Military involvement

posted in: Opinion | 0
I would like to address the issue of not having a Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program at Pacific University. My goal, and I am sure yours 
as well, is for students attending such a private and prestigious university to be provided with a multitude of diverse and extraordinary career options to succeed after college. feel that implementing ROTC at Pacific University will further diversify and inspire students, staff and the community to think, care, and pursue justice on a global 
scale.  The ROTC is a military officer training program for college students. The goal of these programs is to train future officers to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces. 
The ROTC has numerous benefits for students. The program offers scholarships and financial aid, has many professional opportunities upon graduation and can fulfill students’ dreams to follow in the footsteps of a family member, or inspire a sense of patriotism and a desire to serve their country. Students at Pacific would gain the opportunity to develop leadership skills, a structured career path after college, specialized professional officer training and long-term career guidance and a continued professional education. If the intention of the administration is to give students every possibility to flourish and prosper, then why not have a program that provides new and diverse perspectives and opportunities to become successful and involved in society after college? 
Also, Pacific University has worked hard to increase its student population by, for example, adding Junior Varsity sports teams. The ROTC program would attract countless future undergraduates to Pacific who are dedicated to their education as well as their country.  Another possible solution to the issue of not having an ROTC program is Pacific University could, following George Fox’s lead, have a cooperative agreement with the University of Portland, which offers the Air Force Reserve Officers Training Corps Program (AFROTC). 
However, I do not think this is the best solution because the University of Portland only provides one branch of ROTC; students wishing to participate in other branches of the military program would be out of luck. Additionally, undergraduates that would potentially be involved in this program would have to commute to and from UP for basic training. Though it is only about a ninety-minute drive there and back, it could negatively impact their other academic commitments. 
The best solution would be for Pacific University to provide these programs; it would not only benefit our university but all the small liberal arts schools in the area. Our university could be the ROTC center for all the other nearby colleges, which would enable other colleges to implement the ROTC programs, decrease travel time, further grow and diversify our campus and create a feeling of interconnectedness and mutuality between colleges. Many colleges and universities in the U.S. have opposed the existence of ROTC programs on their campuses. The most common reason for opposing  ROTC presence on a college campus relates to opposition to U.S. foreign policy and the country’s use of its military. Supporting the ROTC programs does not mean endorsing U.S military missions in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere. Also, the U.S. military is not only involved in warfare; many of its missions are humanitarian (such as those in Haiti or post-Katrina Louisiana), which the ROTC is involved in. In 2010, ROTC graduates made up 30 percent of all active duty officers the Department of Defense commissioned that year. With so many young and intelligent minds in a position of power within the military, they wave the possibility to influence and positively change certain 
U.S. policies and missions. Additionally, many college campuses did not participate in ROTC because it violated schools’ commitment to non-discrimination against gay and lesbian students during the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” era. However, there have been major steps forward in dispelling homophobia in the military; the best example being the repeal of DADT and openly gay and lesbian officers and cadets in the military and ROTC programs today. 
A minor concern for some people is the commitment of students both during college years and after. The ROTC program is not a big time commitment; students who are a part of the program will still be able to participate in other activities and plenty of time to hang out with friends and live a “normal” college life. Most people do not know that there is not always an obligation to any military service. The first two years are spent in a Basic Course, which does not require any time in the services after graduation. However, deciding to continue after this or receive scholarships will require some military service. To conclude, I would like Pacific University to discuss and consider implementing ROTC programs. By implementing these programs, Pacific has the opportunity to increase students’ career options after college, attract many diverse and determined future undergraduates who will benefit the university and society, increase growth and diversity on our campus and boost feelings of interconnectedness and togetherness with local colleges.

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