May 2, 2005

ROTC in the Ivy League

Interesting discussion going on at Daily Kos about the pros and cons of ROTC, with the focus on Ivy League schools, spurred by the possibility of ROTC's return to Columbia. Dartmouth's ROTC (the official site, worth exploring, go "meet the cadets" and read the history) is mentioned a few times in the comments, with one commenter who claims to be a Dartmouth student offering the following comforting words:

Here's a problem with ROTC...

Technically, it turns college campuses into military bases...and thus military targets.

By the US's definition of acceptable targets during the Iraq war (C&C structure integrated with intelligence or military), college campuses become legitimate targets under US-defined rules of engagement. Which doesn't thrill me.

Is this true? Either way, I'm not too worried about being attacked here at Dartmouth, but I will say that I support demilitarization in general so I'm not the biggest fan of the Army's recruiting presence here. Though their practice of preying on high school students in poor areas, as facilitated by the No Child Left Behind Act, Subpart 2, is much more troubling.


(a) POLICY-(1) ACCESS TO STUDENT RECRUITING INFORMATION- Notwithstanding section 444(a)(5)(B) of the General Education Provisions Act and except as provided in paragraph (2), each local educational agency receiving assistance under this Act shall provide, on a request made by military recruiters or an institution of higher education, access to secondary school students names, addresses, and telephone listings.


  1. Anonymous2:30 PM

    'preying on high school students' in the natural/animal struggle sort of way. perhaps they are being 'prayed' on as well.

  2. Oh thanks for the correction

  3. Anonymous8:58 AM

    Hello, I'm Welton, one of the ROTC students here at Dartmouth, and a loyal LittleGreenBlog reader (am I the first person to post that?). Here's a shout out to all the pogues who cry out for war but can't do more than talk about it during croquet matches.

    The aforementioned "militarization" of college campuses is a technicality that is not observed to any great degree. Terrorists are not going to bomb Dartmouth. If this rule were to be observed then we as cadets would be allowed to carry sidearms anywhere we went to protect ourselves from possible enemy attack. Rest assured, none of us are packing heat (or want to).

    Peace out, fartlog rocks.

  4. Anonymous11:08 AM

    Welton, I believe you'd have to salute one of those " pogues," Rollo Begley '04, former TDR Political Editor and contributor was a second lieutenant in the army last time I checked and on the verge of another promotion. He much preferred chutes and ladders to croquet, though.

  5. I'm aware Dartmouth won't be getting bombed, and by saying I support "demilitarization" in general I meant that if the whole world just chilled and cut their armed forces in half -- sort of like nuclear disarmament -- perhaps the world would be a better place. Just imagine. Imagine, man.

    Thanks for reading the blog.

  6. Anonymous7:28 PM

    Hey Chris,

    I agree. The world would be a better place if there were no guns, no militaries, and no nukes. In fact, I wrote my thesis on arms control. I think most of the cadets at Dartmouth would agree with you. I would much rather not have to go into the military and pursue a PhD. But there remains important work to be done around the world, especially in Iraq.

    To the anonymous Dartlog poster: I commend Rollo for serving our country. But what are the rest of you guys doing? How many care packages have you sent to soldiers in Iraq? How many donations have you made to Iraqi of Afghani children's charities? When was the last time you hugged a war widow or even talked to a soldier. Don't ever say that liberals can't defend our country. Do you know what kind of hypocritical message you send when you go around with signs in counterprotest to war demonstrations even though none of you (save Rollo) has stepped up to the challenge of defending this nation?

  7. You want to be an army officer. Drive on. Other people have very different hopes, dreams, and ambitions. It is possible to be tolerant of people with different goals -- everybody in the world except you seems to have discovered this.

    The fact that people make different choices than you have doesn't mean that their opinions on select political issues are somehow invalidated. You and I have volunteered to go to war. We spend our time planning and preparing to go to war. We both stand ready to go to war. Most other people don't volunteer to do that, so if the great democratic system concludes that we should go to war, guess who goes? You and me.

    One of the basic tenets of that democratic system is civilian control over the military, so everybody who has ever gone to the box has done so on orders originating with a civilian. Think about that for a minute.

    If you really have problems with civilians who "cry out for war" then joining the military is the wrong answer.