The lack of Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) on Ivy League campuses has a storied 40-year history.Legend has it the vaunted halls of the Northeast’s premier schools expelled military recruiters during the mayhem of the Vietnam War. Later, the continued expulsion was blamed on the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.
Both of these facts are untrue.
The New York Times ran a story last fall called the ROTC Myth, which points out there is no official ban, and that the separation between some universities and the military has been a convenient fiction.
A myth that lets both sides avoid the vast distance that had developed between military and civil America.
Despite the fact that both of these events are untrue, Wednesday’s lifting of the long-time “don’t ask” policy was celebrated at Harvard with a symbolic ceremony involving the university president and dozens of Naval personnel.
President Drew Faust praised the Navy’s ROTC program and officially welcomed the service back to campus after four-decades. The Boston Globe reports the move will undoubtedly lead to “increased recruiting at the school.”
No doubt this is correct. The Navy ROTC program pays for full undergraduate tuition up to $180,000, room and board, books, and a living stipend for students who agree to serve four-years in either the Navy or the Marines.
That some kids needing the money will sign up is not the question. What’s interesting is that the myth is coming full circle and the military now has a direct line to some of the brightest minds in the country.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.