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“ROTC helps Yale stay true to her traditions by giving the opportunity to students to serve God, Country, and Yale.” Though ROTC students enjoy the nascent program, they admit it faces significant challenges. First of all, they lack guidance from experienced older participants in ROTC. Reinke laments, “One thing that’s been hard for our students is the lack of upperclassmen that have gone through [the program] who can help steer them in the right direction, particularly with regards to Yale-specific issues. It will be great a few years from now when we have Yale upperclass midshipmen that can

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really speak to incoming freshmen about the issues they faced when they arrived at Yale. Then we can better support our students and ensure they have the best resources to succeed.” Moving forward, Manning says ROTC will rebuild its presence at Yale by constructing a community of supporters and crafting new traditions. Clapper looks forward to “solidifying our ideas for the unit’s structure and tradition before the arrival of the new freshmen in the fall,” while Fong is eager to “reestablish some of the traditions that used to take place at Yale when ROTC was here.” Manning details an additional struggle. “One of our biggest challenges has been the associated crosstown schools [and] bringing everyone together.” Yale’s AFROTC program

welcomes students from regional universities for classes once a week. After taking a long trip, these students stay for an entire day before returning to their campuses. Yale and ROTC have tried to create a comfortable environment for commuters, adding a lounge with a big-screen television and couches where ROTC participants can relax and study. Students, however, express dissatisfaction that ROTC classes do not award Yale course credits. As Overhauser explains, “The Navy requires us to take both special Navy classes as well as a much more specific version of Yale’s distributional requirements.” Manning explains that AFROTC at Yale has attempted to mitigate this issue by exempting Yale athletes from physical training courses, which take

up two hours a week. In spite of challenges, ROTC students and administrators have high hopes for the program’s future. Abney looks forward to the day when the military becomes “a more vital part of campus life, where seeing students in uniform is common.” As ROTC grows, Fong wishes for greater female participation in the predominantly male program. Reinke aims not only to recruit new students, but also to engage with veterans who attended Yale in order to “further rebuild the history of Yale NROTC and bridge the gap from the past to today.” For cadets, these connections are important. As Matt Smith ’16 observed, “We are midshipmenYalies, not Yale midshipmen.” More than anything else, Yale must reacquaint itself with “a type of student

that literally has already committed himself to be a future soldier and officer,” says Clapper. He adds proudly, “This hasn’t really existed at Yale for a long time.”

(Image) Planes stored in Coxe Cage during World War II

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The Politic - Spring 2013 I  
The Politic - Spring 2013 I  
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