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News :: Organizing
Northeastern University's ROTC/Pentagon Connection
13 Nov 2004
Military officers for the U.S. warfare state are apparently still being trained on the campus of Boston's Northeastern University.
Northeastern University began its relationship with the Army when the United States government implemented military training in 1918 with the Student Army Training Corps. Following World War I, the program ended, but returned as the Army Specialized Training Program in 1943-1944, only to close again after World War II. In January, 1951, Northeastern University agreed to form a Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) that began training young men (and later women) to become officers in the United States Army in September.

The program enrolled 886 men in its inaugural year,
and at the end of the decade membership reached 2800. By the early 1960s, the University's ROTC program had become the largest of its type in the country. Their great success merited recognition from Wilber M. Brucker, then Secretary of the Army, and on 1 December 1958, he presented a Certificate of Achievement to Northeastern University for outstanding patriotic service to the United States Army.

A portion of the citation reads: "Although relatively young in age, The Northeastern University Corps of Cadets has become the largest single-campus Senior Division US Army ROTC Unit in the United States with the second largest enrollment among all US Army ROTC Units. The University's outstanding support, encouragement, and complete integration of ROTC … (has) been largely responsible for this accomplishment."

By the mid-1960s, however, enrollment began to decline. Protesting ROTC on campus became part of an overall anti-Vietnam War campaign and student and faculty groups repeatedly tried to dissolve ROTC at Northeastern. Despite resistance, President Asa Knowles and a majority of the campus population were unfailing in their support. Although many programs throughout the nation closed their doors to ROTC during the Vietnam era, Northeastern University was unwavering throughout this most difficult period and proudly celebrates 50 years of continuous support (from a 2001 posting on the Northeastern University Army ROTC website).

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