" … part of an Army effort to redirect its resources and money to areas where it wants to broaden its recruiting, including major cities.
To underwrite the transformation, the Army chose to close R.O.T.C. programs at 13 universities, more than half of them in the South. Tennessee alone will lose R.O.T.C. offerings at three of its public universities, the most of any state.
The Army selected the universities after a review found that the programs were typically yielding fewer than 15 commissioned officers annually, although the military acknowledged it granted exceptions to dozens of schools because they met other standards.
The Army Cadet Command, which oversees R.O.T.C. and its approximately 33,000 aspiring soldiers, said that by shuttering the 13 lagging programs, it will be able to shift resources to 56 other markets, including Los Angeles, New York and Chicago. In many instances, existing programs will grow.
" NY Times
This works for me. I was an ROTC product, sort of. VMI commissions some US Army officers every year by way of its participation in the "Senior Military Colleges" division of Army ROTC. Air force, navy and marine officers are also produced there although a lot of graduating cadets choose not to be officers in spite of the life they have lived for four long years. BTW, I think the name "Reserve Officers Training Corps" should be changed. The usage is long obsolete and derives from a time when the production of reserve officers was the primary purpose of the program. For a long time now the services' ROTC programs have produced many, many Regular officers. The name should be aligned with reality.
ROTC is a highly efficient way to find junior officers. It is much cheaper than the national military service academies like USMA, USNA, etc. West Pointers don't like to hear that after four years on active duty as officers the products of West Point, ROTC and Officer Candidate School are indistinguishable, but that is the truth.
The service academies will not disappear. American public sentiment would oppose that and the cadre of alumni of the service academies is still too powerful for that to happen. The public thinks of the service academies as paths to lives of accomplishment open to talent and that is a strong protection for those schools.
A benefit of the widespread distribution of ROTC programs is the resulting diversity of regional, educational, and cultural background in the officer corps. In addition to that, ROTC in recent decades has given many partial or full scholarships to students. This has enabled many to attain a college degree. Former enlisted soldiers now return to the army as officers after the ROTC experience. That infusion of real world experience can only be a benefit. Having had the experience of watching newly "minted" "college boy" second lieutenants just emerged from West Point or ROTC try to command a lot of adults, I can only say that experience helps. One of my senior sergeants once laughed and told me that watching this process was a bit like seeing a monkey try to f—k a football.
I have a certain sympathy for what US Army Cadet Command is trying to do. In addition to dropping programs that do not produce enough officers, they are trying to balance the geographical and quality of education issues that have arisen since the expulsion of many ROTC programs from big city campuses during the Vietnam War. The Army officer corps is now, in my opinion, too heavily weighted with people who are in origin; rural, Southern and enrolled at universities that are not particualry distinguished. This may seem odd given my obvious affection for the rural South, but I think the country needs forces commanded by people who are more representative of the country as a whole and its educational diversity.
BTW, the service academies are not as regionally diverse in the origins of their students as they might be thought. There are a number of ways to become a student at the service academies and they do not all orginate in the nomination of a member of Congress.
This discussion may seem irrelevant to foreigners, but it should not. At some point in the future your countrymen may well meet troops commanded by men and women who have merged from the ROTC program. pl