Hostile ROTC environments


10-Year Member
5-Year Member
Aug 20, 2007
Without mentioning names, I get the impression while checking the 'buzz' of several college campuses, that some are more ROTC-friendly than others.

A few appear downright hostile environments to the military. In trying to assist my son in making the right choices in his applications, should this be a factor of consideration?
Do you mind clarifying what kind of schools your son is considering?

State schools, Ivies, tech schools, LAC's...etc?
I am not sure what you mean by "hostile" - from the student body or administration?

I know with Army ROTC anyway, some school that are ROTC "friendly" give ROTC students extras - like choice of dorm or in some cases free room and board. Other schools give extra scholarship money to be spread around the batallion for achieving ROTC students.

I personally have not heard of any instances of ROTC students being downright harrassed by other students for being in ROTC.

When/if your son goes to campus for an interview, you should address any concerns you have with the leadership. Your son will probably have a chance to chat with other cadets and you can also get a feel from talking to them.
Do you mind clarifying what kind of schools your son is considering?

One is an Ivy, one is a state (not state of residence), others are schools with strong engineering programs.

I am not sure what you mean by "hostile" - from the student body or administration?

From what I've concluded, certain elements of the student body with sympathetic faculty. It appears there are often movements to remove ROTC programs from campuses, and sometimes they have been successful.

Who needs to deal with that? Sure, the case can be made to stand tough in the face of adversity, but it just seems like a needless hassle.
You probably want to contact the individual units your son is considereing and ask them if they anticipate trouble.

There is a website called advocates for rotc ( that thoroughly covers movement regarding ROTC, NROTC and AFROTC on Ivy campuses as well as MIT and Stanford.

Good luck to your son.
Thanks for the link....(it's actually

It lead me to an article with a perfect example of what I'm talking about.
(And yes, Cornell was the Ivy one on the list.)

The article by the radical anti-war activists goes on to describe how at a recent Cornell Career Fair, activists bombarded military recruiters, claiming they were interested in joining the military. After wasting the recruiters' time, they proceeded to tell them that they were gay and asked whether that would be a problem.

After getting the answer they expected, the anti-war radicals began filling out bias related reports against the recruiters on campus in the middle of the career fair. The radical coalition of writers described it as follows: "There was an air of excitement, people getting involved and hundreds of supportive passers-by."
If an incident like the one you cited would rattle your son and cause you concern then Cornell may not be the best option.

I hear southern schools may be more receptive to ROTC students.

I went to a large State U w/ a healthy, big ROTC presence and witnessed those students endure baiting/taunting, as well.

Sadly, selecting to serve and wearing the uniform might at times attract unpleasant attention. But it has been our family's experience that there are many more people who shake your hand and give a smile than those who are nasty.

My exposure to Ivy campus attitude toward ROTC is limited to Harvard/Penn/MIT and has been really positive. There are some profs at Harvard in particular whose reflections on students in uniform have been wonderful. Harvey Mansfield and Stephen Rosen come to mind.

If you get the chance you might want to take your son to visit the ROTC unit at Cornell and ask the cadets directly. I would caution you to limit how harshly you voice your fears as I'm sure the cadets there are highly attuned to their surroundings and would appreciate friendliness over friendly fire.

Again, best of luck.
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I don't have any idea why some programs are like that. I interviewed at Several schools and just got that vibe from some as well. Yes, this should be a factor because if you're talking about the Cadre being "hostile" it'll make getting stuff done for your son tough, if you're talking about the Cadet's being "hostile" well, then his life will be had as a Cadet, so either way it's a bad move. I go to a school where we are like family, I never had any brothers or sisters...Now I have 130. Our MS4 Cadets take us under their wing, because in a year they'll be gone and your MS1 Cadets are the lifeblood of your batallion.

I'm not telling you that if your son is in love with the school that a few hostile cadets and cadre should steer him away, because let's face it...You've only got to see them in the morning at PT and for class and lab. But that's not the point in this program: It's to build officers, and brotherhood (sistership).
I never had any brothers or sisters...Now I have 130.

And back on 6 May 2007 you wrote:

"21 months later, I've got my brother back. :).

Welcome home Frankie!"

With a photograph that stirred a discussion about a uniform adornment that was on your brother's class 'A's.

I'm confused again.
Brother squid, brother 69er here, I guess the world is just one big brotherhood. You going up to Columbia to hear our good brother Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speak?
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Brother Niner:

I would go to hear our dear brother Manny Whatanutjob speak but my Farsi is weak and they wouldn't let me in with my box cutters(and H&K).

Brother Squid