ROTC: When the military meets the quad

Cadets train at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Over the last few years, ROTC programs have begun to return to elite universities including Harvard, Columbia, Stanford and Yale. It’s the latest development in a century-long struggle between university and military culture in the United States.

Next month, Cambridge University Press will release the first comprehensive analysis of this fraught, ever-evolving relationship: “Arms and the University: Military Presence and the Civic Education of Non-Military Students,” by Donald Alexander Downs and Ilia Murtazashvili.

In 14 chapters, the book traces ROTC history from the program’s meager beginnings in 1916 to its banishment from campuses in the ’60s and from the “don’t ask, don’t tell” controversy to ROTC’s return to the Ivy League. Along the way, Downs and Murtazashvili argue for a more substantive military presence on all U.S. campuses.

“It’s not a left-right issue in the end. Bringing the ROTC back was originally kind of a right-wing issue, led by conservative groups on campus,” says Downs, a professor of political science, law and journalism at the University of Wisconsin. “But after 9/11, people on the left started agreeing that there is something to this argument of equal recognition for military students — civic equality, and broadening the university’s mind to this reality.”

Closing the gap

After authoring “Arms and the University,” Downs is pleased to see ROTC programs returning to revered institutions — but dismayed by the growing gap between privileged universities and the military.  
“America has the most prominent position in the world, and the military helps secure that. There’s just something wrong when members of the elite don’t contribute in a direct way to that, because they’re the ones that get the most privilege out of the system,” he says.


Interfaith leaders denounce anti-Muslim harassment in Brooklyn

Community leaders of all faiths gathered in Brooklyn on Tuesday to push back on what they described as hateful acts against the local Muslim community.


Parched Texas town turns to sewage water to…

By Marice RichterDALLAS (Reuters) - When the going got tough due one of with worst droughts in a century, the parched Texas city of Wichita…


NYPD: Robber makes elderly man drive to Queens…

A robber grabbed an elderly man's neck outside a Queens supermarket, stole his wallet and made him drive to ATMs for withdrawals last week, police said.


Tattooed, bearded suspect sought in Williamsburg bike theft:…

The suspected thief faces grand larceny charges after investigators said he entered the building on North 5th Street in Williamsburg.


'Face Off' contestant David 'DOC' O'Connell sounds off…

David "DOC" O'Connell tells us about getting cast on Season 7 of Syfy's "Face Off," premiering tonight at 9.


PHOTO: Wildlife photographer Marc Mol captures amazing aerial…

This aerial image was taken by photographer Marc Mol who spotted the animals during an air safari in Zambia.


Theater: “Love and Human Remains” is like a…

"Love and Human Remains" is the worst show we've ever not walked out of.


Review: 'A Most Wanted Man' works better when…

In one of his last roles, Philip Seymour Hoffman headlines the John Le Carre adaptation of "A Most Wanted Man," about the pursuit of a Chechen refugee.


MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead…

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead pack


2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will…

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will win Super Bowl?


5 players to watch at Giants training camp

Metro takes a look at five players who will be on everyone’s mind when Giants training camp gets underway.


'Vicktory dogs' travel road to rehabilitation seven years…

Of the dozens of dogs groomed by Bad Newz Kennels, 48 were rescued and 22 of the pit bull terriers have emerged at Best Friends Animal Society.


5 New Ikea products that will change your…

We round-up the latest must-have products.


Recipe: Wolfgang Puck's Buttermilk French Toast

We recently spent some time chatting with restauranteur/celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck at his Wolfgang Puck American Grille in the Borgata in Atlantic City. Puck wanted…


Go retro with your sneakers

The best of wacky new sneakers.


Buy gently worn back-to-school clothes with Kidizen

Kidizen allows parents to buy and sell gently worn back-to-school clothes.