I am the proud father of a 3rd Class Midshipmen at the Harvard/MIT NROTC unit. He is one of two Harvard midshipmen from the class of 2013 and the only one not on scholarship. It is hard to understand how he could be accepted to Harvard (7% admittance rate) and not be deserving of a NROTC scholarship. In an effort to earn a scholarship and be commissioned an officer my son joined the Harvard/MIT unit as a College Programmer. During his freshman year he made the effort to excel in his naval science classes (Harvard gives zero credit for these classes), PT and general studies and was awarded the academic achievement ribbon twice for high GPA (3.75). For this effort the Capt. of Unit recommended him for a PNS Leadership scholarship and he was made a squad leader. This month we learned that the Navy did not grant my son the PNS scholarship because they are over subscribed for the class of 2013 and most likely no scholarship will be offered. The Capt. was very supportive and made it clear that my son deserved a scholarship. Furthermore, the Capt. said he would recommend my son for "Advanced Standing" which would include a monthly stipend, entitle him to a senior cruise and allow him to be commissioned in the Navy (though no scholarship). The issue is “Advanced Standing” is not guaranteed and a decision would not be made until the summer before his junior year. Therefore my son would be required to give another year to the NROTC as a programmer. Then the Navy would make 1 of 3 decisions: award him a scholarship, grant Advance Standing status or drop him from the program. It is very hard to understand why the Navy cannot grant Advanced Standing immediately or guarantee Advanced Standing based on meeting certain requirements so that my son would know that he can be commissioned an officer (even if he has to pay for his education). An interesting piece of information is in the recent past the Harvard/MIT unit has only commissioned scholarship students... there has never been a programmer commissioned! This statistic does not bode well for my son. There have been countless articles about ROTC at elite colleges and how the typical Ivy League student has a little interest in pursuing public service through our military. Participating in ROTC in the Ivy League is not easy for many reasons... My son is not your typical student and he proud to wear the uniform and represent the best of our military on campus. The Navy has the opportunity to acknowledge the achievements and efforts of an outstanding young man of impeccable character and intellect with a NROTC scholarship and a commission in the Navy. It is my firm belief that in today’s troubled times the Navy could use intelligent young men... it just doesn’t make any sense!