Another Ivy League institution is reopening its doors to the military, after decades of absence of formal presence on campus. On May 26, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus met with Richard Levin, President of Yale University, and both parties signed an agreement that established the formal presence of Naval ROTC at the University.
A feature on the Navy Times shared the following statement from NAVSEC Mabus: “The renewal of a formal relationship with Yale will serve to bring dozens of new and talented officers who will carry on Yale’s tradition of service into the Navy and Marine Corps each year… The presence of NROTC will enrich and strengthen both the military and the educational experience of all students.”
The rift between the military and Ivy League schools could be traced back to the 1970s, during which time both parties had conflicting sentiments regarding the Vietnam War. The ban continued even after the Vietnam War, as the two continued to have opposing views regarding allowing gays to serve openly in the military.
Following the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” Harvard University became the first Ivy League school to welcome military presence back on campus. In April, Columbia University also announced that it was also re-establishing ROTC, while the Faculty Senate of Stanford University voted for the reinstatement of the ROTC program.
Despite the absence of military presence at Yale, there are students who were still involved in ROTC, but they needed to train at other colleges. The first class of ROTC midshipmen at Yale University will enter in the fall of 2012, and will comprise the only Naval ROTC unit in Connecticut.