According to MajaStevanovich

News and views on what matters to me: mindfulness, leadership, public relations, marketing, social media, pop culture and every now and then I will surprise you with something else.

ROTC Ban on Ivy League Campuses

It is both surprising and shocking to think that some of the best universities and colleges across the country do not have ROTC programs on their campuses. For those students that are interested in participating, they may do so by commuting to places that offer the programs. Sometimes, those commutes can be as long as two hours, which can prove to be especially problematic when some of the exercises and field trainings take place as early as 6:00am. Every year there is a small amount of students from the Ivy League system that are commissioned as Second Lieutenants upon their graduations. Those young men and women sacrifice an incredible amount of time and effort to complete their training to ultimately get the chance to serve their country as officers. It is interesting to think that there are individuals out there literally fighting for their chance to serve while obtaining a top notch education. Typically, these ROTC cadets have family ties to the military.

The Ivy League ROTC ban brings up a serious issue when it comes to attracting some of the best and brightest into military service. Although military service is by no means for everyone, it seems as if many of the college bound individuals are not that familiar with the opportunities that officership brings. The fact that some of the best universities don’t offer these program on their campuses can be seen as if they don’t believe a career path of an officer is the military as on the same stature as some of the occupations in the civilian world. Even though this may be far from the truth, at first glance it appears that way. This holds especially true for young men and women that don’t take a deeper look into military service.

In a recruiting environment where only about 30% of youth are eligible for military service, (to learn more https://majastevanovich.wordpress.com/2009/09/02/only-30-of-17-24-year-old-eligible-for-military-service/ ) the ROTC ban in some of the finer colleges does not help in attracting the 17-24 demographic to serve as officers. This poses a challenge for the military as they aim to educate youth about the opportunities officership offers. One of the ways has proven to be successful is the use of social media. A big reason why social media is effective is because youth are living in a digital world, they understand and relate to the messaging, and they are used to brands being interactive with them.

To all those ROTC students at schools where there are no programs, thank you for your dedication.

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4 comments on “ROTC Ban on Ivy League Campuses

  1. Ian Chambers
    November 13, 2009

    What are the universities stating as the reason behind the ban? Would provide the other side of the story, this entry doesnt really have the depth to allow a reader to understand the real issues at play. I applaud the young men and women who are not allowing the ban to prevent their service.

    • majastevanovich
      November 13, 2009

      Ian:

      Thanks for reading. I am doing a follow-up to this entry where I will be speaking to one of the students from Yale that is an ROTC scholar. The initial ban started in the 1960’s as a protest to the Vietnam war, it has never been lifted. I will investigate more in the issue and it will be covered in the entry.

      -Maja

  2. Scot Heathman
    November 15, 2009

    As an ROTC Commissioned Officer, it displeases me very much that some of our nation’s elite universities have banned a critical component of military and leader development. ROTC programs have one overarching goal, which is to commission military leaders to lead our future forces. By limiting these opportunities for young men and women to seek out a life in the military, a military education, and a chance to develop themselves as future leaders of our country, these institutions will be the ultimate losers. I am at a loss that these prominent institutions feel this is an appropriate way to make political statements…by denying a military program focused on producing leaders on their campuses. The only real statement being made is institutional ignorance on how to go about political change in this country…and why should ROTC be made to suffer in this political game.

    These institutions should be thankful they have the right to choose this course of action under our nation’s freedoms….the very same ones young men and women have and continue to defend and die for each and every. But, in the end, they will be the one’s to miss out…they’ll miss out in understanding what it means to serve in our nation’s services, their civilian students will miss out in the valuable discourse along side their military student counterparts, their faculty will continue on in their lives without gaining any new perspectives of military life other than what they perceive from a Vietnam-era perspective, and they’ll never fully understand how these leaders, long after their time and service in the military is complete, will go on to be Presidents, CEOs, and Leaders within the communities they seek to influence.

    If these universities want real change, they need to stop using ROTC as a means to influence political decisions and get out there and vote. If the decision-makers of these universities have decided to pass on their right to vote on these issues and continue on this course of banning ROTC from their campuses, then I say you have failed not only your institutions, but you have failed your own values, beliefs, and your rights as American citizens.

    *These views are my own and do not reflect the opinion of the US Military or the Department of Defense

  3. Pingback: ROTC Ban on Ivy League Campuses, Part Two « Not Your Average Brooklynette

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