Friday, April 08, 2005

Military on Campus - InstaPundit Insults

I don't often lose my temper, but this particular piece of "punditry" really teed me off.

Prof Reynolds, at InstaPundit has a commentary on a protest at UCSC, where campus anti-war protesters disrupted a career fair where a military recruiter was present. He pontificates, and then forwards a readers comment:

"Reader Bart Hall emails:

The rarely-mentioned dirty secret of it all is that the military are increasingly disinclined to recruit in such places to begin with. They did not push to reinstitute ROTC at places like Harvard and Middlebury because "frankly, we've found that students from such institutions tend to perform poorly as officers," to quote an officer (O-4) in a position to know.

Fewer and fewer students attending places like UCSC are of the sort who can handle the military. These institutions do not, however, yet sseem recognize their growing irrelevence and its connection to a woefully distorted and unbalanced political environment."

Now, I was a researcher at UCSC, and knew a fair number of students there. I am now at Penn State, where we have one of the largest ROTC programs and I have taugt and advised a number of absolutely superb active duty and ROTC personnel (and a couple of true goldbricks, there's always one). And, you know what, the students are about the same - the fraction of UCSC students who would be good officer material is comparable to that here at Penn State. Oh, and UCSC has ROTC students, want to go tell them Mr Hall's comment now? (UCSC has only been in existence a short time, and was a small campus for most of that time, the numbers of students going on to the Armed Forces really is statistically insignificant, but even a cursory google through UCSC Alumni records shows a number of commissioned officers currently serving in the US Armed Forces.).

As for Harvard, they graduated 10 ROTCs out of about 1500 students in 2004. Penn State, with over 8000 graduates from our main campus, and about 12,000 system wide, graduates about 120 ROTCs each year from the main campus, but this is from one of the strongest ROTC programs in the nation. So per capita, Harvard actually has a proportionate ROTC program.

Oh, and as the Harvard Gazette notes one of the Harvard class of '02 was injured in Fallujah last year, maybe Prof Reynolds wants to forward him his opinion of the quality of Harvard trained officers? Talk about undermining the troops during war time.

"Roche, who received a doctorate in business administration from Harvard in 1972, said the armed forces needs Harvard graduates in its officer corps, just as it needs graduates of West Point, Georgia Tech, and other universities across the country." from the Harvard Gazette article above. Who to believe...

Oh, and the number of officers recruited from the Ivy League may be statistically insignificant according to InstaPundit readers (well, ~ 100 per year would actually add up a bit), but one of them would be USANG lt G.W. Bush, who still has something to do with the military (oh, the irony). And, if you broaden your mind to graduate study, then such pikers as the current superintendent of West Point Gen Lennox (Princeton), Secretary of the Air Force Roche (Harvard), Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen Myers (Harvard) and the vice Char Gen Pace (Harvard), and Gen Abizaid (Harvard).

I don't know if that is distinguished enough, or statistically significant enough, but every little bit counts.


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