
The upcoming return of on-campus Navy and Air Force ROTC to Yale proves that the obstacles to reinvigorating ROTC’s civic mission are not insuperable–so long as military and university leaders are willing to work together to make it a priority. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus and Columbia president Lee Bollinger should heed Yale’s example, and work to strengthen the Navy ROTC presence on Columbia’s campus and in New York City.
(As always, the Advocates for ROTC has all the links you need.)