(CAMBRIDGE, Mass.) -- Harvard University will welcome back the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) program after a near 40-year absence from the campus.
The university made the announcement Thursday and will make the deal official Friday when Harvard President Drew Faust and Navy Secretary Ray Mabus sign an agreement to formally recognize the Naval ROTC on campus.
"Our renewed relationship affirms the vital role that the members of our Armed Forces play in serving the nation and securing our freedoms, while also affirming inclusion and opportunity as powerful American ideals," Faust said in a statement. "It broadens the pathways for students to participate in an honorable and admirable calling and in so doing advances our commitment to both learning and service."
Under the agreement, a director of Naval ROTC will be appointed on campus and the university will resume funding as well as provide office space for the program. Students who enroll will not train at Harvard but rather at the nearby Massachusetts Institute of Technology, consistent with a consortium that has been in place for decades.
Harvard expelled the ROTC program in 1969 in response to anger over the Vietnam War. The university continued to uphold its expulsion over the years because of the "Don’t Ask, Don't Tell" military policy, which banned homosexuals from serving openly in the military. The policy was repealed in December of last year, paving the way for Harvard to welcome back the Naval ROTC and begin talks to bring back other ROTC programs.
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