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News Flash: Harvard, Columbia Reinstate ROTC

Ever considered West Point or the Naval Academy, but pictured yourself at a more traditional college? Students who desire military leadership training and who expect to attend Ivy League and other top schools now have the option of participating in ROTC once again.

After four decades, Harvard and Columbia universities are reinstating ROTC programs. Harvard is officially reinstating the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps; Army and Air Force ROTC may follow in the near future. Other institutions are expected to follow suit.

The ROTC program – or Reserve Officers Training Corps – trains college students to become commissioned officers in the Army, Navy, Coast Guard, and Air Force. Participants in ROTC are able to apply for merit-based scholarship and college funding options with the promise of service upon graduation.

During student protests at the height of the Vietnam War era, many universities eliminated their ROTC programs. Columbia removed its ROTC programs in 1969, but students continued to participate by going through Fordham University's program. Dartmouth has an unofficial ROTC consort, which is run through Norwich University.

Other schools, like Princeton, U Penn, and Cornell, have kept their ROTC programs throughout the years.

During the ceremony to reinstate NROTC on campus, Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust said, "Over decades, and in their own distinctive ways, both the American military and American higher education have been engines of inclusion and wellsprings of service. The relationship we renew today marks progress in that common pursuit."

Discussion at other schools, including Brown and Yale, is already underway.

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This post is titled, "News Flash: Harvard, Columbia Reinstate ROTC." It was written by Marta Casey, a writer on Top Test Prep's team.

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