Since Congress has elected to allow gays to openly serve in the military, Harvard University has decided to lift the ban that it imposed on the military.
The oldest college in the United States officially welcomed the military back on Friday, with the signing of an agreement between Navy Secretary Ray Mabus and Harvard University President Drew Gilpin Faust. This agreement established the formal presence of the Naval ROTC on campus for the first time since the Vietnam War. Columbia and Yale reportedly intend to open their doors to the military as well.
During the ceremony, Harvard President Faust said: “Over decades, and in their own distinctive ways, both the American military and higher education have been engines of inclusion and wellsprings of service… The relationship we renew today marks progress in that common pursuit.”
The relationship between Harvard University and the military became strained due to anti-Vietnam War sentiment, leading to the exit of ROTC. Its re-entry into the campus in later years was hindered by the current military policy that banned gays from serving in the military. After Congress repealed the policy in December, however, the University began to reconsider welcoming the military back, according to Faust.
Secretary Mabus said: “In order to best serve our nation, the military has to strive to be reflective of the nation it protects, and it does not serve our country well if any part of society does not share in the honor of its defense.”