Facts Clear on ROTC
I am responding to Nancy Jacobs' letter accusing me of "inference and innuendo" while commenting on Drew Faust, president of Harvard University, and her speech at the upcoming Harvard ROTC commissioning.
I do have my facts in order. William McGurn noted in his article, "in an e-mail, a Harvard spokesman confirms that while President Faust has the 'greatest admiration' for Harvard's ROTC students, she has clearly stated that the opportunity to serve should be open to all Harvard students -- and any reference she makes that day will be 'respectfully and appropriately conveyed.'"
In other words, she reserves the right to use the event to voice disagreement with "don't ask, don't tell."
I admire Ms. Jacobs' "pride for our future officers." I only wish that Harvard did as well. Mr. McGurn notes, concerning President Faust's anticipated remarks, "In their first moments as new officers, they will be told by the leader of their university that they serve an institution that isn't, well, quite worthy of Harvard."
In fact, the ROTC program has not been on the campus since the Vietnam War. The cadets must participate in a neighboring university ROTC program, not receiving academic credit while working their ROTC classes into their busy schedules, unlike the typical ROTC cadet.
I remember my cadets at Dartmouth College faced the same challenges when I served there as the ROTC instructor.
We'll have to wait and see if Drew Faust seizes the moment to praise our new Army leaders or uses it as an opportunity to criticize a political policy.
Paul Lehto, LTC (ret.)
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