Entries in ROTC (3)


Harvard University Welcomes Back Naval ROTC After Nearly 40 Years

(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  The policy was repealed in December of last year, paving the way for Harvard to welcome back the Naval ROTC and begin talks to bring back other ROTC programs.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Repeal of Gay Ban Opens Door to ROTC Return at Top Schools

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Repeal of the military's ban on openly gay and lesbian service members may mean the return of Reserve Officers' Training Corps programs to several top private U.S. universities after being banned for decades.

ROTC, which prepares students to become military officers upon their graduation, had been a fixture on many of the nation's campuses until the late 1960s and early 1970s. But deep opposition to the Vietnam War and, later, to the "don't ask, don't tell" policy spurred some schools to push the military out.

Now, as President Obama signed a repeal of the policy into law Wednesday, at least four elite universities have begun high-level discussions and convened working groups to consider ROTC's return.

"I look forward to pursuing discussions with military officials and others to achieve Harvard's full and formal recognition of ROTC," said Harvard University President Drew Faust in a statement. "I am very pleased that more students will now have the opportunity to serve their country."

At Yale, where ROTC was expelled in 1969 after faculty voted to revoke credit for military courses, university president Richard Levin said the school will reach out to the Pentagon to determine if the military has interest in returning.

"Yale is eager to open discussions about expanding opportunities to students interested in military service, and we will be discussing this matter with the faculty of Yale college in the spring semester," he said in a statement.

A return to campus would make it easier for students interested in military service to pursue training while completing their studies. Currently at Yale and other schools without on-campus ROTC, students who want to participate have to travel to neighboring universities, which is often a burden.

Allowing ROTC to operate on-campus would also facilitate integration the nation's top students into military leadership roles and potentially broaden connections between military decision-makers and other high-profile alumni from the elite schools, advocates say.

"The alternative is a civil-military divide, and you get situations like people who've trained in Ivy League institutions or places like Stanford who are represented in leadership of the country but who don't have friends in the military, or they don't know enough about the military to manage it properly, or just have discussions about military-related issues," said Michael Segal, founder and director of Advocates for ROTC, an umbrella group promoting the return of the military program to top colleges and universities.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Did Mutilated Teen Cadet Fall From an Airplane?

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(BOSTON) -- Authorities are investigating whether the North Carolina teen who was found battered to death on the side of a Massachusetts road more than 800 miles from home fell to his death from an airplane.

Remains found in Milton, Mass., last Monday have been identified as Delvonte Tisdale, 16, and one line of investigation is whether the ROTC cadet had been a stowaway in an aircraft. "The investigation remains active and ongoing on multiple fronts," David Traub, a spokesman for Norfolk District Attorney William Keating, said in a statement.

But an airport spokesman confirmed that he had been asked for information regarding the flights that flew over the area where Tisdale's body was found.

"I got a call about the possibility of a stowaway in one of the nose-wells of an aircraft," Logan International Airport spokesman Phil Orlandella said. "While I can't confirm that [he fell], we were asked to look into the flight tracks of who flew in over that community on the day [Tisdale] was found."

Craig Tisdale told the Charlotte Observer that his brother may have been running away from his father, with whom he did not have a good relationship. He said that Tisdale had planned to get a ride to Baltimore where his mother lives from friends heading to Boston, according to the paper.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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