The administration at Harvard University opted this week to reinstate the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps program on campus. Since 1970, the ROTC program had been discontinued at Harvard as a result of student protests to the Vietnam War. It remained inactive due to the military’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy. Said Harvard President Drew Faust in a statement, “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. 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.”
In light of the overturning of the discriminatory “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy instituted under the Clinton administration that shamefully did not allow members of the LGBTQ+ community to serve openly in our nation’s military, Harvard chose to welcome back the respected program that trains college students to be officers in our armed forces. This is welcome news for high school students seeking to attend Harvard who also want to participate in ROTC and complete their military service following their graduation. It is welcome news that a program that will train some of the best and brightest students our country has to offer at Harvard will soon be returning to campus and it is also welcome news that this program is now open to all Harvard students. LGBTQ+ Harvard cadets can now enjoy the full rights and privileges that come with serving our country in uniform. And our country will be stronger for it.
Said U.S. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus in a statement, “[The move] is good for the university, good for the military, and good for the country. Together, we have made a decision to enrich the experience open to Harvard’s undergraduates, make the military better, and our nation stronger.” Well said, Secretary Mabus! Well said.
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