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Underserved: a case study of ROTC in New York City.


Executive Summary
ROTC in New York City Today
Why New York City?
A History of the ROTC in New York City
Missed Opportunities
About the Author


Cheryl Miller from the American Enterprise Institute makes a compelling case that the nation's military is ill served by the dramatic decrease in ROTC opportunities offered in the Northeast, particularly New York City, Philadelphia, and Boston. For forty years now, the ROTC program has shifted its priorities to the South and Midwest and from urban to rural and suburban areas because it is less costly, perceived as easier for recruiting, and also perceived as drawing on a more supportive population in general. As such, the ROTC program is less representative of the population as a whole now than at any time in its history. Moreover, this is occurring at a time when the American people as a whole are more disconnected from the military because it has been a volunteer force since 1973; therefore, few Americans are touched by someone who serves in the military. Indeed, it was the ROTC program of citizen soldiers that throughout much of its history helped to provide such a valuable connection to the American people. Not only does the current program deny adequate opportunity to the largest college-age population in the country, but also to a multicultural, ethnically diverse population that is rich in languages and is so much in demand by today's military

--General John M. Keane, USA (Ret.)

Executive Summary

The military-civilian disconnect has been a source of increasing concern over the last few decades. National security leaders--including the commander in chief, President Barack Obama--have warned that many Americans are unaware of the military's sacrifices and its growing sense of isolation from wider society. In remarks at Duke University in September 2010, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates identified this issue as the "narrow sliver" problem, reflecting on both the achievements of America's all-volunteer force and the challenges it now faces.

Gates noted that few Americans today have a personal connection to the military. Veterans represent 9 percent of the total population (a number that continues to decline), and less than 1 percent of Americans serves in any of the military services, active duty or reserves. Soldiers also come from a narrower segment of society--geographically and culturally--than ever before. Southerners disproportionately populate all the branches, while the Northeast and large metropolitan areas--New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia--are underrepresented.

The homogeneity of today's military is partly a product of self-selection, as the services seek out the most eager volunteers. As Gates acknowledged, however, it is also a product of budgetary and policy decisions made by the armed services and government.

The recent history of the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) provides just one such example. Originally envisioned as a hedge against a civil-military divide, the ROTC has become subject to the same trends as the military as a whole. Since the Vietnam War era, ROTC units have shifted to the South and Midwest for economic and cultural reasons. Urban areas have been abandoned in favor of cheaper and larger training sites in rural and suburban America. The result of this shift--an officer caste increasingly detached from civilian society--is precisely what the ROTC was intended to protect against.

With over 8 million residents and the largest university student population of any city in the United States, New York City demonstrates the challenges faced by urban ROTC programs--and their great potential. For the past twenty years, New York has been served by just four ROTC programs within its five boroughs--programs that are insufficiently resourced and not centrally located. To the detriment of the military's ability to recruit from a diverse and talented segment of America's youth, New York's students are not being afforded the same opportunities for military service as students in other US regions.

The New York City ROTC has had a remarkable--and rocky--history. Once the home of some of the largest and oldest ROTC programs in the country, the city still has much to offer today's military. With its diverse and growing population, the city can help supply the cultural competency and language skills the military needs to fulfill its many and varied global responsibilities. By expanding its reach, the military can ease the enormous pressures on the service men and women currently in the field and reconnect to wider American society. Finally, returning the ROTC to New York City would restore a proud tradition of military service.

The post-9/11 moment and the repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy have found students, faculty, and administrators newly supportive of the military and ROTC. Already Harvard and Columbia University have reestablished ties with the Navy ROTC, and other elite schools--Stanford and Yale--look poised to follow.

As welcome as these changes are, however, the lifting of elite-school bans against the ROTC will be a lost opportunity unless the military and civilian leadership push for more substantive changes to the ROTC program, broadening its base and seeking more geographic and institutional diversity. Absent such a push, universities and the military likely will stick with something very close to the status quo, in which token, light-footprint programs continue to operate largely on neighboring campuses.

Urban areas and the Northeast will remain underserved. Even with the recent agreement between Columbia and the Navy, New York will still have only four ROTC host programs--compared to twenty such programs in Virginia (population 8 million) and ten in Alabama (population 4.7 million). New York City's sole Navy program, for example, is closed to the majority of New York City's six-hundred-thousand-plus college students, and students interested in other service branches face the same obstacles as before.

Key Findings

Current policy has resulted in many missed opportunities for the armed forces.

* The ROTC is absent from two of New York's most populous and diverse boroughs. Although Manhattan Island is host to over 1.5 million people and forty colleges and universities, there is not a single school in the borough of Manhattan with an ROTC host program. Nor is there any ROTC presence in Brooklyn, which would be the fourth-largest city in the United States if it were its own city.

* The ROTC's one-size-fits-all approach fails to account for the unique needs of each market. New York's ROTC programs have logistical, outreach, and transportation challenges incomparable to the more typical ROTC detachment at a Southern state school.

* There are alternatives to establishing new ROTC host programs in New York City. Given budgetary constraints, the military should be ready to think creatively about how to broaden its reach. One option is to headquarter and administratively consolidate an ROTC program at one centrally located institution but quarter full-time cadre at other universities across the city.

* The twenty-first-century security environment requires a new breed of officer--one who is innovative, creative, and versatile. However, knowledge and skills take time to develop. If the military intends to grow its cadre of warrior-scholars, it will need to look outward--to the next generation of military officers.

* The absence of ROTC units on urban campuses, especially in the Northeast, prevents the military from taking full advantage of their large, ethnically diverse populations. This is particularly true in the case of the City University of New York (CUNY), the third-largest public university system in the country and the alma mater of nearly half of New York City's college population. Yet today there is not a single ROTC program at any CUNY school.

* By overlooking institutions like CUNY--among the top producers of African American baccalaureates--the military is not accessing minority officers fully reflective of the population. This absence might account, in part, for the lack of black officers in the top leadership ranks.

* The military is missing out on another prime recruiting opportunity--New York's Junior ROTC (JROTC) programs.

These units are among the largest and highest performing in the country, yet senior ROTC allocations do not reflect where most JROTC graduates attend college. As a result, dozens of potential officers, already familiar with the military, are lost every year.

* The military should make better use of a currently wasted resource--young, but experienced, separating officers. By placing these officers at ROTC programs and with officer-recruiting teams, the military could retain valuable talent for the short term, while giving its top officers a chance to transition into civilian life--and replace themselves.


My participation in the Reserve Officers' Training Corps granted me the opportunity to do something that is more than just an occupation, something that I, as many soldiers have before me, look upon as an honor and a privilege: the chance to lead our nation's service men and women as a military officer.... Wars may come and go, but the necessity to protect and defend our Constitution as well as our lives, liberties, and pursuit of happiness will always remain.

--Captain Sean Wilkes, Columbia College '06

The "Narrow Sliver" Problem

In September 2010 at Duke University, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates gave a remarkable speech about the state of America's all-volunteer force, reflecting on both its achievements and the challenges it now faces. (1) Since September 11, 2001, more than 2 million troops have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Gates detailed the stresses and strains placed on the armed forces by these ongoing operations--deployments unprecedented in both their duration and frequency since the establishment of the all-volunteer force in 1973. The consequences "include more anxiety and disruption inflicted on children, increased domestic strife and a corresponding rising divorce rate, which in the case of the Army enlisted has nearly doubled since the wars began." The social contract between America and our troops--in which we promise soldiers some "semblance of a normal life" in exchange for their service and sacrifice--has been severely strained, if not broken.

If Gates had ended with just those points, his speech would have been noteworthy. What was most striking, however, was his willingness to address the more subtle, but no less important, issue of "the relationship between those in uniform and the wider society they have sworn to protect."

Gates identified the widening gap between the "narrow sliver" of Americans who serve in the military and those who do not. No major war in American history has been fought with a smaller percentage of citizens in uniform full time--roughly 2.4 million active and reserve service members in a country of over 300 million, less than 1 percent. In addition, Gates noted, fewer and fewer Americans have ties to those who have served in the military. Veterans represent just 9 percent of the total population (a number that continues to decline), (2) with the result that many Americans lack access to an "influencer"--a veteran parent, relative, or friend--who might offer a positive example of military service. (3)

Soldiers also come from a narrower segment of society--geographically and culturally--than ever before. Southerners disproportionately populate all the branches, while the Northeast and large metropolitan areas--New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia--produce relatively few service members despite having a large percentage of the country's youth population. (4) America's military bases and installations have become largely concentrated in Georgia, Kentucky, Texas, Washington, and North Carolina, leaving, Gates noted, "a void of relationships and understanding of the armed forces" in large swaths of the country.

With few connecting links between the military and civilians, many Americans do not know anyone who has fought or been killed overseas--even as the military is still fighting the longest war in American history. "Whatever their fond sentiments for men and women in uniform, for most Americans the wars remain an abstraction, a distant and unpleasant series of news items that do not affect them personally," Gates concluded. "Even after 9/11, in the absence of a draft, for a growing number of Americans, service in the military, no matter how laudable, has become something for other people to do."

Gates is not alone in identifying the "narrow sliver" problem; other military experts and commentators, including former US Army vice chief of staff General Jack Keane, Lieutenant General David Barno, USA (retired), scholars Richard Kohn and Peter Feaver, journalist Thomas Ricks, and former congressman Ike Skelton, have all expressed concerns about a growing civil-military divide. President Barack Obama addressed the issue on the campaign trail at Columbia University, asserting the importance of "military service as an obligation not just of some, but of many." The president told students, "You know, I traveled, obviously, a lot over the last 19 months. And if you go to small towns, throughout the Midwest or the Southwest or the South, every town has tons of young people who are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. That's not always the case in other parts of the country, in more urban centers." (5)

Broadening the "Narrow Sliver"

ROTC is one of the best ways to achieve the simultaneous blend of the civilian and military that is so desirable in this country's military forces. The ROTC cadet and graduate exemplifies the citizen-soldier at his best. He receives a liberal education side by side with his civilian contemporary. But at the same time he receives the training necessary to make him an effective military officer.

--Former Assistant Secretary of Defense Roger T. Kelley (Manpower and Reserve Affairs)

Gates's remarks at Duke forcefully laid out the "narrow sliver" problem; however, he was largely silent as to how the military--and the country as a whole--might address the problem. One exception was his exhortation to elite universities--and their students--to support military service, particularly the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC). In Gates's discussion, the ROTC could serve as a hedge against a civil-military divide.

The ROTC is a college-based, officer-commissioning program officially adopted with the National Defense Act of 1916 as part of the country's "preparedness movement" for World War I. The first organized ROTC units were established at 46 colleges and universities by the Army in the same year, by the Navy in 1926 (a Marine Option was introduced in 1932), and by the Air Force in 1946 (although it was not yet a separate service). (6) At present, ROTC units are in operation at 489 colleges and universities. These units serve 2,469 additional colleges through cross-registration arrangements. The Army has host programs on 273 campuses, the Navy on 72, and the Air Force on 144. (7)

While they are still identified by the term "reserve," ROTC programs are now a major source of junior officers for all three services. Until recently, when it was superseded by Officer Candidate School (OCS) in 2008, it was the largest such source for the Army. (8) It produces officers at comparatively low cost: a 2004 study by the Navy's Tench Francis School of Business found that academy graduates cost four times as much to train as ROTC scholarship officers. In addition, the ROTC supplies the military with many of its top officers, among them the recently retired chief of staff of the Army (General George W Casey), the vice chief of staff (General Peter W Chiarelli), the commandant of the Marine Corps (General James F Amos), and the commanding officer of Northern Command (Admiral James A. Winnefeld Jr.), among others. Indeed, by the late 1980s, the ROTC began producing more flag and general officers (that is, admirals in the Navy and generals in the Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps) than the service academies and has continued to do so ever since. (9)

The ROTC plays an invaluable role as a source of competent military officers and leaders for the armed forces. As important as that role is, however, it was considered secondary to the role of making "citizen-soldiers" for much of American history. Indeed, according to Michael Neiberg in his excellent history, Making Citizen-Soldiers: ROTC and the Ideology of American Military Service, it was the creation of the ROTC that allowed "Americans to support a large standing military without the fear that the military will develop a value system alien to their own." (10)

Americans have long been mistrustful of large standing armies, so for much of its early history, the United States relied on a small, professional regular army, which was supplemented during times of crisis by state militias and other volunteer forces. This system sufficed until the American Civil War, when the government had to mobilize a large army. The US Military Academy at West Point, the nation's traditional source for army officers, could not produce enough officers to lead the huge force necessary, so American political leaders were forced to confront the dilemma of how to field an adequate military while avoiding the perils of militarism.

The ROTC and its predecessor programs were a typically American response. Rather than expanding the military-academy system to build its officer corps--the preferred option of the military leadership--the United States turned to college-based training programs that would produce citizen-soldier officers to counterbalance the professional officers coming out of West Point. By virtue of their different education, these officers would infuse the military with a broader set of civilian values and help ensure that the military's leadership is more reflective of the country as a whole. As Princeton president John Grier Hibben, one of the ROTC's early supporters and organizers, explained:
   There are two ways in which a great people
   such as ours may prepare for the defense of
   their country. One is a concentration of military
   knowledge and experience in a large standing
   army, and the other is a diffusion of military
   knowledge and experience widely throughout
   the nation... . Military strength, however,
   which is available but not visible and therefore
   incapable of ostentatious display, will enable us
   to meet any critical emergency which may
   arise, and at the same time leave us free from
   domination by a military caste and a military
   policy. This plan of intensive training of our college
   men does not in any way tend to increase
   our standing army. It is on the contrary a most
   admirable method of decreasing it. (11)

The Morrill Land-Grant Act of 1862 established the first of these college-based programs at new land-grant universities. In exchange for public land, these new institutions were required to include military tactics in their curricula. Students at non-land-grant institutions, particularly those at elite Northeastern colleges, also sought military training, leading to the establishment of summer military training camps in the years leading up to World War I. By 1914, some thirty thousand American students, about 8 percent of total college enrollment, were enrolled in military-science courses. The land-grant colleges sent the army three times more officers, including fifty generals, than West Point. Another forty thousand were trained at the summer camps. These experiments, however, lacked the quality and uniformity necessary to consistently supply the military with competent reserve officers, so the ROTC was officially instituted. (12)

A National Program

As originally intended, the ROTC was a national program; if military leadership was to reflect the nation's broad diversity, officers must come from institutions across the country. An ROTC program that encompassed all fifty states, all strata of society, and all types of institutions--including historically black colleges, Ivy League universities, small liberal arts schools, and large state schools--could help maintain the social, geographic, economic, and intellectual balance of the officer corps in a way that other commissioning sources could not.

In recent years, however, the ROTC has become subject to the same trends that Gates noted in his remarks at Duke University. Since the Vietnam War era, ROTC units have shifted to the South and Midwest for economic and cultural reasons. Programs in these regions are typically more cost-effective, producing a greater number of graduates at a lower cost per cadet. Faculty and administrators have also proved more welcoming, offering incentives such as new training facilities, free or discounted room and board, and additional scholarship aid to attract ROTC programs. Finally, many in the military simply feel less comfortable outside their familiar red-state and land-grant enclaves--a result, in part, of the homogenization of the officer corps.

Today's officer corps is now recruited inordinately from the ranks of the officer corps--that is, the sons and daughters of officers become the next generation of officers. According to one study, children of officers and noncommissioned officers are six times more likely to make the military their career. (13) In 2008, of 307 top-level general officers, 180 had children in the service. (14) This is a testament to the admirable ethic of service among many military families, but it is also the unintended consequence of military recruiting policy. The concentration of ROTC programs and military bases in the South and Midwest means a smaller and smaller pool from which the military can draw recruits. (15) ROTC scholarship applicants with family ties to the military are often favored over those without such ties. This is not unreasonable as these applicants are more likely to understand the commitment they are making and, thus, less likely to drop out of the program. (16) Nevertheless, the result--an increasingly hereditary officer caste detached from civilian society--is precisely what a national ROTC program was intended to protect against.

New York City

With over 8 million residents and the largest university student population of any city in the United States, New York City demonstrates the challenges faced by urban ROTC programs--and their great potential. (17) New York's students are not afforded the same opportunities for military service as those in many other regions of the United States, to the detriment of the military's ability to recruit from a diverse and talented segment of America's youth. Virginia, population 8 million, has twenty ROTC programs (eleven Army, six Navy, and three Air Force). Alabama, population 4.7 million, has ten Army programs--the same number it had before the wave of closures began in 1989. Mississippi, population 2.9 million, has five Army ROTC programs--having lost only one since 1989--and four Air Force ROTC programs. Meanwhile, New York City has just two Army ROTC programs and a single Navy and Air Force program.

The scarcity of opportunities for military service in New York City is pronounced. With the scars of September 11 still visible today, New Yorkers have a large and personal stake in the country's security. They should be afforded equal opportunities as those in other regions of the country to become military officers and to serve in defense of their city and their nation.

ROTC in New York City Today

Despite its limited land area--just 305 square miles--New York City is the most populous city in the United States, with an estimated 2010 population of 8.1 million. It is the most densely populated major city--with more residents than thirty-nine states. (18)

Yet for the past twenty years, New York has been served by just two Army ROTC programs within its five boroughs, at Fordham University in the Bronx and St. John's University in Queens. Likewise, the Navy and Air Force host one ROTC program each, both located in the Bronx.

* Fordham's Army ROTC Ram Battalion is one of the oldest ROTC programs in the country, tracing its roots back to the late 1840s. It was formally recognized on September 20, 1926. The Fordham battalion services over fifty schools in New York City. It also operates satellite programs at its Lincoln Center campus in Manhattan and at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York. Cadets attend class twice a week and physical training at least three days a week. (19)

* The St. John's Army ROTC Red Storm Battalion was established in 1968. Along with Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, it covers Queens and Long Island. On Veterans Day 2010, St. John's announced it would reestablish its Army ROTC program on its Staten Island campus beginning in the spring 2011 semester. Cadets attend class twice a week and physical training at least three days a week. (20)

* The Manhattan College Air Force Detachment 560 traces its history back to 1943, when the school began training US Army recruits in basic engineering courses to support World War II. In September 1951, the first Air Force ROTC academic year started, boasting an incoming freshman class of 550 students. It services thirty schools through its cross-registration agreements and is the most easily accessible via subway, although the commute is still significant for students attending school in the other four boroughs. This program also serves Long Island and Westchester. Air Force ROTC students commute to Manhattan College just once a week for a full day of training and instruction. (21)

* New York City's sole Navy ROTC program was established in October 1973 at the State University of New York (SUNY) Maritime Academy, following decades of Navy involvement with the college. Enrollment in the program is strictly limited to students attending SUNY Maritime, Fordham University, or Molloy College (nursing students only). On April 22, the Navy announced an agreement with Columbia University to open the program to Columbia students, pending full implementation of the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell." However, even with Columbia's addition to the program, the Navy would still be limited to selecting from a population of less than fifty thousand out of a six-hundred-thousand-plus college population. Moreover, the Navy ROTC program is located beneath Throgs Neck Bridge on the outskirts of the Bronx. It is almost completely inaccessible via public transportation--a significant challenge for cross-enrolled Navy ROTC students, who are required to attend classes and drill at Maritime three days a week. (22)

However, it might be more telling to look not where the ROTC currently is in New York City--but where it is not.

* Although Manhattan Island is home to over 1.5 million people and forty colleges and universities, there is not a single school in the borough of Manhattan with an ROTC host program. (23)

* There is no ROTC presence in Brooklyn, which would be the fourth-largest city in the United States if it were its own city. Brooklyn is also home to a significantly diverse population, roughly the size of Mississippi, which has five Army ROTC units, one Navy program, and four Air Force detachments. (24)

* The City University of New York (CUNY) is the third-largest public university system in the country, ranking behind only the University of California and the State University of New York, although its campuses all reside within a single city rather than an entire state. The CUNY system has over 480,000 students. As of 2007, 54 percent of undergraduates and 46 percent of all college students in New York City were attending CUNY. General Colin Powell graduated from the ROTC program at City College, CUNY's flagship campus. Yet today there is not a single ROTC program at any CUNY school. (25)

* Finally, New York City is home to many first-rate private universities, including Columbia University, the fifth-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States, and New York University, the country's largest private, nonprofit university. Yet, even with the restoration of ties between the Navy ROTC and Columbia, neither university hosts an ROTC program or graduates more than a few military officers each year.


New York's few ROTC programs are located a significant distance from other colleges and universities and are not easily accessible by subway, although the majority of New Yorkers do not have cars and rely on public transportation. As a result, students participating in ROTC programs through cross-registration agreements must undertake awkward reverse commutes to remote, outer-borough locations. Direct mileage can be a misleading indicator of travel times, since the New York City public transit system is designed around Manhattan. (For example, almost all subway travel from Brooklyn to Queens is routed through Manhattan.) (26)

To illustrate this point, US Army captain Sean Wilkes, a 2006 Columbia University ROTC graduate and former NYC recruiter, created an interactive map showing the location of current ROTC host programs, all cross-enrolled colleges, and the official transit time between each school and its ROTC host as calculated by the NYC Transit Authority. (The map is available at /uploads/2010/07/NYCROTCMAP.htm.) One-way commute times range from fifteen minutes to nearly two hours (to out-of-the-way SUNY Maritime). For example, Brooklyn College, with over sixteen thousand students, is over an hour away from its host Army ROTC program at St. John's University. (27)

While the opening of Fordham's Lincoln Center program has helped ease the commute for Manhattan-based cadets, the lack of full-time cadre presence means cadets frequently must travel to the Bronx for some coursework and administrative services. (28) Cross-enrolled cadets must also shoulder the cost of transportation--a monthly transit pass costs $104--out of their monthly stipend, along with other living expenses. Transportation costs pose a considerable problem for nonscholarship first- and second-year cadets, as these students have not yet signed a contract to serve in the military and receive no compensation for their ROTC participation. (29)

Lastly, many cross-enrolled cadets have trouble connecting with other cadets and instructors at host programs. As one Columbia University cadet remarked, "the farther away you are from the flagpole, the less people care about you." Without a fulltime instructor presence, the involved cadre and active mentoring a successful ROTC program depends on are much more difficult.


Given the recruiting challenge they face, New York City's ROTC programs are underresourced. These programs have logistical, outreach, and transportation challenges incomparable to the more typical ROTC detachment at a Southern state school. Yet, as Army Reserve captain John Renehan notes, New York City's two Army ROTC programs receive roughly the same resources as the Army ROTC program at Texas A&M, with only forty-seven thousand students. (30) Recruiting officers are expected to canvass the more than one hundred colleges and 12 million people in New York City, Long Island, and Westchester County. Given the size of the market and the paucity of resources, effective outreach simply cannot occur; it is physically impossible for St. John's ROTC cadre to showcase the program to the over 5 million residents of Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island with the same resources afforded to Virginia Tech, with only thirty thousand students. (31)

This one-size-fits-all approach fails to account for the unique needs of each market. Given current budget constraints, establishing new, independent host programs in each of the five boroughs may not be feasible. However, there are other alternatives. One option is to headquarter and administratively consolidate an ROTC program at one centrally located institution but quarter full-time cadre at other universities across the city. The Army ROTC program in Chicago provides such a model. Currently, its sole host program at the University of Illinois-Chicago maintains an instructor presence at six other colleges and universities. These instructors have office space and e-mail accounts at the schools to which they are assigned--helping them remain part of the "fabric" of the school community. (32) At each of these sites, the military might also include roaming recruitment and outreach teams who would work both to advertise the program and to help retain cadets by ensuring they get the administrative support they need.

Such outreach can make a difference. In 2000, Fordham's Army ROTC program was producing about five officers per year and on the verge of being shut down. Its cadre rarely left the Fordham campus to recruit cadets. The program was revitalized by a new instructor, Major Mike Hoblin, a native New Yorker and Fordham ROTC graduate, who began offering ROTC classes at Fordham's Lincoln Center campus, increasing participation rates at New York University, City College, and John Jay College. In 2006, the program was recognized by the US Army as being among the top 15 percent of ROTC units nationwide in the 2004-2005 school year. (33)

Why New York City?

New York City is hardly the only urban market that is underresourced by the ROTC. Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Washington, DC, have all seen their ROTC footprint reduced as a result of the post-Cold War draw-down. Denver, Detroit, Las Vegas, and Memphis have no ROTC host programs.

However, nowhere is the ROTC-to-population disparity as severe as it is in New York City. The population of the city proper alone is more than double the next-largest city, Los Angeles (seven ROTC programs)--or roughly equivalent to the combined populations of Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston, America's second, third, and fourth most populous cities, respectively. Moreover, New York City has the largest university student population in the United States, with over 610,000 students--five times that of Boston and ten times that of Washington, DC. (34)

New York City is also unique among other large cities in the Northeast and Midwest in that it continues to grow at a substantial rate. Staten Island is the fastest-growing borough, with a growth rate of 5.6 percent between 2000 and 2010. During the same period, Manhattan grew by 3.2 percent, the Bronx by 3.9 percent, and Brooklyn by 1.6 percent. (35) By 2030, demographers estimate, the city's population will reach between 9.2 and 9.5 million. (36)

Even within its own state, New York City is underrepresented in the ROTC. In 2010, New York City accounted for 42.2 percent of New York States population. New Yorks other major cities have flat or falling populations. (37) For instance, Buffalo, New York's second-largest city, lost approximately half its population from 1950 to 2000, and it continues to decline. Moreover, upstate New York's population is aging faster than the rest of the country, and a greater share of its population is elderly. The downward population trend has also been driven by the exodus of young adults, especially those aged twenty to thirty-four. (38) Yet, of the state's twenty-three host ROTC programs (thirteen Army ROTC, four Navy ROTC, and six Air Force ROTC), all but five are located in upstate counties (see appendix, table A.2). (39)

With its large, growing, and diverse population, New York City has much to offer the military. The city can help supply the cultural competency and language skills the military needs as it fulfills its many and varied global responsibilities. By expanding its reach, the military can ease the enormous pressures on the service men and women currently in the field and reconnect to American society. Moreover, returning the ROTC to New York City would restore a proud tradition of military service. As the history below will attest, ROTC programs once thrived in New York City--and could do so again.

A History of the ROTC in New York City

The history of the ROTC is inextricably linked to New York. In April 1783, the Continental Congress appointed a special committee to devise a plan for the nation's defense. George Clinton, prominent statesman, veteran, and six-term governor of New York, proposed the introduction of military instruction at one civilian college in each state of the union. Graduates would be commissioned and serve a short period on active duty. Upon returning to civilian life, they would form a trained officer reserve that would be available in a time of emergency. (40)

Clinton's proposal was not adopted, but experiments with military training on college campuses across the country soon followed--including in New York City. Indeed, New York boasted some of the largest and oldest ROTC programs in the country. Among these were Fordham University, the City College of New York, New York University, and Columbia University.

A Favored Place on Campus, 1916-60

Long before the ROTC was officially adopted, students at New York schools were participating in military training. In 1775, Alexander Hamilton, then an eighteen-year-old student at King's College (now Columbia University), formed a voluntary militia called the "Hearts of Oak," which became the New York Provincial Company of Artillery, serving with distinction throughout the American Revolution. (41) At Fordham University, in the late 1840s, twelve muskets were provided for the defense of the campus against members of the Know Nothing movement, who had threatened to burn Catholic churches. Some ten years later, forty Fordham students formed their own unit, the College Cadets,

and conducted drills. Students at New York schools--including City College, Columbia, and Fordham--all served in the American Civil War. However, it was not until the drive for "military preparedness" on the eve of World War I that the question of collegiate military training was raised. In 1913, General Leonard Wood, then Army chief of staff, established two experimental military training camps for students, inaugurating the "Plattsburgh Movement," a national effort to promote citizen-soldiers named for the model summer camp located in Plattsburgh, New York. Interest in expanding the program led many educators and university administrators to endorse on-campus military instruction as the best way to strengthen America's military while avoiding militarism and the need for a standing army. A 1915 New York Times survey of some of the country's most prominent college presidents found the majority enthusiastic about the idea. An exception was Columbia College dean Frederick Keppel, who, like Columbia president Nicholas Murray Butler, supported US neutrality. (42)

Opposition did not last long--even at Columbia. By 1916, Columbia had agreed to the establishment of an on-campus Naval Training Program "for the purpose of broadening [cadets'] viewpoint by contact with civilians," (43) and its students began enrolling in greater numbers in the Plattsburgh military training camps. (44)

Later that year, advocates of military preparedness achieved two major victories. On May 15, 1916, New York State enacted the Slater Law, which made military training compulsory for all males between the ages of sixteen and nineteen and not otherwise employed. (45) The following month, President Woodrow Wilson signed into law the National Defense Act of 1916, expanding the size and scope of the National Guard and formally establishing the ROTC to train and prepare high school and college students for Army service. With limited funding, the new units serviced only forty-six schools. (46)

New York City did not gain an official ROTC unit until 1917.47 However, the general enthusiasm for military training prompted many universities and colleges to form their own cadet training corps--many of them operating quasiofficially under the direction of military officers. At Columbia, for instance, students drilled as part of the Columbia Corps under the command of an Army officer until given official permission to establish an ROTC unit in 1918. (48)

With the passage of the national Manpower Bill of September 1918, all men from eighteen to forty-five were made liable to military service. To soften the blow to college enrollments, the War Department established the Students' Army Training Corps (SATC), suspending the ROTC for the duration of the war. Among the participating New York City schools were City College, Columbia, Fordham, Long Island College, Manhattan College, New York University, Brooklyn Polytechnic, and St. Francis College in Brooklyn. (49) In the approving words of the New York Times, these institutions would become "official military reservation[s]," adhering to a simplified wartime curriculum and formally contracted with the US government. (50) Indeed, the federal government took the campuses over in all but name, using existing plants, equipment, and personnel to enable the country's colleges to train and select officer candidates.

A month after the armistice in November 1918, the SATC was demobilized. In all, some 140,000 male students took part in the SATC. The program had a lasting effect on American universities--it saved a number of colleges from bankruptcy, increased attendance, and led to new departments, such as programs in naval engineering, statistics, and aeronautical science. (51)

Although the war was over, interest in collegiate military training did not end. With the dissolution of the SATC, the War Department began to reestablish its ROTC units, with Columbia, New York University, and City College reinstating their drill programs. (52) At both New York University and City College, the ROTC was made compulsory for freshmen and sophomores. Then, in October 1919, New York announced its intention to continue enforcement of the Slater Law--somewhat to the surprise of university administrators who assumed the law to be a "dead letter." Nonetheless, they were supportive of the decision, with Fordham announcing it would resume its drill program to facilitate student compliance. (53)

The period between the world wars saw the continuing expansion of the ROTC. The National Defense Act of 1920 increased federal support to the program in the form of uniforms, equipment, and instructors. Starting with 135 institutions in 1919, the program grew to encompass 220 colleges and universities by 1940. By the time the United States entered World War II, the ROTC had produced over one hundred thousand officers, and its graduates constituted around 80 percent of the Organized Reserve Corps. (54)

In New York City, the ROTC continued to thrive. Beyond the continuation of the military training programs at schools across the city, New York University was chosen as one of the country's first Air ROTC units in 1926. (55) That September, Fordham organized an official ROTC unit. (56)

This is not to say that the ROTC's tenure at these universities was untroubled during this time. From its founding, the ROTC has weathered periods of student and faculty protest. The end of World War I saw a burgeoning student peace movement, leading to the discontinuation of the ROTC on over sixty campuses nationwide. (57) For the most part, student protest against militarism was concentrated in the Northeast, with City College, in particular, becoming one of the "most highly publicized centers of anti-ROTC sentiment." (58) Students there achieved a partial victory in 1928 when the faculty agreed to make the ROTC program elective--so long as students took a three-yearlong hygiene course in its place. Meanwhile, students at Columbia, New York University, Syracuse, and the University of Chicago took the Oxford Pledge against military drill on campus. Opposition heightened on April 13, 1934, when more than 25,000 student protesters walked out of their classrooms; a similar event the next year, the "Strike for Peace," drew 175,000 protesters. As would occur during the 1960s, the ROTC took the brunt of student antiwar protest. At the Strike for Peace, students waved placards calling for the abolition of the ROTC and "Scholarship, Not Battleships." The 1936 "Strike for Peace" drew half a million students across the country. (59)

Again, opposition died down as the United States moved closer to war. In September 1940, President Franklin Roosevelt signed into law the Burke-Wadsworth Act, the first national peacetime draft in US history. One response to conscription was a renewed interest in the ROTC programs at the colleges. University administrators sought to have the military recognize on-campus drill as fulfilling student obligations under the Selective Service Act. Columbia was one of the most active schools in this regard, introducing a new flight school program, Marine Corps Reserve training, and military surveying--all of which were available on campus. (60)

With the attack on Pearl Harbor, student protest ended almost completely, even at City College, where antiwar rallies and peace strikes had continued throughout 1940. New York's universities again became military camps, and the ROTC was suspended from 1942 to 1945 in favor of more rapid officer-training programs. At Columbia, the Navy took over twelve buildings to house a midshipmen's school that trained over twenty thousand naval officers. Columbia's Corps of Midshipmen would come to rival even the Naval Academy itself in size. (61) New York University established a Navy training program and Army Specialized Training Programs, while students at City College--along with others at Brooklyn and Queens Colleges--participated in a new civil aeronautics program. (62) In addition, City College organized the largest voluntary cadet corps in the country. By 1945, New York University had sent twenty-nine thousand students to the armed forces, and City College and Columbia had each sent over fifteen thousand. (63)

The period after World War II was the high point for the ROTC in New York City. Columbia's Navy ROTC program was formally inaugurated in September 1945, and City College's Army ROTC swelled to more than fifteen hundred cadets in the 1950s, making it among the largest units in the United States. (64) In 1951, Army ROTC programs were established at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and St. Peter's College in Jersey City. Later that year, Brooklyn College, Columbia University, Manhattan College, and Queens College all established Air Force ROTC units. (65) The program expanded too quickly, however, and within a few years, many were terminated by the Air Force due to lack of sufficient student interest. (66)

The First Wave of Closures, 1965-75

In the mid-1960s, as student protest over the Vietnam War intensified, the ROTC became a convenient and accessible target of student and faculty anger. As the 1968 report Crisis at Columbia noted, opposition to the ROTC, on-campus military recruiting, and defense-related research was largely symbolic, allowing protesters "to transfer to the campus their intense moral indignation against the Vietnam War." (67) Nonetheless, university protest had a long-reaching impact on the ROTC--starting the program on its Southern shift. In all, New York City lost five ROTC programs, including three in Manhattan: Brooklyn College, Pratt Institute, Columbia, City College, and New York University

In the early 1960s, the ROTC seemed headed for a downward slide with falling enrollments. In part, this decline was due to the abolition of compulsory ROTC at many colleges and universities. Congress responded with the ROTC Revitalization Act of 1964, creating a new scholarship program, a large stipend for advanced cadets, and a new two-year program. The military also lessened its emphasis on drill, perhaps the program's most unpopular feature for students. (68)

As the ROTC program slowly began to stabilize, student protests over the Vietnam War were just beginning. Initially, antiwar students were a minority on campus, but as the war dragged on, the activist minority attained an increasingly disproportionate influence over fellow students. Again, student and faculty protesters were largely from the Northeast; one study of signatories to antiwar petitions by Everett C. Ladd found that the overwhelming majority--66 percent--came from colleges in the Northeast. Only a tiny fraction (2.5 percent) were from the South. There were also few signatories from Catholic colleges and universities--a notable absence in light of the fact that of New York City's four remaining ROTC programs, three are hosted at private Catholic institutions. Among the schools with the most signatories were New York University, Columbia University, Brooklyn College, and City College. (69)

Protests of ROTC activities and on-campus military recruiting occurred with increasing regularity during the mid-1960s. In May 1965, the Columbia Navy ROTC commissioning ceremony was disrupted by an antiwar protest organized by the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), and the police had to be called in. An October 1965 rally in support of the war erupted in violence at Manhattan College. (70) These protests were not unsuccessful. The ROTC's unpopularity at Brooklyn College led to declining numbers in its Air Force ROTC unit, and the program was closed in 1966. A year later, after a confrontation at Brooklyn College between students and two Navy recruiters led to a school riot (dubbed "Black Friday"), the New York University administration decided to "indefinitely postpone" Air Force recruitment visits to avoid confrontation with antiwar student groups. (71)

With the beginning of the Tet Offensive in January 1968, New York City experienced its most volatile student activism--culminating in the student takeover of five buildings at Columbia. Antiwar protests became increasingly violent and destructive; over four hundred anti-ROTC incidents, many involving vandalism, were reported between 1968 and 1970 alone. (72) In 1969, for instance, antiwar protesters sprayed chicken blood over ROTC classrooms at City College while SDS and other student protesters trashed New York University's ROTC offices. (73) City College's ROTC building was set on fire, and Brooklyn Polytechnic's ROTC building was firebombed the following year. (74)

Fordham University had its share of anti-ROTC protest, as well. At the height of student opposition, in November 1969, seventy-five members of the Committee to Abolish ROTC occupied the president's office for several hours while two hundred students outside cheered on the protesters and threw them food. Police were called in to expel the occupiers, but not before the building had sustained $12,500 in damages (over $70,000 in today's dollars). However, as Joshua M. Zeitz notes in his history White Ethnic New York: Jews, Catholics, and the Shaping of Postwar Politics, the radicalism of Fordham's students was not shared by their parents or the school's alumni. Instead, these largely middle-class Irish and Italian Catholics demanded that Fordham crack down on dissident students, and, notably, Fordham's faculty approved of the administration's decision to call the police to oust the protesters. (75)

In the end, Fordham managed to keep its ROTC program. For many of New York's other schools, however, the divide between the university and military had grown too great. Between 1969 and 1970, fifteen colleges requested that the ROTC be withdrawn from their campuses. All but one--Stanford University--were located in the Northeast. Among these schools were Columbia University, New York University, and Pratt Institute. (76)

While Vietnam was not the sole factor in these universities' decision to remove the ROTC from their campuses, it was the key factor. At Columbia, the Joint Committee on Navy ROTC, appointed in 1968 to consider the ROTC question, argued that many of the university's longstanding issues with the ROTC program--including academic credit, faculty titles, and the so-called punitive clauses (in which ROTC scholarship cadets who dropped out of the program early were immediately conscripted into service)--could no longer be tolerated given the university's broken trust in the US military. (77)

Accordingly, in 1969, the committee resolved to cancel course listings for Navy ROTC, strip Navy ROTC instructors of their university titles, and deny the program training or instructional space--thereby violating provisions in the ROTC Vitalization Act and forcing the Navy to close the program. (78) With the committee's decision, as Robert A. McCaughey writes in his history Stand, Columbia, the Navy ROTC program that had "allowed some six hundred young men to attend Columbia College on full scholarships and another one thousand Columbians to take up commissions in the Naval Reserve" came to an end. (79)

The military responded by moving south. This move was, in part, pragmatic. The South had several advantages over the Northeast when it came to military training: much more open space, comparatively lower costs, and weather that allowed for year-round training. However, there was also a sense that southern schools were more hospitable to the military and the ROTC. As one publication noted at the time, "Little of the violent protest aimed at 'Rotsy' in recent years occurred south of the Mason-Dixon line." (80) To make up for the loss of programs in the Northeast, new units were established at thirty campuses, all but seven of them in southern or border states. (81) As a result, by 1974, southern units outnumbered eastern ones 180 to 93. Moreover, the new ROTC host campuses were typically state universities or historically black colleges and universities, and, crucially, all allowed credit for ROTC courses. (82) A 1971 survey of ROTC programs summarized the new trend as follows: "[T]he military will be drawing fewer officers from Yale, Princeton and Harvard and more from Alcorn A & M College (Miss.), Austin Peay State University (Tenn.) and Parsons College (Iowa)." (83)

The ROTC's withdrawal from the Northeast worried some. In 1969, the New York Times approved the withdrawal of credit for ROTC courses but cautioned universities against wholesale abolition of the program. "Under the guise of antimilitary fervor," the Times editorialized, "the current debate overlooks the fundamental role of the R.O.T.C. in perpetuating an adequate pool of educated, civilian leadership within the armed forces. The alternative would clearly be a vastly expanded professional officer corps, with the threat of a steadily enlarged vested interest group inside the military." (84) George C. S. Benson, former president of Claremont-McKenna College and the deputy assistant secretary of defense, was appointed to chair a committee to review the ROTC and suggest ways to redesign the program. In his testimony before Congress in 1972, he warned members of the increasing social and geographic imbalance of the ROTC program: "Nobody really wants to have ROTC coming from predominantly one section of the country." (85)

The losses continued to mount in New York City--and the Northeast. In June 1972, City College lost its ROTC program after enrollment dropped from a high of 1,400 students to 81 in the program's final year. (86) As a result, Manhattan was without an ROTC unit for the first time in the program's history--until the establishment of an Army ROTC battalion at CUNY's John Jay College of Criminal Justice in the 1970s.

Stabilization, 1970-89

Slowly, the military began to retrench. With the decline of compulsory ROTC programs and the end of the draft in 1973, the ROTC faced significant challenges in increasing officer production. The military needed a new, proactive recruiting strategy.

In the late 1970s, the military launched the "Expand the Base" initiative. Its ambitious goal was to boost annual output to 10,500 officers by 1985. This was to be accomplished by creating more ROTC units, particularly new "extension centers" (half-sized ROTC units generally managed by two officers and two noncommissioned officers). Over one hundred extension centers and thirty-six host institutions were to be established by the end of 1983. Although the initiative did not reach its stated objective, it did result in a substantial expansion of the ROTC program. Between 1978 and 1983, the number of ROTC units shot up by 40 percent (from 297 to 416). (87)

New York City was at the head of this trend. In 1968, the Army launched a new program at St. John's University in Queens and reestablished its foothold in Manhattan with an extension center at CUNY's John Jay College of Criminal Justice in the early 1970s. (88) St. John's also launched a robust satellite program on its Staten Island campus (which will be reestablished this spring after its closure in 1995). (89)

The Navy ROTC unit at the SUNY Maritime College was established in October 1973. It expanded rapidly during its first years of operation, commissioning its first two graduates with the class of 1974. A decision to discontinue the unit in 1977 was quickly overturned by strong support from the college and various legislators. In later years, the unit gained cross-town enrollment agreements with Fordham University (1985) and Molloy College (1992, nursing students only). (90)

The other notable development during this time was the Army's creation of "gold miner teams." These teams consisted of two to three officers with the sole responsibility of prospecting for potential ROTC cadets. They provided strategic support to local ROTC programs, attending college fairs, visiting high schools, and participating in other events where the local ROTC program did not have sufficient resources to properly conduct outreach. The first gold miner teams began operating in the Los Angeles area in 1983, and by fall 1986, eighteen such teams were engaged in major metropolitan areas across the country, including Chicago and Detroit. (91)

The Second Wave of Closures, 1989-Present

No sooner had the military begun to expand the ROTC program than it started to downsize again, embarking on the largest institutional drawdown in the history of the ROTC program. With the end of the Cold War, military spending was cut dramatically and force strength greatly reduced. The Army, for instance, was tasked by Congress to shrink active duty end strength from 750,000 to 495,000 by 1995. (92) Given the reduced need for a large supply of officers, the ROTC became a logical place to cut.

With dwindling resources and personnel cutbacks, the ROTC was forced to make broad cuts across its budget. It began by closing many of the programs it had opened earlier during the Expand the Base initiative. Since they were relatively new, the programs tended to be small and lacked strong administrative and student support. The ROTC also came under increasing pressure to close low-producing units--particularly high-cost programs in the North. A 1991 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, Reserve Officers' Training Corps: Less Need for Officers Provides Opportunity for Significant Savings, estimated that 10 percent of all ROTC units were low producers, singling out the new extension centers for special criticism. (93)

The services had been encouraged to close low-producing units before; indeed, the 1991 GAO report chided the services for failing to take cost-cutting measures outlined in its previous reports in 1973 and 1977.94 In turn, the services protested that closing uneconomical units was a difficult and complex task. Proposed closures were often vigorously resisted--with college administrators and alumni enlisting members of Congress to help prevent closure. Moreover, the Army argued that the new extension centers helped promote "representativeness" and maintain a semblance of geographic and social balance within the officer corps.

Unlike earlier years, however, the need to align the ROTC's institutional structure with a declining defense budget and shrinking military force could not be ignored. Deep personnel cuts--including a ban on using active-duty Reserve or National Guard officers as ROTC instructors--made retaining the program's current footprint impossible. (95) As a result, the ROTC further consolidated its programs in the South, closing over seventy programs--including its remaining Army battalion at Brooklyn Polytechnic in 1991. Urban areas were hit hard. New Jersey lost four of its seven Army ROTC units; Pittsburgh and Chicago each lost two of three units; and Philadelphia's Army ROTC units were cut from four to two (see table 6). (96) In 1997, the Army even proposed downsizing Fordham's program to a satellite of the St. John's Army ROTC unit.

ROTC's move south was driven by new economic realities, but it was also strategic. As Neiberg explains in his history of the program, "The services hoped to compensate for the declining military presence on eastern campuses by substituting desire for institutional quality. In other words, the services sought new hosts based upon a logic analogous to that which informed the AVF [all-volunteer force]: seek out motivated, eager volunteers." (97) Or as Gates explained more recently: "With limited resources, the services focus their recruiting efforts on candidates where they are most likely to have success--with those who have friends, classmates, and parents who have already served." (98) New ROTC units were frequently located in or near places with strong military communities and traditions and at schools with specific technical emphases amenable to the military. (99) Thus, the ROTC's move south became self-reinforcing over time: as programs relocated to take advantage of lower costs and greater efficiencies, they laid the foundations for a future recruiting base--one to which they would increasingly return.

If the ROTC's southern shift began as an economic imperative, it soon took on a cultural aspect. Some officers, still smarting from campus protests against the Vietnam War, were glad to see the ROTC sever its ties with schools unfriendly to the military. With the "Republicanization" of the officer corps (and the military, more generally), (100) attitudes toward these schools--and the largely "blue" enclaves where they are located--have hardened, especially as a new generation of protesters (again, located largely in the Northeast) began to target ROTC and military recruiters over the government's policy excluding openly gay men and women from the services. (101)

But anger over the antimilitary sentiment of some Northeastern and urban schools is not the only obstacle for a more geographically balanced ROTC program. Many in the military's leadership--particularly in the Army--believe that the "rough and tumble" culture of the South and Midwest is more conducive to producing military officers and recruits. In keeping with this cultural bias, the military has been traditionally ambivalent about the value of a liberal arts education to the officer corps, preferring technical majors like engineering. Major General Robert E. Wagner, the US Army Cadet Command's first commander, for instance, believed the qualities liberal arts colleges prize--"sensitivity, abundant intelligence, and creativity"--were at odds with the qualities needed for an effective military officer, which he characterized as "physical stamina, decisiveness, and 'massive common sense.'" (102) This attitude, although changing, continues to influence recruiting policy. A recent report for the US Army Accessions Command, the On-Campus Market Potential Study, 2002 edition, recommends that the ROTC's recruitment focus on students who "seek adventurous physical activity. They may have rafted, canoed, rock climbed or sky dived. They would probably be first in line at a bungee jump. At an amusement park ... [they] would probably seek out the most extreme rides." (103)

Finally, as the military has become more southern and rural, some have allowed simple cultural discomfort to put off engaging with areas outside the military's traditional hunting grounds--particularly diverse metropolitan centers. As retired General John M. Keane, himself a Fordham Army ROTC graduate, told the Wall Street Journal, "We've been very shortsighted.... We have leaders in the Army who are uncomfortable in big urban areas. They feel awkward there." (104)

"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and the Solomon Amendment

If the military has been reluctant to expand its recruiting territory, schools in the Northeast and urban areas have not encouraged it to do so. Even before the 1993 "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) compromise, the exclusion of gays and lesbians from military service, and hence, the ROTC, had proved problematic on some college campuses. In the early 1980s, the law schools at Columbia and New York University, along with those at Harvard, Yale, the University of California, and Wayne State University, banned military recruiting on campus. (105) In 1989, John Jay College became one of the first campuses to request that the Army close its on-campus ROTC program because it violated the school's nondiscriminatory policy protecting gay and lesbian rights. (106)

Other protesters sought to shut down ROTC units and on-campus military recruiting through political means. Once again, New York was at the head of the trend. In 1991, the state Division of Human Rights ordered SUNY Buffalo to bar all military recruiters from university grounds in compliance with the state's nondiscrimination policy. Then-governor Mario M. Cuomo, a Democrat, quickly declared the order unenforceable, but the issue did not die. Two years later, the state supreme court in Manhattan banned military recruiters from all public schools and universities in New York--the first ruling of its kind in the country. (107)

In response to the New York ruling and other antimilitary actions across the country, Congress, led by New York Republican representative Gerald B. Solomon, cut off Department of Defense grant money to institutions, public and private, that barred military recruiters or ROTC units from campus. Soon after, Governor George E. Pataki, a Republican, signed an executive order permitting military recruiters to operate at SUNY campuses. (108) At private universities, however, the controversy continued until a 2006 Supreme Court decision, Rumsfeld v. FAIR, affirmed the federal government's right to withhold funding from universities if they refuse military recruiters access to campus. The universities--including Columbia and New York University--quickly provided access rather than lose their funding.

While Rumsfeld v. FAIR settled the question of on-campus military recruiting, it left the status of on-campus ROTC programs unresolved, and universities like Columbia continued to use ROTC bans as a means to signal their opposition to DADT. (109) Even without such bans, however, it seems unlikely that the military would have been inclined to engage schools it considered hostile (or merely ambivalent) toward the ROTC. As William Carr, then the Department of Defense's deputy undersecretary for personnel matters, explained to the New York Times in 2005, "We want to be represented in every segment of our society, and to have all those segments represented in the military. But when a campus is less than interested in the military, it shows up in student enrollment and in turn makes the school less attractive to the military." (110) Given the level of cooperation between a university and the military needed to make an ROTC program work, it is understandable that the Pentagon does not want to push to have a program where faculty and administrative support is lacking.

Missed Opportunities

Many proposals have been presented for maintaining the quality of the force, but if none of those works, we may not know until it is too late. The executive branch, Congress, the Armed Forces, and indeed the American population need to look now at the type of military we want for the future and the price we are willing to pay to ensure our national security.

--Lieutenant General Peter W Chiarelli (111)

Despite the many challenges the armed forces face in expanding the ROTC footprint, it is hard not to conclude that the military has been troublingly complacent in allowing the near-term forces of institutional culture, social dynamics, and green-eyeshade accounting to determine the demographics of the incoming class of officers.

The armed forces must now make a choice at a defining moment in their history. They can decide to do nothing, continuing to recruit from a narrowing segment of the population--a segment that conspicuously resembles the demographic composition of the military's current leadership. In so choosing, the armed forces will have implicitly accepted their gradual evolution as a separate and distinct class from the broader society they serve. Alternatively, the armed forces could choose to expand the base of the officer corps--bolstering officer quality and talent to better meet the demands of the post-9/11 security environment.

The Post-9/11 Moment

University-military relations have long been fraught. With the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, however, universities--particularly administrators and students--have become newly supportive of the military. In New York City--where 2,606 people alone were murdered in the World Trade Center attacks--the shift in attitudes has been significant, if unquantifiable.

Universities have taken steps to better welcome and support student veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, creating or expanding veterans' affairs offices, often headed by an administrator with experience in the armed forces. Each CUNY college, for example, now has a veterans' affairs representative. In addition, many of New York's private universities and graduate schools now take part in the US Department of Veterans Affairs Yellow Ribbon Program, in which the government matches tuition contributions from participating schools. Notably, Columbia University has actively recruited student veterans, with more than three hundred now enrolled--the largest by far in the Ivy League. (112)

The post-9/11 shift in attitudes toward the military and the influx of student veterans have made many New York City campuses more hospitable to the military--and helped foster a thriving ROTC advocacy movement. At Columbia, then-students Eric Chen (an Army veteran) and Sean Wilkes (an Army ROTC cadet) formed a student advocacy group (later called the Advocates for Columbia ROTC) to support the ROTC's return to campus, educate students about military service, and spread the word about ROTC opportunities at Fordham and Manhattan College. Working with the university, the group has achieved some significant victories, such as listing ROTC participation on university transcripts, the addition of an official ROTC subsite to the main university web page, and physical education credit for ROTC training. More recently, on Veterans Day 2010, six Army ROTC cadets from Manhattan held a flag-raising ceremony at Columbia, thereby ending a forty-two-year ban on military activities on campus. (113)

The repeal of DADT on December 18, 2010, represents another watershed moment for university-military relations. With the policy now overturned, a significant obstacle to establishing new ROTC programs in the Northeast has been removed. Already, Harvard and Columbia have reestablished ties with the Navy ROTC, and other elite schools look poised to follow. (114) New host units on these campuses will do much to restore the ROTC's prestige in the eyes of many in the academic community.

For the military, the deciding factor for establishing new ROTC programs is student interest. Many commentators have noted the small number of cadets currently enrolled in the program at New York City universities and argue that new programs on these campuses are destined to be low producers--and thus a drain on the ROTC budget.

Current participation rates are low; however, the military should take into account the many obstacles would-be cadets face--including lack of knowledge about the ROTC, travel requirements, conflicting coursework, weak administrative support, and the damaged status of the ROTC on many campuses. Indeed, the fact that a few students continue to participate in the ROTC in spite of these hardships could very well be taken as evidence of interest rather than a lack. It is simply unfair to compare New York's current enrollment to that at a more typical southern or midwestern school when those cadets face far fewer barriers to participation.

A revitalized ROTC program--sufficiently resourced and centrally located--could expect much greater success. A 2011 survey of students at Columbia University showed the majority--60 percent--in support of renewing the school's ROTC programs, with students at Columbia's School of Engineering and Applied Science--a prime recruiting pool for the Navy--heavily in favor. (115) Nonetheless, in establishing new programs in New York City and the Northeast, the military should be prepared to take the long view, allowing that low initial participation rates will be offset by the quality of the cadets and the creation of a foothold on these campuses. Finally, the military must recognize that the ROTC program is more than a simple matter of financial return on investment. The true value of the ROTC cannot be measured solely on numbers produced but on the important role it plays in bridging the gap between the military and civilians.

The Warrior-Scholar

It is now almost a truism that the ongoing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan--and the twenty-first-century security environment, more generally--require a new breed of officer: the warrior-scholar. The new officer is characterized chiefly by his or her intellect and is often described as "innovative," "creative," "adaptable," or "a critical thinker."

Numerous reports and strategic documents by the Department of Defense and the armed forces have described the factors necessitating a transformation of officership, including information and technology "ascendency"; a less predictable operating environment; culture-centric warfare; and greater interconnectedness requiring cooperation with multinational, interagency, and intergovernmental organizations. Today's military has a greater diversity of missions, too--from humanitarian assistance to disaster relief, from peacekeeping to riot control, from refugee operations to fighting forest fires and other natural disasters.

Thus, the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review, the Pentagon's "capstone institutional document," calls for military leaders who can "rapidly innovate and adapt" in a "complex and uncertain security landscape in which the pace of change continues to accelerate." (116) Likewise, the United States Army Operating Concept, 2016-2028 calls for
   lifelong learners who are creative and critical
   thinkers with highly refined problem solving
   skills and the ability to process and transform
   data and information rapidly and accurately
   into usable knowledge, across a wide range of
   subjects, to develop strategic thinkers capable
   of applying operational art to the strategic
   requirements of national policy. (117)

In many respects, General David Petraeus, commander of the International Security Assistance Force and commander of US Forces Afghanistan, is the model of a warrior-scholar. As Major General Bob Scales (retired) describes him, "[He is] a guy ... who understands information operations, who can be effective on Capitol Hill, who can communicate with Iraqis, who understands the value of original thought, who has the ability through the power of his intellect to lead people to change." A West Point graduate and Princeton PhD, Petraeus has touted the benefits of civilian education for officers and has chosen as his advisers officers with similar academic backgrounds. (118)

Of growing importance for this new breed of officer is so-called cultural competency. As winning wars now involves winning "hearts and minds," military officers must be able to overcome cultural divides to interact effectively with indigenous leaders, security forces, and members of the local population. The warrior-scholar must also understand both the potential and limits of military power. As part of his successful strategy in the Anbar Province in Iraq, for instance, General James Mattis, now commander of US Central Command, sought to gain credibility with the locals by helping his Marines better understand and respect cultural differences. During tours of battlefields with incoming troops, he would
   tell stories of Marines who were able to show
   discretion and cultural sensitivity in moments
   of high pressure--the Marines who greeted an
   Iraqi funeral by clearing the street and removing
   their helmets, or the ones who diffused a
   street protest by handing out water rather
   than raising their rifles. He told of a platoon
   attacked by insurgents in Al-Anbar who, after
   suffering brutal losses, showed kindness to the
   civilians caught in the crossfire. (119)

To be sure, these trends can be overstated. War fighting has always demanded creative and versatile leadership, and the current crises have only reaffirmed this need. Nonetheless, knowledge and skills take time to develop--as the military has learned during its generally unsuccessful campaign to enhance the language and cultural skills of its current force. If the military intends to grow its cadre of warrior-scholars, it will need to look outward--to the next generation of military officers.


The absence of ROTC units on urban campuses, especially in the Northeast, prevents the military from taking full advantage of their large, ethnically diverse populations. This is particularly true in the case of CUNY, the third-largest public university system in the country. The Army does not have a single ROTC program in the twenty-three-campus CUNY system and only two programs in the sixty-three-campus SUNY system (Brockport and Plattsburgh). By comparison, in 1987, the Army had five SUNY ROTC programs (Fredonia, Albany, Cortland, Oswego, and Brockport) and one CUNY program (John Jay in Manhattan). (120) The Air Force has no presence in the SUNY or CUNY system, and the Navy's only presence is at the tiny SUNY Maritime campus.

The lack of an ROTC presence in these school systems gets little attention, especially in comparison to the Ivies or other elite schools. Yet an ROTC presence on these campuses is crucial if the military hopes to draw more officers from the Northeast and urban areas. While many of the elite schools the media focuses on are located in the Northeast, they have a national draw, with the result--as Andrew Exum, himself an East Tennessee native and a University of Pennsylvania Army ROTC graduate, points out--that their ROTC cadets often hail from southern and rural areas similar to their cohorts at schools below the Mason-Dixon line.

By passing on schools like CUNY, the ROTC is missing out on greater geographical diversity. It is also missing out on a huge potential recruiting pool--nearly half of all college students in New York City attend CUNY. (121) Those students are remarkably diverse; African American, white, and Hispanic undergraduates each represent more than a quarter of the student body, and Asians more than 15 percent. Of first-time freshmen, 37 percent were born outside the US mainland. (122)

By recruiting at CUNY, the ROTC would be targeting a student body for which "cultural competency" is part of daily life. West Point's Social Sciences Department routinely takes its cadets on trips to nearby Jersey City to immerse them in the city's large Muslim community. Meanwhile, New York City is home to one of the fastest-growing Muslim-American communities, with an estimated population of seven hundred thousand, according to one study. (123)

The ROTC is missing out on heritage language skills, too--even as it has encountered considerable difficulties in achieving its new foreign language objectives. In 2005, recognizing that cadet language capability and cultural awareness were not at sufficiently high levels to meet the needs of a force engaged in suppressing a counterinsurgency, the Department of Defense sought to impose a foreign language requirement for the ROTC. The initiative met with little success in part because, according to a 2007 GAO report, few ROTC host and partner schools offered programs in the languages deemed critical to US national security. Of the nearly 761 host and partner Army ROTC colleges, for example, only twelve offered Arabic, forty-four offered Chinese, and one offered Persian Farsi. (124)

In contrast, New York's colleges and universities offer first-rate programs in all three of these languages, among many others. More importantly, however, the city itself is home to as many as eight hundred languages, with 176 spoken by students in the city's public schools and 138 spoken by residents of Queens, New York's most diverse borough. At CUNY alone, 47 percent of undergraduates have a native language other than English. (125)

Military service has long been a means for immigrants to get ahead and earn their citizenship. As of 2009, more than sixty-five thousand immigrants (noncitizens and naturalized citizens) were serving on active duty in the US armed forces--representing approximately 5 percent of all active-duty personnel. (126) The armed forces recognize the benefits immigrants bring; in 2009, the Army implemented a highly successful one-year pilot program in New York City to recruit 550 temporary immigrants who speak one or more of thirty-five languages, including Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Kurdish, Nepalese, Pashto, Russian, and Tamil. (127)

These students have much to offer the military, and the military has much to offer them. In his autobiography, My American Journey, Colin Powell, the son of first-generation immigrants, describes how the ROTC provided him a social outlet and support network at a "largely commuter school." Despite his struggles with academics, Powell discovered in the ROTC something he loved and could do well, giving him a sense of purpose and discipline that would enable him to graduate college:
   [N]ot a single Kelly Street friend of mine was
   going to college. I was seventeen. I felt cut off
   and lonely. The uniform gave me a sense of
   belonging, and something I had never experienced
   all the while I was growing up; I
   felt distinctive.

   In class, I stumbled through math, fumbled
   through physics, and did reasonably well in,
   and even enjoyed, geology. All I ever looked
   forward to was ROTC. Colonel Harold C.
   Brookhart, Professor of Military Science and
   Tactics, was our commanding officer. The
   colonel was a West Pointer and regular Army to
   his fingertips... . He never let us sense we were
   doing anything less than deadly serious. (128)

Students at CUNY could benefit from that same sense of purpose and discipline--particularly those who are uncertain in an academic environment or feel detached from the larger university community. According to a recent study by the university system, nearly one-third of CUNY entrants are no longer enrolled a year after beginning classes. By two years after entry, a majority of students are no longer enrolled. (129) Active mentoring and support from a dedicated cadre could enable many of these students to complete their college degrees.


As ROTC programs departed from the Northeast--and the large, urban areas that once supplied much of the military's "diversity" needs--the armed forces turned to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)--and later Hispanic-serving institutions--to find talented minority officers. Today, the military relies heavily on HBCUs as a source of black-officer commissions, although only about 20 percent of African American college students attend HBCUs. (130) Furthermore, most HBCUs are concentrated in the Southeast, contributing to the ROTC's geographic and social imbalance. By overlooking institutions like CUNY, among the top producers of African American baccalaureates, the military is not accessing minority officers fully reflective of the population. (131)

The military's reliance on HBCUs may also account, at least in part, for the lack of black officers in the top leadership ranks. Since the majority of general officers are selected from the combat arms and African Americans are underrepresented in those branches, black officers are less likely to advance to the senior ranks. A variety of factors explains black officers' failure to access combat ranks. (132) While not definitive, multiple studies suggest that commissioning sources also play a role. First, ROTC instructors at HBCUs rarely come from the combat arms--in part due to a military policy of primarily placing black officers at HBCUs. This policy, in effect, means few black cadets will gain knowledge about the combat arms and the promotion potential associated with these branches. Second, HBCU Army cadets tend to perform poorly at the Leader Development and Assessment Course, which has a great influence on branch selection and assignment. Some analysts suggest that this poor performance is due to a kind of "culture shock," in which HBCU cadets struggle to transition to the more pluralistic and diverse camp environment. Lastly--and perhaps most importantly--peer groups appear to influence black officers' branching preferences. Accordingly, participation in an HBCU ROTC unit--in which the combat-arms tradition is missing--may reinforce black cadets' tendency to avoid the combat arms. (133)

Junior ROTC

New York City's ROTC programs are missing out on another prime recruiting opportunity--its seventeen Junior ROTC (JROTC) programs. Every branch of the military is represented with a JROTC program, including six Army JROTC, three Navy JROTC, seven Air Force JROTC, and one Marine JROTC program. Unlike the senior ROTC units, JROTC programs are distributed across the five boroughs, with five in Staten Island, three in the Bronx, two in Brooklyn, four in Queens, and three in Manhattan.

These JROTC units are among the largest and highest performing in the country. Francis Lewis High School in Queens, New York City's second-largest high school, hosted the largest JROTC program in the country in 2009, with nearly seven hundred cadets. That fall, it won the national Raider championship. (134) At Xavier High School in Manhattan, over one-third of the student body is enrolled in JROTC, and its unit is considered one of the top five in the Northeast. (135)

Yet senior ROTC allocations do not reflect where most of the city's JROTC grads attend college--such as CUNY or a state university. (Nearly 70 percent of CUNY students attended a New York City public high school, while SUNY captures 40 percent of all New York State high school graduates.) (136) Instead, New York's ROTC units are hosted at outer-borough Catholic schools unreflective of the local college population. As a result, dozens of potential officers already familiar with the military are lost every year.

Young and Experienced Separating Officers--Wasted Talent

The Department of Defense repeatedly cites its lack of personnel resources as a reason for not expanding ROTC outreach. Yet the military has a great untapped resource--young officers who are separating from the armed forces. The military could capture some of these departing officers to expand outreach, while helping smooth their transition to civilian life.

Moreover, using these officers would help address one of the ROTC's persistent trouble spots--the quality of officers assigned to the program. Given the great demand for talented officers in the field, the military has been reluctant to assign topnotch active-duty personnel to college campuses--preferring instead to contract with retired military personnel to fill spots. This practice runs completely counter to military expert Charles Moskos's dictum that the best recruiter is someone with a credible service experience and to whom the recruit can relate.

Today's young officers have that credibility in spades; in the words of Lieutenant General David Barno, "the officer and NCO leaders of this force rival the Greatest Generation of WWII fame." (137) While the services should seek to retain as many of these young leaders as they can, they cannot expect to keep them all. The desire for a stable family life and other opportunities in the private sector will lead some officers to leave the military. To retain this talent in the short term, the military could offer these officers the chance to serve eighteen to twenty-four months in a location of their choice, provided a demonstrated need exists. They could then recruit for OCS, form the core of new gold miner teams, or serve as ROTC instructors. Such a policy would also help officers and their families get settled in an area where they plan to live and gradually prepare for the transition to civilian life.

Placing these officers with gold miner teams or OCS as dedicated officer recruiters would have the additional advantage of allowing the military to begin addressing the geographic and social imbalance of the officer corps almost immediately as well as inexpensively. (The Army, which currently does not have dedicated officer recruiters, would especially benefit from such an arrangement.) Realigning the ROTC footprint will take time and resources--first as new programs (host or otherwise) are established, and later as students graduate. In the meantime, the military could broaden and improve the entering cohort from its largest current commissioning source with the help of separating officers. (138)

Finally, the military might even be able to retain some of its talented "war babies" by opening up new opportunities and challenges for them. In a speech at West Point, Gates expressed concern that veteran officers of Iraq and Afghanistan--who are accustomed to a great deal of responsibility and autonomy--would find themselves in uninteresting desk jobs at some military installation. (139) A post at a college or university (and with it a chance to pursue a graduate degree) might prove a more attractive new challenge.


The ROTC now has a historic opportunity. Top military and civilian leadership has become increasingly aware of--and vocal about--the social costs associated with current policy. The repeal of DADT has removed a major obstacle to the return of the ROTC to many universities, with Harvard and Columbia having lifted their Vietnam-era bans on the program and reestablishing ties with the Navy ROTC. Student attitudes toward the military have shifted dramatically since the Vietnam era, and most look at their fellow students in uniform with admiration and respect. More importantly, many might welcome the chance to serve--if the opportunity were to present itself.

The young men and women of New York City represent a huge untapped pool of talent that could help the military meet the challenges of the post-9/11 security environment. However, expanding the ROTC footprint would have a more significant impact than just improving military effectiveness. An essential aspect of a healthy citizenry, especially in a republic such as ours, is the will and capacity to perform some form of public service--with none being more fundamental than that of putting one's life on the line as a member of the armed forces. With an all-volunteer force whose members are increasingly drawn from a narrower segment of the American public, that choice is no longer fully available to the whole country, making it less likely that the public can truly appreciate the sacrifices made by those who do serve. These are trend lines that can, and should, be reversed. Reversing the downward turn of ROTC programs in America's largest and most diverse city, New York City, would be an important first step.


For the Military:

* Make restoring the ROTC to the Northeast and urban areas a priority. The

military must be ready to invest in a more balanced officer corps and take a long-term view of its prospects at newly established ROTC programs.

* Maintain a full-time instructor presence in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Manhattan already hosts a part-time Army ROTC instructor presence at Fordham's Lincoln Center campus with great results. Fordham's Army ROTC program went from nearly being closed down for insufficient production to one of the top-performing programs in the country. Following Chicago's "hub and spoke" model, the military could quarter instructors full time at centrally located institutions in Manhattan and Brooklyn--and reap even greater rewards.

* Open up Navy ROTC. The restoration of ties between Columbia University and the Navy ROTC presents an excellent opportunity for the Navy to quarter some of its cadre in a more accessible location and open its program to all New York City students.

* Reengage New York City's "sixth borough": Jersey City. Return to St. Peter's, which hosted Army ROTC from 1951 to 1991. Not only is St. Peter's a mere ten minutes away from New Jersey City University, it is also closer to New York University and lower Manhattan by public transportation than Fordham.

* Use young, experienced separating officers. The military could retain valuable talent for the short term, while giving its top officers a chance to transition into civilian life--and replace themselves.

* Resurrect the gold miner team concept. ROTC programs in New York City are insufficiently resourced to conduct effective outreach. A New York City gold miner team could help these programs reach every New York campus several times a year and ensure an ROTC presence at every college orientation. Finally, it could help serve as a bridge between students and ROTC host programs.

* Engage universities. Bringing top military leadership to universities is essential to maintaining good relations with universities. By providing university presidents and high-level administrators valuable face time with prominent senior officers (and often favorable publicity), the military could garner support for its activities, raise awareness of issues facing ROTC cadets and student veterans, and preempt conflicts before they arise.

* Reach out to supportive educators to add sufficient scholarship components to ROTC courses so students receive full academic credit at otherwise exacting academic institutions. The military could certify existing faculty members to teach certain ROTC courses or recognize more existing classes as applicable toward ROTC.

* Provide incentives to students in specific disciplines that dovetail with national security concerns. The military might increase universities' capacities for instruction by sponsoring relevant professorships at schools. For example, to attract soldiers with medical backgrounds, the Army provides the Health Professions Scholarship Program. Likewise, by offering direct commissions to attorneys, the Army increases its number of law officers.

* Identify and work with sympathetic student groups to bring speakers to campus, especially veteran alumni who have gone on to distinguished careers in politics, law, business, and other fields.

* Send representatives to career fairs and make them available for on-campus interviewing. The military should not leave the possibility of enlisting to students' imaginations.

For Universities:

* Demonstrate real partnership in building new ROTC programs. While the Pentagon must be willing to step forward, universities can also shoulder some of the costs involved in establishing new ROTC programs. In particular, elite schools certainly could offer incentives on par with, or even better than, those provided by other schools: office and training space, financial aid supplements for ROTC scholarships, room and board for cadets, and so on.

* Help bridge the cost gap between ROTC scholarships and tuition. To help make their schools financially competitive to ROTC cadets, universities--particularly high-cost elite schools--should consider service-based scholarships or other financial aid arrangements to "top off" ROTC scholarships. Columbia University's robust support of the Yellow Ribbon Program for veterans might serve as a model; in contrast to other Ivy League institutions, its undergraduate School of General Studies makes the maximum contribution amount allowed, enabling hundreds of veterans to attend Columbia at essentially no cost.

* Improve course offerings and reconsider appropriate academic credit for ROTC courses. While granting credit is not necessary to establishing an ROTC program, faculty can help bring the ROTC into mainstream campus life by offering appropriate academic credit for ROTC coursework, particularly in advanced subject areas. The common objection among faculty is that the ROTC curriculum is too vocational. This objection merits revisiting, however, as universities have increasingly allowed credit for professional or vocational courses and even internships. Furthermore, there is no reason faculty cannot work with the military to enhance the ROTC curriculum and develop rigorous offerings in such relevant fields as political science, anthropology, or economics. Universities could put this opportunity to even greater use by strengthening their course offerings in weak subject areas, such as military and diplomatic history.

* Provide administrative support. Like student veterans, ROTC cadets could use the support of a designated adviser. This individual (or office) could serve as a liaison between the university and the ROTC, and between students and ROTC officials. In addition, an ROTC coordinator could help cadets with financial aid questions; advertise scholarship opportunities; answer questions from prospective participants and their parents; help organize commissioning ceremonies, Veterans Day celebrations, and other public events; and assist cadets with scheduling conflicts and other administrative issues.

* Show public support for ROTC cadets. Administration and faculty should attend military commissioning ceremonies and other special events.


Affiliated Institutions--St. John's University Army ROTC

CUNY Brooklyn College

Columbia University

CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Molloy College

Pace University-New York

CUNY Queens College

Wagner College

Affiliated Institutions--Fordham University Army ROTC


Barnard College

College of Aeronautics

College of Mount Saint Vincent

College of New Rochelle

Columbia University

Columbia University Teachers College

Cooper Union

Dominican College

Fairleigh Dickinson University

Fashion Institute of Technology

Iona College

Long Island University

Manhattan College

Manhattanville College

Marist College

Marymount College

Mercy College

Monroe College

Mount Saint Mary's College

Nassau Community College

New School for Social Research

New York Institute of Technology

New York University

Pace University

Polytechnic Institute of New York University

Pratt Institute

Rockland County Community College

Saint Francis College

Saint Thomas Aquinas College

School of Visual Arts

SUNY College of Purchase

SUNY Downstate Medical Center

Vassar College

Wagner College

Westchester Community College

York College

Law Schools

Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law

Brooklyn Law

Columbia Law


Fordham Law

New York Law

New York University Law

CUNY Schools

CUNY Baruch College

CUNY Borough of Manhattan Community College

CUNY Bronx Community College

CUNY City College

CUNY College of Staten Island

CUNY Hunter College

CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice

CUNY Kingsborough Community College

CUNY LaGuardia

CUNY Lehman College

CUNY Medgar Evers College

CUNY Queens College

CUNY York College

Affiliated Institutions--Manhattan College Air Force ROTC

College of Mount Saint Vincent

Columbia University

Dowling College

Fairfield University

Fordham University

Hofstra University

Iona College

Long Island University

Mercy College

New York Institute of Technology

New York Law School

New York University

Pace University

Polytechnic University-Brooklyn

Polytechnic University-Westchester

Saint Francis College

Saint John's University

Saint Joseph's College

Saint Thomas Aquinas College

Suffolk County Community College

Suffolk County Community College-Selden

SUNY College of Technology-Farmingdale

SUNY Farmingdale

SUNY Maritime College

SUNY Old Westbury

Vaughn College

US Merchant Marine Academy

CUNY Schools

CUNY Bernard Baruch College

CUNY City College

CUNY Hunter College

CUNY John Jay College

CUNY Lehman College

CUNY Queens College


Commute Times to Fordham (Lincoln Center Campus) from Select Schools
(one way)

  Brooklyn Law                  30 minutes
  Columbia University           18 minutes
  CUNY City College             26 minutes
  New York University           23 minutes
  Polytechnic Institute         30 minutes
  Pratt Institute               44 minutes
  Wagner College                74 minutes

Commute Times to Fordham (Rose Hill Campus) from Select Schools (one

  Bronx Community College       24 minutes
  Columbia University           40 minutes
  CUNY City College             39 minutes
  New York University           50 minutes
  Wagner College                96 minutes

Commute Times to St. John's from Select Schools (one way)

  Brooklyn College              77 minutes
  CUNY John Jay College         65 minutes
  Molloy College                63 minutes
  Pace University               64 minutes
  Queens College                26 minutes

Commute Times to Manhattan College from Select Schools (one way)

  Columbia University           27 minutes
  CUNY City College             30 minutes
  New York University           53 minutes
  Polytechnic Institute         63 minutes
  Queens College                98 minutes

Commute Times to SUNY Maritime from Fordham and Molloy (one way)

  Columbia University           75 minutes
  Fordham University (Rose Hill 67 minutes
  Molloy College               148 minutes

NOTE: All estimated times provided by Google Maps for public transit
(bus, subway, and walking, departing at 8:00 a.m. on a weekday).



College                    Institution                Program

Canisius College,          Private Catholic college   AROTC

Clarkson University,       Private university         AROTC,
Potsdam                                               AFROTC

Cornell University,        Land-grant, public         AROTC,
Ithaca                     university                 NROTC,

Fordham University,        Hispanic-serving           AROTC
Bronx                      institution, private
                           Catholic university

Hofstra University,        Private university         AROTC

Manhattan College, Bronx   Private Catholic college   AFROTC

Niagara University,        Private Catholic           AROTC
Lewiston                   university

Rensselaer Polytechnic     Private technological      NROTC,
Institute, Troy            university                 AFROTC

Rochester Institute of     Private university         AROTC,
Technology, Henrietta                                 AFROTC

Siena College,             Private Catholic college   AROTC

St. Bonaventure            Private Catholic           AROTC
University, Olean          university

St. John's University,     Hispanic-serving           AROTC
Jamaica (Queens)           institution, private
                           Catholic university

SUNY Brockport,            Public university          AROTC

SUNY Plattsburgh,          Public university          AROTC

SUNY Maritime College,     Public university          NROTC

Syracuse University,       Private university         AROTC,
Syracuse                                              AFROTC

University of Rochester,   Private university         NROTC

College                    Location

Canisius College,          Erie County, Western New York

Clarkson University,       St. Lawrence County, North Country

Cornell University,        Tomkins County, Central New York

Fordham University,        Bronx County, Downstate New York

Hofstra University,        Nassau County, Downstate New York

Manhattan College, Bronx   Bronx County, Downstate New York

Niagara University,        Niagara County, Western New York

Rensselaer Polytechnic     Rensselaer County, Capital District
Institute, Troy

Rochester Institute of     Monroe County, Western New York
Technology, Henrietta

Siena College,             Albany County, Capital District

St. Bonaventure            Cattaraugus County, Western New York
University, Olean

St. John's University,     Queens County, Downstate New York
Jamaica (Queens)

SUNY Brockport,            Monroe County, Western New York

SUNY Plattsburgh,          Clinton County, North Country

SUNY Maritime College,     Bronx County, Downstate New York

Syracuse University,       Onondaga County, Central New York

University of Rochester,   Monroe County, Western New York

Note: AROTC = Army ROTC, AFROTC = Air Force ROTC, NROTC = Navy ROTC


Many people helped in the development and writing of this report. I owe much to my colleague Gary Schmitt, who originally conceived the idea for the report and encouraged me in my work. Eric Chen, John Renehan, Jose Robledo, Michael Segal, Stephen Trynosky, and Sean Wilkes all provided invaluable assistance. Mark Kubisch and Alec Weltzien contributed research with speed and good cheer. (With that said, any errors that remain are my fault alone.) Many thanks go to the hardworking AEI publications staff. Finally, I am grateful to the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation and Gordon and Adele Binder for the financial resources that made this study possible.


(1.) Robert M. Gates, "All-Volunteer Force" (lecture, Duke University, Durham, NC, September 29, 2010), (accessed April 5, 2011).

(2.) Department of Veterans Affairs, "Profile of Veterans: 2009," _Veterans_2009_FINAL.pdf (accessed April 5, 2011).

(3.) To the extent that the US military now "grows" its own (that is, recruits among the family members of its own ranks), the family disruption and high divorce rates caused by today's increasing deployments could have a negative impact on future recruiting and accessions. See Robert M. Gates, "All-Volunteer Force."

(4.) Department of Defense, Personnel and Readiness, Population Representation in the Military Services: Fiscal Year 2009 Report, %20POLICY/PopRep2009/summary/PopRep09Summ.pdf (accessed April 6, 2011).

(5.) CNN, "ServiceNation Presidential Forum at Columbia University," September 11, 2008, at-columbia-university (accessed April 6, 2011).

(6.) Arthur T. Coumbe and Lee S. Harford, US Army Cadet Command: The Ten Year History (Ft. Monroe, VA: US Cadet Command, 1996), 14; Naval Reserve Officers' Training Corps, "History," (accessed April 6, 2011); and Colonel William C. Stancik and R. Cargill Hall, "Air Force ROTC: Its Origins and Early Years," Air University Review 35, no. 5 (July-August 1984): 38-51.

(7.) Eric Gorski, "Colleges Reconsider ROTC after DADT Repeal," Associated Press, December 25, 2010, www (accessed April 6, 2011).

(8.) Casey Wardynski, David S. Lyle, and Michael J. Colarusso, Accessing Talent: The Foundation of a US Army Officer Corps Strategy (Carlisle, PA: Strategic Studies Institute, February 2010).

(9.) US Navy Supply Corps School, Tench Francis School of Business, Advanced Management Program, "Comparative Analysis of ROTC, OCS and Service Academies as Commissioning Sources," November 19, 2004, http://cdn .pdf?1289341023 (accessed April 6, 2011).

(10.) Michael Neiberg, Making Citizen-Soldiers: ROTC and the Ideology of American Military Service (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001), 8.

(11.) "Hibben Would Train Students for War," New York Times, January 5, 1915.

(12.) Willis Rudy, The Campus and the Nation in Crisis: From the American Revolution to Vietnam (Cranbury, NJ: Associated University Presses, 1996), 106-107.

(13.) Kathy Roth-Douquet and Frank Schaeffer, AWOL The Unexcused Absence of America's Upper Classes from Military Service--and How It Hurts Our Country (New York: HarperCollins, 2006), 94.

(14.) One example of this trend is Stephen Petraeus, a 2009 ROTC graduate from MIT and son of General David Petraeus. See Nikhil Joshi, "Faculty Senate Talks ROTC," Stanford Daily, March 5, 2010, /2010/03/05/faculty-senate-talks-rotc (accessed April 6, 2011); and Nancy DuVergne Smith, "General Petraeus Inducts ROTC Graduates," Infinite Connection, June 11, 2009, /petraeus (accessed April 6, 2011).

(15.) In addition, a National Journal analysis of Army data found that all twenty-three zip codes that have produced the most recruits since 2000 are in the vicinity of major bases, where soldiers' children make up much of the youth population. See Sydney J. Freedberg Jr., "The Army's Growing Pains," National Journal, September 19, 2009, pains20090919?mrefid=site_search (accessed April 6, 2011).

(16.) Chuck Brewer, How to Win ROTC Scholarships (Fort Bragg, CA: Lost Coast Press, 2000), 72-73.

(17.) New York City Department of City Planning, "Total Population, 2000-2010," /census/census2010/t_pl_p1_nyc.pdf (accessed April 6, 2011); and Advocates for ROTC, "ROTC in New York City--An Untapped Resource," (accessed April 6, 2011).

(18.) New York City Department of City Planning, "New York City Land Use," /landusefacts/landusefactshome.shtml (accessed April 6, 2011).

(19.) Fordham University, "Army ROTC Ram Battalion," _ram_battal/index.asp (accessed April 6, 2011).

(20.) St. John's University, "St. John's University's ROTC Program to Expand to Staten Island Campus," November 8, 2010, (accessed April 6, 2011).

(21.) US Air Force ROTC, "About Detachment 560," aboutdetachment-560 (accessed April 6, 2011).

(22.) It is not clear from the announcement whether the arrangement will involve a satellite arrangement, with some classes on the Columbia campus, or a cross-town arrangement, with all classes at SUNY Maritime. See Sammy Roth and Mikey Zhong, "Columbia to Officially Reinstate Navy ROTC Program after 42 Years," Columbia Daily Spectator, April 22, 2011, http://spectrum breaking-columbiato-officially-recognize-navy-rotc-program (accessed April 22, 2011).

(24.) US Census Bureau, "Resident Population Data," (accessed April 6, 2011).

(25.) City University of New York, "About," (accessed April 6, 2011).

(26.) Metropolitan Transportation Authority, "New York City Transit: Subway Line Information," /nyct/service/index.html (accessed April 6, 2011).

(27.) Brooklyn College, "About Brooklyn College," (accessed April 6, 2011). Travel time estimates were made with Google Maps.

(28.) ROTC cadets travel frequently to the Bronx during their junior and senior years, when they usually take on leadership positions in the ROTC battalion. Classes are generally held on Fridays at Lincoln Center, at least until senior year, when classes for fourth-year cadet officers are integrated at the Bronx campus. (Fourth-year cadets must plan the training for first-, second-, and third-year cadets.) Moreover, leadership labs are always held in the Bronx.

(29.) Due to the long commute times by public transit, cadets frequently take taxis--more than $20 per trip--to make it to their ROTC class in time or to make it back to their university after ROTC. In addition, cadets who are not in good standing are not eligible for their stipend--a common issue among freshman cadets who increasingly require remedial physical training to meet ROTC's physical-fitness requirements.

(30.) John Renehan, "Army ROTC Needs More Boots on More Campuses," Washington Post, July 4, 2010.

(31.) Virginia Tech, "Factbook: Student Overview; 2010-11 On-Campus Enrollment Profile," /factbook/student-overview.html (accessed April 6, 2011).

(32.) University of Illinois-Chicago Army ROTC cadres are located at the University of Illinois-Chicago, Loyola University-Chicago, DePaul University, Chicago State University, Indiana University Northwest, Illinois Institute of Technology, and Robert Morris University. See Chicago Army ROTC, "Cadre," (accessed April 6, 2011).

(33.) Greg Jaffe, "A Retreat from Big Cities Hurts ROTC Recruiting," Wall Street Journal, February 22, 2007; and Fordham University, "Fordham ROTC among Best in the Country," Inside Fordham Online, May 2006, www.fordham .edu/campus_resources/enewsroom/inside_fordham/inside _fordham_archi/20052006/may_2006/news/fordham _rotc_unit_am_23036.asp (accessed April 6, 2011).

(34.) US Census Bureau, "New York City, New York: S1401. School Enrollment; Data Set: 2007-2009 American Community Survey 3-Year Estimates," http://factfinder d=16000US3651000&ds_name=ACS_2009_3YR_G00_&-_lang=en&redoLog=false (accessed April 6, 2011); US Census Bureau, "Boston City, MA; Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH Metro Area; Selected Social Characteristics in the United States: 2007-2009," /ADPTable?_bm=y&-context=adp&-qr_name=ACS _2009_3YR_G00_DP3YR2&-ds_name=ACS_2009 _3YR_G00_&-tree_id = 3309&-redoLog=false&_caller=geoselect&-geo_ id=31200US144602507000&format=&-_lang=en (accessed April 6, 2011); US Census Bureau, "Cambridge City, MA; Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH Metro Area," /ADPTable?_bm=y&-context=adp&-qr_name=ACS_2009 _3YR_G00_DP3YR2&-ds_name=ACS_2009_3YR _G00_&-tree_id=3309&-redoLog=true&-_caller=geoselect &-geo_id=31200US144602511000&-format=&_lang=en (accessed April 15, 2011); and US Census Bureau, "Washington City, DC; Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metro Area; Selected Social Characteristics in the United States: 2007-2009," = adp&-qr_name=ACS_2009_3YR_G00 _DP3YR2&-ds_name=ACS_2009_3YR_G00_&-tree_id = 3309&-redoLog = true&-_caller = geoselect&geo_id=31200US479001150000&-format=&-_lang=en (accessed April 6, 2011).

(35.) New York City officials may challenge the Census Bureau's numbers, which they believe are too low. See New York City Department of City Planning, "NYC 2010: Results from the 2010 Census," /pdf/census/census2010/pgrhc.pdf (accessed April 6, 2011).

(36.) New York City Department of City Planning, "New York City Population Projections by Age/Sex & Borough 2000-2030," December 2006, /census/projections_report.pdf (accessed April 6, 2011).

(37.) New York City Department of City Planning, "NYC 2010: Results from the 2010 Census"; Joseph De Avila, "Census Analysis: A Tale of Two New Yorks," Wall Street Journal Metropolis blog, December 22, 2010, http://blogs (accessed April 6, 2011); and Auburnpub .com, "Upstate's Population Continues to Decline," June 23, 2010, /article_6ea59e70-7e78-11df-8ff9-001cc4c03286.html (accessed April 6, 2011).

(38.) Office of the New York State Comptroller, Division of Local Government Services and Economic Development, "Population Trend in New York State's Cities," Local Government Issues in Focus 1, no. 1 (December 2004), (accessed April 6, 2011); and Stephen T. Watson, "Buffalo's Population Dips by 1,000,", June 23, 2010 (updated August 21, 2010), city/article71185.ece (accessed April 6, 2011).

(39.) Upstate New York refers to a forty-nine-county region of New York State encompassing all but the downstate counties of Ulster, Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Westchester, Rockland, Bronx, New York, Richmond, Kings, Queens, Nassau, and Suffolk. See appendix, table A.2. See Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Buffalo Branch, "Upstate New York At-a-Glance," July 2006, (accessed April 6, 2011).

(40.) Texas A&M University, Kingsville Army ROTC, "The ROTC Heritage," _cool_stuff/history.htm (accessed April 6, 2011).

(41.) Columbia University Senate Task Force on Military Engagement, "ROTC at Columbia: Pre-1968," www (accessed April 6, 2011).

(42.) "College Heads for War Drills," New York Times, January 24, 1915.

(43.) William M. McBride, Technological Change and the United States Navy, 1865-1945 (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000), 31.

(44.) "1,000 Columbia Men for Preparedness," New York Times, May 11, 1916.

(45.) "State Will Train Boys for Defense," New York Times, May 16, 1916.

(46.) Arthur T. Coumbe and Lee S. Harford, US Army Cadet Command: The Ten Year History, 14.

(47.) Willis Rudy, The College of the City of New York: A History, 1847-1947 (New York: City College Press, 1949), 351.

(48.) William Summerscales, Affirmation and Dissent: Columbia's Response to the Crisis of World War I (New York: Teachers College Press, 1970), 63; and "Form Officers' Schools: Government Sanctions Reserve Training Corps at Columbia," New York Times, April 22, 1918.

(49.) "Will Run Colleges like Army Posts," New York Times, September 8, 1918.

(50.) "Columbia Is Now in Military Dress," New York Times, September 22, 1918.

(51.) For Columbia University, the SATC program led to the development of its first core curriculum course, "Contemporary Civilization," which began in fall 1918 as "War Issues." See William Summerscales, Affirmation and Dissent: Columbia's Response to the Crisis of World War I, 125; and Columbia College, "History of the Core," (accessed April 6, 2011).

(52.) "Keep Military Training; Columbia Corps, without Army Pay, to Resume Reserve Plan," New York Times, December 10, 1918; and "To Train Student Officers; New York University Will Establish Corps as a Permanent Feature," New York Times, December 21, 1918.

(53.) "Ready to Enforce Military Training," New York Times, October 12, 1919.

(54.) Texas A&M University, Kingsville Army ROTC, "The ROTC Heritage."

(55.) "Air Service at New York University; Unit as Branch of Training Corps to Be Established in the Fall," New York Times, May 13, 1926.

(56.) Fordham University, "Military History at Fordham University," /army_rotc_ram_battal/ram_battalion_histor/index.asp (accessed April 6, 2011).

(57.) V. R. Cardozier, Colleges and Universities in World War II (Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers, 1993), 16; and David O. Levine, The American College and the Culture of Aspiration, 1915-1940 (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1986), 206.

(58.) Willis Rudy, The Campus and the Nation in Crisis: From the American Revolution to Vietnam, 123.

(59.) Ibid., 123-25.

(60.) Ibid., 139.

(61.) Columbia University Senate Task Force on Military Engagement, "ROTC at Columbia: Pre-1968."

(62.) "City Colleges Act on Defense Plan," New York Times, July 21, 1940.

(63.) Thomas Frusciano and Marylin Pettit, New York University and the City: An Illustrated History (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1997), 195; Willis Rudy, The College of the City of New York: A History, 1847-1947, 455; and Columbia University Senate Task Force on Military Engagement, "ROTC at Columbia: Pre-1968."

(64.) Columbia University Senate Task Force on Military Engagement, "ROTC at Columbia: Pre-1968"; and Columbia University School of General Studies, "History," (accessed April 6, 2011).

(65.) "Army Adds ROTC Units; 33 More Colleges in 22 States to Get Courses This Year," New York Times, January 5, 1951; and "Air Training Expanded," New York Times, April 21, 1951.

(66.) "Columbia to Lose Unit," New York Times, December 7, 1955; and "Air ROTC to End at Queens College," New York Times, December 5, 1958.

(67.) "Conclusions of the Cox Commission," Harvard Crimson, October 9, 1968, /1968/10/9/conclusions-of-the-cox-commission-pilate (accessed April 6, 2011).

(68.) Arthur T. Coumbe and Lee S. Harford, US Army Cadet Command: The Ten Year History, 25.

(69.) Willis Rudy, The Campus and the Nation in Crisis: From the American Revolution to Vietnam, 167-68.

(70.) "Students Clash on Saigon Policy after Manhattan College Rally," New York Times, October 20, 1965.

(71.) New York University Library, "1967," /library/bobst/collections/exhibits/arch/1967/Index.html (accessed April 6, 2011).

(72.) Kenneth L. Nyberg and William P. Snyder, "Program Structure and Career Socialization in the ROTC: A Bibliographic Note," Military Affairs 40, no. 4 (December 1976): 179.

(73.) New York University Library, "1969," /library/bobst/collections/exhibits/arch/1969/Index.html# Moratorium%20Day (accessed April 6, 2011).

(74.) Christopher Hewitt, Political Violence and Terrorism in Modern America: A Chronology (Westport, CT: Praeger Security International, 2005), 61, 64.

(75.) Joshua M. Zeitz, White Ethnic New York: Jews, Catholics, and the Shaping of Postwar Politics (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2007), 210-11.

(76.) Schools requesting that the ROTC be withdrawn include Boston College, Boston University, Brown University, Colgate University, Columbia University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, Hobart College, New York University, Pratt Institute, Princeton University, Stanford University, SUNY Buffalo, Tufts University, and Yale University. Since then, Boston University, Dartmouth, Princeton, and Harvard have invited ROTC programs back on campus. See Peter Ognibene, "Return of the ROTC," Commonwealth 95, no. 22 (March 1972).

(77.) Columbia University, Executive Committee of the Faculty, Joint Committee on NROTC, "Report of the NROTC Committee," March 13, 1969, www (accessed April 6, 2011).

(78.) 10 USC Chapter 103--Senior Reserve Officers' Training Corps, February 1, 2010, /download/pls/10C103.txt (accessed April 6, 2011).

(79.) Robert A. McCaughey, Stand, Columbia: A History of Columbia University in the City of New York (New York: Columbia University Press, 2003), 486.

(80.) D. Park Teter, "ROTC Roll Call," Change 3, no. 5 (1971): 14.

(81.) Ibid.

(82.) Michael Neiberg, Making Citizen-Soldiers: ROTC and the Ideology of American Military Service, 172.

(83.) D. Park Teter, "ROTC Roll Call."

(84.) "ROTC on Campus," New York Times, April 17, 1969.

(85.) Status Report on Junior and Senior ROTC Programs, before the House Committee on Armed Services (January 27, 1972).

(86.) City College dropped academic credit for the ROTC in 1969, further depressing participation rates. See James E. Westheider, The Vietnam War (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2007), 49; and David E. Rosenbaum, "ROTC Being Challenged on Campuses across Country," New York Times, January 5, 1969.

(87.) Arthur T. Coumbe and Lee S. Harford, US Army Cadet Command: The Ten Year History, 41.

(88.) St. John's University, "Battalion History," (accessed April 6, 2011); and "Retreat from City Hurts ROTC," Associated Press, February 23, 2007, /0,13319,126186,00.html (accessed April 6, 2011).

(89.) St. John's University, "Battalion History."

(90.) SUNY Maritime College, "NROTC and MMR: Command," Information/Command.aspx (accessed April 6, 2011).

(91.) Arthur T. Coumbe and Lee S. Harford, US Army Cadet Command: The Ten Year History, 85, 137-38.

(92.) Ibid., 145-46.

(93.) US General Accounting Office, Reserve Officers' Training Corps: Less Need for Officers Provides Opportunity for Significant Savings (Washington, DC, May 1991), (accessed April 6, 2011).

(94.) Ibid.

(95.) Although Congress later reversed the ban, Guard and National Reserve support was restored at less than 40 percent of its pre-1992 level. See Arthur T. Coumbe and Lee S. Harford, US Army Cadet Command: The Ten Year History, 238.

(96.) John Renehan and Steven Trynosky, "US Army ROTC Instructor Battalion Allocations by State, 1987 v. 2007," white paper provided by authors.

(97.) Michael Neiberg, Making Citizen-Soldiers: ROTC and the Ideology of American Military Service, 173.

(98.) Robert M. Gates, "All-Volunteer Force."

(99.) Michael Neiberg, Making Citizen-Soldiers: ROTC and the Ideology of American Military Service, 173; and Arthur T. Coumbe and Lee S. Harford, US Army Cadet Command: The Ten Year History, 204.

(100.) Whereas a plurality of the officer corps once identified as Independents, the majority now identify as Republicans. See Peter D. Feaver and Richard H. Kohn, "Conclusion: The Gap and What It Means for American National Security," in Soldiers and Civilians: The Civil-Military Gap and American National Security, ed. Peter D. Feaver and Richard H. Kohn (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2001), 461.

(101.) Indeed, military analyst Colonel Charles J. Dunlap Jr. noted that "by the mid-1990s, many officers privately expressed delight that there were fewer officers from the more liberal campuses to challenge their increasingly rightwing philosophy." See Charles J. Dunlap Jr., "Melancholy Reunion: A Report from the Future on the Collapse of Civil-Military Relations in the United States," Airpower Journal (Winter 1996).

(102.) Arthur T. Coumbe and Lee S. Harford, US Army Cadet Command: The Ten Year History, 212.

(103.) Allan Silver, "When and Why ROTC Should Return to Columbia--Position and Discussion Paper," Advocates for ROTC, October 17, 2008, /columbia/SilverOct2008.html (accessed April 6, 2011).

(104.) Greg Jaffe, "A Retreat from Big Cities Hurts ROTC Recruiting."

(105.) Warren Weaver Jr., "Recruiting Ban May Cost 6 Colleges Defense Pacts," New York Times, July 25, 1982. One notable voice of dissent was Robert F. Goldberger, provost of Columbia University, who editorialized in the New York Times, "Instead of using more traditional forms of political protest against discrimination in the military ... the students have turned to the university in the belief that it should set things right. Apparently these students have not considered what sort of university it would be in which anyone invited onto campus had to be prescreened for conformity with a given set of beliefs, in which the faculty's free time activities had to be monitored and approved and in which every speaker would have to hold 'acceptable' views." See Robert F. Goldberger, 'Young Students, Old Truths," New York Times, May 11, 1987.

(106.) Gregor W. Pinney, "'U' to Study New Policy on Gays before Deciding on ROTC Issue; Hasselmo, Regents Must Decide If Bias Still Exists," Star Tribune, July 22, 1993.

(107.) The ban went into effect on SUNY campuses but did not affect ROTC activities. See Kevin Sack, "Ruling Bans Recruiters of Military from SUNY," New York Times, November 19, 1993.

(108.) A law barring Department of Defense funds from schools with antirecruitment policies has been on the books since the late 1960s, but it was rarely enforced. Significantly, in 2001, Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee altered the law so the entire university would lose its federal funding if any of its schools blocked access to recruiters. See Cheryl Miller, "The Other 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,'" The Weekly Standard, November 22, 2010,; and Carey Goldberg, "Colleges Feel Cost of Shunning Recruiters over Gay Rights Issue," New York Times, April 19, 1996.

(109.) The ruling noted that "recruiters are not part of the law school," drawing a contrast to the ROTC program and leaving open the question of how the Court might rule on an ROTC-related Solomon Amendment issue.

(110.) Nicolas Confessore, "Offering ROTC a Truce," New York Times, May 1, 2005.

(111.) Peter W. Chiarelli, "Learning from Our Modern Wars: The Imperatives of Preparing for a Dangerous Future," Military Review (September-October 2007), http://calldp _chialleri.pdf (accessed April 6, 2011).

(112.) A tuition cap for private universities under a revised GI Bill (if allowed to go into effect in August 2011) may result in fewer veterans attending Columbia and other high-cost private schools. See Arvin Ahmadi, "Under Revised GI Bill, Student Veterans Will Foot Part of Tuition Bill," Columbia Spectator, February 4, 2011, revised-gi-bill-student-veterans-will-have-foot-part-tuition (accessed April 6, 2011); and Lisa W. Foderaro, "From Battlefield to Ivy League, on the GI Bill," New York Times, January 8, 2010.

(113.) Sean Wilkes, "The Movement to Restore ROTC at Columbia: Historical Background," Advocates for ROTC, August 31, 2006, /history2006.html (accessed April 6, 2011); and Leah Greenbaum, "ROTC Members Raise Flag, Break Ban," Columbia Spectator, November 12, 2010, www (accessed April 6, 2011).

(114.) Sammy Roth and Mikey Zhong, "Columbia to Officially Reinstate Navy ROTC Program after 42 Years."

(115.) Sammy Roth, "Schools Show Varied Support for ROTC Return," Columbia Spectator, March 7, 2011, www (accessed April 6, 2011). Previous studies have also demonstrated the support and interest of SEAS students in restoring the ROTC; see Sean Wilkes, "The Movement to Restore ROTC at Columbia: Historical Background."

(116.) US Department of Defense, Quadrennial Defense Review Report (Washington, DC, February 2010), www (accessed April 6, 2011).

(117.) US Department of the Army, The United States Army Operating Concept: 2016-2028 (Fort Monroe, VA, August 19, 2010), (accessed April 6, 2011).

(118.) David H. Petraeus, "Beyond the Cloister," The American Interest, July-August 2007, www.the-american-interest .com/article.cfm?piece=290 (accessed April 6, 2011); and Thomas E. Ricks, "Officers with PhDs Advising War Effort," Washington Post, February 5, 2007.

(119.) John Dickerson, "A Marine General at War," Slate, April 22, 2010, (accessed April 6, 2011).

(120.) The SUNY Plattsburgh Army ROTC program began in fall 2007 as a partnership agreement between SUNY Plattsburgh and the Army ROTC program at the University of Vermont. See SUNY Plattsburgh, "ROTC Classes to Begin Next Fall at SUNY Plattsburgh," news release, January 15, 2007, _mode=more&wl_eid=695 (accessed April 6, 2011).

(121.) City University of New York, "Case Statement," (accessed April 6, 2011).

(122.) Matthew K. Gold and Boone B. Gorges, "The CUNY Academic Commons: Building the Social University," Yale University Collaborative Learning Center, February 22, 2001, (accessed April 6, 2011).

(123.) Carl Bialik, "Elusive Numbers: US Population by Religion," Wall Street Journal Numbers Guy blog, August 13, 2010, religion-978 (accessed April 6, 2011).

(124.) US Government Accountability Office, Military Personnel: Strategic Plan Needed to Address Army's Emerging Officer Accession and Retention Challenges (Washington, DC, January 2007), source=ra (accessed April 6, 2011).

(125.) Sam Roberts, "Listening to (and Saving) the World's Languages," New York Times, April 28, 2010; and Matthew K. Gold and Boone B. Gorges, "The CUNY Academic Commons: Building the Social University."

(126.) Jeanne Batalova, "Immigrants in the US Armed Forces," Migration Information Source, May 2008, 3#1 (accessed April 6, 2011). Only native or naturalized US citizens are eligible to become commissioned officers.

(127.) Julia Preston, "US Military Will Offer Path to Citizenship," New York Times, February 14, 2009; and Julia Preston, "Thriving Military Recruitment Program Blocked," New York Times, January 22, 2010.

(128.) Colin Powell with Joseph E. Persico, My American Journey (New York: Random House, 2003), 26-27.

(129.) David J. Fisher and Jeremy Reiss, "Closing the Skill Gap: A Blueprint for Preparing New York City's Workforce to Meet the Evolving Needs of Employers," Community Service Society and Center for an Urban Future, January 2010, /programs/notable/asap/Closing_the_Skills_Gap.pdf (accessed April 6, 2011).

(130.) By the mid-1990s, almost half of the black officers who received ROTC commissions graduated from HBCUs. See Emmet E. Burke, Black Officer Underrepresentation in Combat Arms Branches (Fort Leavenworth, KS: School of Advanced Military Studies, US Army Command and General Staff College, 2002), ?Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf&AD=ADA402652 (accessed April 6, 2011); and US Commission on Civil Rights, The Educational Effectiveness of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (Washington, DC, November 2010), (accessed April 6, 2011).

(131.) Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, "Top 100 Producers of Minority Degrees," /top100 (accessed April 6, 2011). Rankings are based on the review of 2008-2009 preliminary data.

(132.) Military Leadership Diversity Commission, From Representation to Inclusion: Diversity Leadership for the 21st-Century Military (Arlington, VA, January 2011), /MLDC%20Final%20Report%20Predecisional%20Draft% 2022DEC2010.pdf (accessed April 6, 2011); and Anthony D. Reyes, Strategic Options for Managing Diversity in the US Army (Washington, DC: Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, June 2006), /publications1/publication-PDFs/LonyReyes.pdf (accessed April 6, 2011).

(133.) Arthur Coumbe, Paul Kotakis, and Anne Gammell, History of the US Army Cadet Command: Second Ten Years, 1996-2006 (Fort Monroe, VA: US Army Cadet Command, 2008), 224-46; Military Leadership Diversity Commission, From Representation to Inclusion: Diversity Leadership for the 21st-Century Military; Remo Butler, "Why Black Officers Fail," Parameters (Autumn 1999): 54-69; and Anthony D. Reyes, Strategic Options for Managing Diversity in the US Army.

(134.) Steve Arel, "Big-City JROTC Is Model Program," Official News and Information: Army ROTC, December 2, 2009, (accessed April 6, 2011).

(135.) US General Services Administration, "Bios: Xavier High School Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps JROTC," (accessed April 6, 2011).

(136.) State University of New York, "SUNY Fast Facts 2010, " (accessed April 6, 2011).

(137.) Thomas E. Ricks, "Dave Barno's Top Ten Tasks for General Dempsey, the New Army Chief of Staff,", January 21, 2011, /posts/2011/01/21/dave_barno_s_top_10_tasks_for_ general_dempsey_the_new_army_chief_of_staff (accessed April 6, 2011).

(138.) John Renehan and Steven Trynosky, "Accidental Lieutenants: The Army's Broken OCS Recruiting System," white paper provided by authors.

(139.) Robert M. Gates, "United States Military Academy (West Point, NY)" (speech, United States Military Academy, West Point, New York, February 25, 2011), (accessed April 6, 2011).

Cheryl Miller manages the Program on American Citizenship at AEI. Previously, she worked as head news clerk and editorial researcher at the New York Times and as deputy director of research in the White House Office of Presidential Speechwriting. Her work has appeared in such publications as the Wall Street Journal, the Weekly Standard, Commentary, and the Claremont Review of Books.
Table 1

New York City by the Numbers

* New York City hosts the largest university student
population and is the country's largest importer of
college students. There are over 120 colleges and
universities in the city.

* New York City is the most linguistically diverse
city in America, with more than eight hundred
languages spoken.

* New York City has one of the largest foreign-born
populations--nearly 40 percent--in the
United States.

* New York City has more than 2.3 million Hispanic
residents, more than any other city in the United
States, and nearly 2 million residents of African
descent, more than double the number in any
other US city.



                                          Student Pop.
School           Location                 (Fall 2009)

Fordham          Rose Hill Campus,        Undergrad 7,950
University       Bronx; Lincoln Center    Grad/Prof 6,594
                 Campus, Manhattan        Total 14,544

St. John's       Jamaica, Queens          Undergrad 14,808
University                                Grad 5,544
                                          Total 20,352

SUNY Maritime    Bronx                    Undergrad 1,575
Academy                                   Total 1,757

Manhattan        Bronx                    Undergrad 3,052
College                                   Total 3,461

School           ROTC Program

Fordham          Army ROTC, "Ram Battalion"--available to students
University       at over fifty affiliated institutions (see appendix)

St. John's       Army ROTC, "Red Storm Battalion"--available to
University       students at Brooklyn College, CUNY John Jay,
                 Columbia University, Molloy College, Pace University,
                 Queens College, and Wagner College

SUNY Maritime    Navy ROTC--strictly limited to students at SUNY
Academy          Maritime Academy, Fordham University, and Molloy
                 College (nursing students only). The program will
                 open to Columbia students later this year.

Manhattan        Air Force ROTC Detachment 560--available to
College          students at over thirty affiliated institutions
                 (see appendix)



                                                       Student Pop.
                                       Population     (2009 American
                             Rank      (April 2010       Community
City                       by Pop.    Census est.)    Survey Census)

New York City total pop.       1        8,175,133         613,168
  --Manhattan                           1,585,873
  --Brooklyn                            2,504,700
  --Bronx                               1,385,108
  --Queens                              2,230,722
  --Staten Island                         468,730
Boston--Cambridge             22          722,756         112,291
Chicago                        3        2,695,598         225,670
Detroit                       18          713,777          64,628
Philadelphia                   5        1,526,006         133,893
Los Angeles                    2        3,792,621         301,665
Washington, DC                24          601,723          61,455

City                       ROTC Programs

New York City total pop.   2 AROTC, 1 NROTC, 1 AFROTC
  --Bronx                  1 AROTC, 1 NROTC, 1 AFROTC
  --Queens                 1 AROTC
  --Staten Island
Boston--Cambridge          3 AROTC, 2 NROTC, 2 AFROTC
Chicago                    1 AROTC, 1 NROTC, 1 AFROTC
Philadelphia               2 AROTC, 1 NROTC, 1 AFROTC
Los Angeles                2 AROTC, 2 NROTC, 3 AFROTC
Washington, DC             2 AROTC, 1 NROTC, 1 AFROTC

Note: AROTC = Army ROTC, AFROTC = Air Force ROTC, NROTC = Navy ROTC



School                      Program    Location

Fordham University          AROTC      Bronx
(private Catholic           AFROTC

Columbia University         AROTC      Manhattan
(private university)        NROTC

City College of New York    AROTC      Manhattan

Polytechnic Institute       AROTC      Brooklyn
of New York University
(formerly Brooklyn
Polytechnic Institute)

New York University         AROTC      Manhattan
(private university)        AFROTC

Manhattan College           AFROTC     Bronx
(private Catholic

Brooklyn College (CUNY)     AFROTC     Brooklyn

Queens College (CUNY)       AFROTC     Queens

Pratt Institute             AROTC      Brooklyn
(private art college)

St. Peter's College         AROTC      Jersey City
(Catholic liberal arts

St. John's University       AROTC      Queens
(private Catholic

John Jay College of         AROTC      Manhattan
Criminal Justice (CUNY)

SUNY Maritime Academy       NROTC      Bronx

School                      Year Established       Year Closed

Fordham University          1840s, formalized      AFROTC
(private Catholic           in 1926 (AROTC);       discontinued in
university)                 1948 (AFROTC)          1974 by mutual

Columbia University         1918 (AROTC);          AROTC
(private university)        1916, formalized       discontinued;
                            in 1945 (NROTC);       AFROTC
                            1951 (AFROTC)          discontinued 1957;
                                                   NROTC terminated
                                                   1969 (to resume
                                                   ties 2011)

City College of New York    1917                   1972

Polytechnic Institute       1917                   1991
of New York University
(formerly Brooklyn
Polytechnic Institute)

New York University         1918 (AROTC);          Both ROTC programs
(private university)        1923 (AFROTC)          terminated 1971

Manhattan College           1951
(private Catholic

Brooklyn College (CUNY)     1951                   1966

Queens College (CUNY)       1951                   1960

Pratt Institute             1951                   1971
(private art college)

St. Peter's College         1951                   1991
(Catholic liberal arts

St. John's University       1968 (Staten Island    Staten Island
(private Catholic           program to open in     program closed in
university)                 spring 2011)           1995

John Jay College of         1970s                  1989 (discontinued
Criminal Justice (CUNY)                            by CUNY due to
                                                   opposition to
                                                   military policy on
SUNY Maritime Academy       1973                   LGBT service men
                                                   and women)

Note: AROTC = Army ROTC, AFROTC = Air Force ROTC, NROTC = Navy ROTC,
LGBT = lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered.



* Major General Richard S. Colt, former commander
of the 77th Regional Readiness Command
(Fordham Army ROTC)

* Vice Admiral Samuel L. Gravely Jr., the Navy's
first black admiral and the first African American to
graduate from a midshipmen's school at Columbia

* General John M. Keane, former vice chief of staff
of the Army (Fordham Army ROTC)

* General Arthur Lichte, former commander of the
Air Mobility Command (Manhattan College Air
Force ROTC)

* Rear Admiral B. James Lowe, retired (Columbia
Navy ROTC)

* General Colin L. Powell, former secretary of state
and chairman of the joint chiefs of staff (City College
Army ROTC)

* Lieutenant General Vincent M. Russo, former
commander of the Defense logistics Agency
(Fordham Army ROTC)



School                                                         Status

  Fordham University                                           Open
  John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY)                  Closed
    (extension center)
  Polytechnic Institute                                        Closed
  St. John's University                                        Open

  Monmouth University, West Long Branch (extension center)     Closed
  New Jersey City University, Jersey City (extension center)   Closed
  Princeton University, Princeton                              Open
  Rider University, Lawrenceville                              Closed
  Rutgers University, New Brunswick                            Open
  Seton Hall University, South Orange                          Open
  St. Peter's College, Jersey City                             Closed

  Carnegie Mellon University                                   Closed
  Duquesne University                                          Closed
  University of Pittsburgh                                     Open

  Drexel University                                            Open
  La Salle University                                          Closed
  Temple University                                            Open
  University of Pennsylvania                                   Closed

  Chicago State University                                     Closed
  Loyola University of Chicago                                 Closed
  University of Illinois-Chicago                               Open



School                          Program            Location

Fort Hamilton High School       Army JROTC         Brooklyn

Francis Lewis High School       Army JROTC         Queens

Long Island City High School    Army JROTC         Queens

Morris Academy for              Army JROTC         Bronx
Collaborative Studies

Port Richmond High School       Army JROTC         Staten Island
Xavier High School              Army JROTC         Manhattan

Curtis High School              Navy JROTC         Staten Island

Graphic Communication Arts      Navy JROTC         Manhattan
High School

High School for Health          Navy JROTC         Manhattan
Careers and Sciences

The Michael J. Petrides         Air Force JROTC    Staten Island

Harry S. Truman High School     Air Force JROTC    Bronx

Susan Wagner High School        Air Force JROTC    Staten Island

John Bowne High School          Air Force JROTC    Queens

DeWitt Clinton High School      Air Force JROTC    Bronx

Aviation High School            Air Force JROTC    Queens

Franklin K. Lane High School    Air Force JROTC    Brooklyn

Tottenville High School         Marine JROTC       Staten Island

School                          Institution

Fort Hamilton High School       Public high school

Francis Lewis High School       Public high school

Long Island City High School    Public high school

Morris Academy for              Public high school
Collaborative Studies

Port Richmond High School       Public high school
Xavier High School              Private Catholic
                                high school, all-male

Curtis High School              Public high school

Graphic Communication Arts      Vocational
High School                     high school

High School for Health          Public high school
Careers and Sciences            (part of the George
                                Washington Edu-
                                cational Campus)

The Michael J. Petrides         Public high school
School                          (special lottery

Harry S. Truman High School     Public high school

Susan Wagner High School        Public high school

John Bowne High School          Public high school

DeWitt Clinton High School      Public high school

Aviation High School            Public high school

Franklin K. Lane High School    Public high school

Tottenville High School         Public high school

School                          School Diversity *

Fort Hamilton High School       34% W, 5% B, 32% H, 28% A

Francis Lewis High School       16% W, 10% B, 24% H, 50% A

Long Island City High School    12% W, 13% B, 59% H, 16% A

Morris Academy for              2% W, 37% B, 60% H, 1% A
Collaborative Studies

Port Richmond High School       26% W, 30% B, 36% H, 7% A
Xavier High School              Not available

Curtis High School              22% W, 38% B, 31% H, 7% A

Graphic Communication Arts      2% W, 33% B, 61% H, 3% A
High School

High School for Health          1% W, 9% B, 89% H, 1% A
Careers and Sciences

The Michael J. Petrides         56% W, 18% B, 16% H, 8% A

Harry S. Truman High School     1% W, 53% B, 42% H, 2% A

Susan Wagner High School        51% W, 11% B, 22% H, 15% A

John Bowne High School          5% W, 23% B, 44% H, 28% A

DeWitt Clinton High School      2% W, 28% B, 63% H, 6% A

Aviation High School            10% W, 7% B, 58% H, 23% A

Franklin K. Lane High School    2% W, 21% B, 67% H, 9% A

Tottenville High School         82% W, 2% B, 10% H, 6% A

Source: Diversity information compiled from
Note: W = White, B = Black, H = Hispanic, A = Asian.
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Author:Miller, Cheryl
Publication:AEI Paper & Studies
Article Type:Case study
Geographic Code:1U2NY
Date:May 1, 2011
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