Interesting article on a disturbing trend in ROTC

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by Bullet, Jul 25, 2012.

  1. Bullet

    Bullet Member

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    Read this

    Remember, the majority of all the services officers are produced through ROTC. While the SAs' push for diversity has helped their ranks (somewhat) in getting urban representation in our officer ranks, the VAST majority of officers are coming from middle class suburbs mostly from the South. With the US having half of its population in the urban areas of the NorthEast and West Coast, we may be seeing a continued trend towards a disconnect between these areas and our military in regards to representation in our officer ranks.


    Just found it interesting, if not a little concerning....
     
  2. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Unfortunatly back in the late 60's when there were so many protests to shut down ROTC on college campus' the Northeast was hit the hardest. Areas such as the south and to some extent the west kept their programs and grew larger over the years. We are just now seeing once vacated ROTC program welcomed back, sometimes with protests. There have been excuses through the years such as DADT that have kept ROTC programs off the campus of many schools. Now that the excuses are fewer the Military is not in a position to add more programs, they can fill their quotas with what they have. There is even a move to close some battalions over the next few years as a cost cutting measure.

    It is becoming apparent that the shortsighted views of the 60's and 70's have created this problem and it could take several years to see a reversal, sort of a case of You Reap what you Sow. Had CUNY and other universities kept their ROTC programs intact, the diversity landscape of the military might look different today, it could be a long road back I'm afraid.
     
  3. NorwichDad

    NorwichDad Member

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    Not just officers

    There is a real absence of the military in my area near NYC. In my town we have a cemetery in our town with the graves of 70 revolutionary war soldiers and even more of civil war veterans. 60 years ago there were huge bases near here that are now county colleges, industrial parks and parts of Rutgers. The history is here but not recent history. Ft Dix is 60 miles away and it could just as well be 1000. It seems to be winding down and will probably be gone soon. It is expensive to keep bases in the Northeast.

    My son has noticed the militiary friendly airports of the south compared to the ambivilence of the airports around here to service men and women.

    I must say a man or woman in uniform stands out here. They are rare.

    There is a very strong disconnect with the people here to anything with the military.
     
  4. NorwichDad

    NorwichDad Member

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    Keep in mind there about 28 Million people within a 90 minute drive of where I live. NYC/Phila Metro
     
  5. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012

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    Oh hey, I read that this morning on the early bird...

    I agree with the author on pretty much all of his points.

    There's a couple other points I wish he touched on a little more.

    -Having an ROTC unit on campus not only broadens the range of people who may actually enroll in ROTC, but also increases awareness of the military. This might seem like a dumb statement--of course everyone knows we have a military--but for a lot of kids (especially at elite schools in the NE) it doesn't have a face.
    A lot of my HS friends (who grew up to be those kids at elite schools in the NE) were really distraught about me going to USNA because the "image" they had of people in the military were dumb, racist rednecks. Having a group of kids on campus in uniform doing cool stuff and not being idiots can improve the image of the military and get people thinking about service as not something for "other kinds of people."

    -Bringing people of different backgrounds isn't just about making the military more representative of the general populace. A kid at NYU or Columbia is going to have a different perspective on things than a kid at Ole Miss. Having a group of officers who almost exclusively come from similar backgrounds creates an environment where opinions aren't challenged and there's no discourse. I think that's a bad thing.
     
  6. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    All good points that everyone is making, but I have to say I found the article a little whiny. Also, I'm not convinced that the anecdotal evidence of one commuter feeling "left out" applies to all commuters.
     
  7. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    I noticed this lack of schools when my daughter and I were looking for schools where she could both play D3 hockey and participate in ROTC. Our preference was an on-campus situation, but the reality of the lack of schools led us to consider schools within a 15-minute commute of the host school.

    AROTC had some schools a goodly number of them mostly in NY though and mostly satellite campuses.

    AF and Navy only had Norwich as a D3 womens hockey option.

    Even in the midwest, with Navy and AF the pickings were very slim for schools with womens D3 hockey.

    So it was off to the midwest for her - a change from her previous focus on NE colleges (being a student at a NE boarding school).

    Another item - with the Army (and I assume AF and Navy will trend this way too) passing out more of its scholarships to in-state schools, NE AROTC will be put at a further disadvantage as it seems more of the NE AROTC units are hosted on Private school campuses.
     
  8. NorwichDad

    NorwichDad Member

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    I do think that the budget cutbacks will limit ROTC from any great expansion in the Northeast. It may be something a few years down the line. I think it will be a nasty fight between both parties as we get near the election especially about the budget. Automatic cuts Jan 1 and a lot of defense contracters will let people go this fall.
     
  9. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    The article seems to mix cultural diversity (northeastern vs. rest of country) and racial diversity in the same pot.

    The Army, and Navy ROTC programs have and are addressing racial diversity, as are the Academies. However, an Asian or Black student from Tucson, AZ doesn't have a lot in common, culturally, with an Asian or Black student in LA, or NY, or Chicago.

    The Academies and the ROTC programs in response to 2008 congressional directives, now have defined targets for creating an officer force that resembles the racial mix of the general US population, but there is no such Cultural diversity target, which is what it seems the article is arguing for.

    Getting back to the reason for the racial mix initiatives... the Officer Force should bear a resemblance to the enlisted force ... wouldn't this reasoning actually argue Against having more ROTC cadets in the Northeast? What is the % of enlisted soldier from the Northeast vs. the % of Officers from the Northeast? Anybody know?
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2012
  10. scutrules

    scutrules Member

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    I cringed at the "1-hour-and-40-minute ride to St. John's via public transportation". I have trouble getting up 15 minutes before muster, I can't imagine getting up two hours early!
     
  11. NorwichDad

    NorwichDad Member

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    http://www.heritage.org/research/re...-demographics-of-enlisted-troops-and-officers

    Interesting read.. Demographics are a tough thing. Breaking it down further, Where I live within 25 miles, Manhattan NYC, Newark, Clinton or Madison, NJ are entirely different cultural environments.

    Disclaimer: I am non politcal - The site that hosts this article leans very far to the right.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2012
  12. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    I guess I am the only one who is ambivalent to this article. I am from the West and also noticed at LDAC that many of my peers were in fact from schools in the South and to an extant the Northeast. The article states that LT Poon was shocked when he arrived at LDAC to see a sea of white people? So he expected the sea of Dominicans, Cubans, Italians, and 200 other cultures in New York to be at LDAC? Going into ROTC I knew the South has traditionally been over-represented within the military, but I never really thought much or cared for its significance. One team one fight no matter the color was the only thing that crossed my mind.

    The article goes on to talk about the lack ROTC close to the homes of urban students. Ok, I guess no one goes to school away from home anymore? With that (urban areas) one also has to take into account the difficulty of conducting training in a place like Manhattan or any other large urban area. Yes, most weekend training requires travel, but PT, battle drills and other smaller activities need more space then a gym or college lawn/football field.( Add onto to that logistics and price of hosting a batt in a huge city)

    The featured cadet must be incredibly naive or disillusioned after living in NYC to think everywhere or everyone reflects that melting pot of culture. The quote, "[Poon] recalls rooming with white kids from the rural South who hung out at Walmart all night because there simply wasn't much else to do once the sun went down," seemed like a slight to the South as being a country bumpkin culture compared to his enlightened culturally diverse and engaging hometown. I mean come on.

    Maybe its just me. As a student at a LA school I get pummeled with affirmative action, diversity classes, seminars, forums, posters, events and cultural inclusion days every time I draw breath each morning so seeing articles like these make me kind of roll my eyes. I understand the enlisted diversity ratio should about equal the officer ratio but realistically opening new programs in inner cities is the not exactly the goal of a downsizing army.

    I will agree that at least having an ROTC liaison in urban schools would help bridge the disconnect between the military and communities that are unfamiliar with the distinct culture and opportunities it provides. However, planting new programs when some programs are already merging because of budget issues is ridiculous when the only rationale is to make the correct numbers...
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2012
  13. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    Nice article. It wasn't but a few years ago when I saw groups in San Fran and on the news talk about kicking military recruitment of schools and the mall because they target the poor. Guess they didn't do their statistics homework...

    Yes it is very far to the right though haha
     
  14. -Bull-

    -Bull- Member

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    This is pretty much exactly what I thought. To me, the article made it seem these universities are upset that their demographics are not being represented in the military and it is ROTC's fault. You can't have your cake and eat it too.

    I do agree, however, if more people from areas other than the south and midwest were in the military it would benefit everyone from the exposure, thus hopefully creating more understanding and support of the military.
     
  15. Marist College ROTC

    Marist College ROTC Member

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    This article simply rehashes the points from the "Underserved" article without actually providing any recommendations that would correct the deficiencies addressed in the article.

    As someone who was born in New York City, graduated from a New York City university on ROTC Scholarship, and now works for an ROTC Battalion that is headquartered in New York City, I find this article is ridiculous on many levels:

    1) The article indicates that there are not enough ROTC Battalions in New York City. OK, I'll play along. Lets add one. Where do we add it ?

    A - Columbia ? They just ended a 40+ year ban on ROTC. Students there already participate in ROTC at Fordham University's Lincoln Center Campus, less than 3 miles away. Guess how many incoming Columbia University freshmen will be contracting next year. Zero. Not one incoming Columbia student has been offered an Army ROTC Scholarship. There are only 4 returning Cadets that attend Columbia. 4 is not enough to build a Battalion around. To make matters more bleak, 3 of those 4 graduate this year.

    B - A CUNY School ? Why ? Just because Colin Powell attended City College in the 50s ? A lot has changed in the 54 years since he graduated. Here are some stats from the CUNY webpage: "Forty-seven percent of undergraduates have a native language other than English, 41 percent work more than 20 hours a week, 63 percent attend school full time, and 15 percent support children. Nearly 60 percent are female and 29 percent are 25 or older. Of first-time freshmen, 37 percent are born outside the U.S. mainland". Some other stats: Less than 25% of incoming freshmen scored higher than 1200 on the SAT. Less than 40% of students graduate within 6 years. There is an incredibly small percentage of students in the CUNY system that could possibly qualify for ROTC. Of those that could qualify, very few are interested. There are only 12 returning CUNY Cadets. 6 of those graduate this year. Only 1 incoming CUNY student has been offered and accepted an Army ROTC Scholarship to CUNY. The caliber of student that qualifies for an Army ROTC Scholarship simply does not want to attend a school of the caliber of the CUNY system.

    2) One of the Cadets that this article focuses on has a 1 hour and 40 minute commute to ROTC. This is true. This student does not live on campus. Adding another ROTC battalion would not solve his problem. He has to attend MS class at his battalion unless he transfers schools. Most NYC College students commute. Almost all CUNY students commute. Increasing the number of CUNY Cadets would invariably create additional scenarios like the one listed above. Adding a Battalion at Columbia would allow a small handful of highly qualified Cadets to reduce their commute to PT by 3 miles, because most Columbia Cadets live on or just outside the campus.

    3) At what cost ? An O-5 in NYC makes $120,000 per year. An O-3 and E-9 make $85,000 per year. An E-7 makes $65,000 per year. Add a couple of GS employees for Admin and Logistics, and a couple of contractors for Operations. You are now talking about a $500,000+ budget per year on salary alone. The result would be a very expensive battalion, with no organic training areas, that commissions a very small number of 2LTs per year. This is not cost effective.

    4) ROTC needs to get more "urban". Does adding ROTC Battalions to Northeastern cities address this ? What percentage of The Cadets at the newly created battalions would actually be residents of those cities ? Is a student born in Brooklyn suddenly not "urban" because he attends a SUNY program in upstate NY ? Does a student from a small town in upstate NY suddenly become "urban" because he receives an ROTC scholarship to a newly created battalion at CUNY ? If that is the case why not give that student a Scholarship to a better school, that already hosts an "urban" program.

    A more obvious solution to the issues addressed in the article and is to increase the number of ROTC scholarships given to students that attended "urban" high schools. Stop trying to grow wheat in the desert. Stop concentrating on schools like CUNY where only few of the students are even marginally qualified to be Cadets. Stop concentrating on schools like Columbia where only few of the students are even marginally interested in becoming Cadets. Instead focus on increasing the recruiting efforts at superior "urban" high schools like Regis or Bronx Science.
     
  16. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    All of the services? :confused:

    :rolleyes:
     
  17. educateme

    educateme Member

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    I completely agree with this statement. My son got a 4 year scholarship to NE school hosting an ROTC battalion. One thing I advised him in his application process was to accentuate his differences, racially, culturally, socio economically, and geographically, from the statistical norm of the Army officers: that is, white officers from Southern rural areas. My thinking was, if Army cannot build more battalions in areas with a great deal of diversity,they will at least welcome applicants who bring such diversity. His personal statement was all built around this theme. I don't know whether this helped or not in securing a 4 year scholarship to an exorbitantly expensive school. But I assume it certainly did not hurt.

    I think the diversity in terms of origin of applicants is far more important than the diversity in terms of the actual, physical location of the battalion. Of course, there is some correlation, and the battalion located in a diversified environment is like to have more diverse candidates. However, when there are so many barriers (as described by marist), focusing on the diverse ORIGIN of the candidates is a sound, and very effective alternative.

    While we are talking about the diversity issues, I would like to point out another important aspect of diversity. In my mind, it's not just that officers should represent US population better. I believe it goes much beyond that. We are more and more dealing with global conflicts that require much more than simple military superiority to win. It requires an ability to "understand" and be "understood by" the locals with very different norms, cultures, and history. What better "tool" for this type of superiority than the officers coming from diverse backgrounds, racially and culturally. USA is the world' best melting pot. Chinese military will never has this kind of superiority. Neither Russians will. For us not to fully utilize this unique advantage by failing to recruit our officers who can cover the full gamut of what the USA offers is leaving so much money on the table.
     
  18. ProudofOurMilitary

    ProudofOurMilitary Member

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    Well said Marist College ROTC. I've said it before, you are one of the most knowledgable ROTC respresentatives out there. Anyone who reads your posts should take it for what its worth. You are right on and very accurate with your statements. We met you in person and left with so much information. For anyone who has a chance to go to the Marist ROTC office and meet the Major you will be rewarded. Maj. McBride is professional, polite, very knowledgeable and really has a great sense of humor. He spent a considerable amount of quality time with us.
     
  19. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    I thought the mandate was for diversity within the officer corp to better mirror the enlisted percentages, not the US population. Is that incorrect?

    Is there any mandate to have the enlisted personnel mirror the US population?
     
  20. educateme

    educateme Member

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    aglages,

    I was interpreting the concept broadly.

    I apologize for too broad an application of the concept. Sorry for misleading folks....
     

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