Perspectives on the Future of ROTC at Columbia:

ROTC PANEL AND DISCUSSION

April 25, 2005

 

[Note: Eric Chenís opening remarks were not recorded and are provided for the transcript. Eric Chen also acts as the moderator for the forum.]

 

ERIC CHEN: Hi. My name is Eric Chen and I am the spokesman for Advocates for Columbia ROTC. I welcome each of you today to our panel and discussion: Perspectives on the Future of ROTC at Columbia.

I want to thank our sponsoring groups for facilitating this event today: Advocates for Columbia ROTC, of course; Chris Higgins and Students United for America, where the ROTC movement began; Lyman Doyle and the Military in Business Association, for helping us with the venue and technical needs; Professor Michael Adler, in the Business School; the Columbia College Republicans, who have been with us since the beginning; and the Law Schoolís Federalist Society and their president. Spencer Marsden. Last but not least, we appreciate the continued support from the alumni in the Columbia Alliance for ROTC.

Our speakers today are Professor Jim Applegate, Co-Chair of the Senate Task Force on ROTC; Professor Lewis Cole, a student leader of the movement that removed ROTC from Columbia; Professor Allan Silver, who voted in favor of removing ROTC as a faculty member; Stephen Brozak, who graduated from General Studies in 1982 and the Business School in 1994óhe retired in 2004 as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Marine Corps Ėand was a Democratic Party candidate for the 7th Congressional District seat in New Jersey in 2004; Taylor Hwong, now attending the Business School, graduated from SEAS in 1992 and has served as an Army engineer officer in Iraq and Afghanistan; Scott Stewart is an Army veteran in General Studies and is the political affairs director of the College Democrats; Davida Kellogg graduated from Barnard and earned her Masterís and PhD from Columbiaóshe has been an ROTC instructor and is considered a preeminent authority on military ethics. Concluding the speaker presentation portion of the forum will be Sean Wilkes, chairman of Advocates for Columbia ROTCóand a member of the Senate Task Force.

I would like to clear up some persistent myths about ROTC and the non-discrimination policy. First, there is the myth that ROTC would necessitate suspending the Universityís non-discrimination policy. Thatís simply untrue. Columbia already hosts arrangements, like Barnard, which it couldnít under a strictest interpretation of the non-discrimination policyónot to discriminate, but for the greater good of diversity and inclusion. Similarly, there is no reason for Columbia to suspend its non-discrimination policy because of ROTC. ĎDonít Ask, Donít Tellí (or DADT) applies only to uniformed military personnel. In fact, non-military openly gay employees and students could work in the ROTC office. Columbia would notóby faróbe the first university which enforced its non-discrimination policy while hosting an ROTC program. There are many ways to structure the arrangement, which I wonít get into here. Thatís for smarter minds than mine.

The second myth is that DADT makes ROTC illegal under New York anti-discrimination laws. Unfortunately, whatever we think of the law (and I believe it needs to changeóthere are too many good soldiers who bear its unfair burden) DADT is a federal law, which falls under the ďSupremacy ClauseĒ Ė Article Six of the Constitution. The question of ROTC and our non-discrimination policy is not one of legalityóof invalidating an important policy, or of supporting a poorly rendered law. The question is how best to advance civil responsibility, diversity, inclusion, engagement and reform, both in our Columbia community, and as Columbia looks outwardówith its special responsibilitiesóinto society and the world.

To many, the ROTC debate has been framed as a vote for or against the non-discrimination policy. We need to support both the non-discrimination policy and ROTC. Many people have asked me, What is my founding motivation for starting the ROTC movement on campus? There are many good reasons for ROTC to return to Columbia, but this is the belief in which it began: I believe in soldiersóand that includes gay soldiers. This is for them, too. If we choose against ROTC, we unambiguously choose against closing the civil-military gap, and we choose for segregation and a sanction of anti-military discrimination in our communityóour flagship institution. No reform, no normalization of values in our society, can happen in that injured state.

In closing my introduction, I leave you with this thought: At this crossroads in our history, we must choose: Are we an Ivory Tower disconnected from the needs of society, divorced from nation and people, and only good for insular thinking and selfish pursuits? Or, are we truly Americaís producer of vanguard leaders who pursue integration, diversity, the greater good and the improvement of all parts of our society, including the military?

The challenge of our time demands the best leaders from our generation. As Dr. Martin Luther King said in another time of pressing need in American history,

ďLet us stand with a greater determination. And let us move on in these powerful days, these days of challenge, to make America what it ought to be. We have an opportunity to make America a better nation.Ē

At Columbia, it is again time to stand with a greater determination, for the sake of our people, our country and our world. If our government has been wrong by discouraging gays from serving in the militaryóand I believe it has beenóthen let us show America the right way. Allow Columbia to teach our government and the American people a higher standard of diversity and inclusion by embracing ROTC and our civic duties. Set us free so we can lead the way.

The decision we make for the restoration of ROTC is about more than just ROTC. We are shaping our generationís vision of Columbia University and, thus, our value to society. Thank you, and I pass the floor to Professor Applegate.

 

[Note: The beginning of Prof. Applegateís speech was not recorded.]

 

JAMES APPLEGATE: . . . . [Columbia must retain the authority to determine titles for] ROTC instructors, who will be given titles that are appropriate to their level of education, accomplishment, and professional experience just as anybody else is here.Columbia takes titles very seriously, and we must insist that these titles would be appropriate for the instructors as judged by Columbiaís criteria.

††††††††††† Many of the arguments against ROTC are based on non-discrimination policy and DADT.It should be made clear at this point that there were ten people on the Task Force on ROTC. Not a single person on that Task Force supported the policy of DADT.All felt that it was bad policy for the United States and fundamentally wrong in a very deep way.

††††††††††† Where we disagreed was on what to do about it.There was not a disagreement on the issues of morality or issues of principle.The disagreement is on the issues of strategy and the issues of tactics.Those who voted against the return of ROTC as soon as practical and subject to certain preconditions argued that the appropriate response of the University to a policy which the community views as discriminatory is for us to shun the military until such time as this policy is changed.Those of us who voted in favor of the return of ROTC under current conditions argued that the single most effective and by far the most powerful agent of change that this institution could provide were Columbia- educated leaders in todayís and tomorrowís military.

††††††††††† This is not a choice of, Do you want DADT or do you want the military?The people who voted in favor of ROTC oppose DADT and oppose it unanimously.There are those who said that for Columbia to host an ROTC program amounts to an institutional endorsement of DADT.We felt that that was just simply wrong.The institution should not, does not and should not, I think, use its affiliations as vehicles for expressing political opinions, endorsements or condemnations.

††††††††††† As an example, we accept and welcome students and scholars from all across the world, regardless of the form of government, foreign policy, or human rights records of the nation of origin of these individuals.There are those who would say that Columbiaís hosting of an ROTC program amounts to something like the Universityís endorsement of the war in Iraq.This is also not true.I believe that one of the fundamental lessons that the United States, or Americans collectively, should learn from our experience in Vietnam [is] that it is a tragic mistake to confuse the military and support for the military as support for the uses for which the military is put by its civilian leaders.Those who would argue again that support for the ROTC is support for the Iraq war I think have just simply failed to realize, failed to understand this important lesson.

††††††††††† And also people would say that this would politicize the University. This is actually something that I think is probably true, but it is a development that I do not fear, [that]I actually embrace and welcome.I cannot imagine a more appropriate thing to happen on a university campus [than] to have a vigorous and ongoing debate about the appropriate role of the military in a democratic society, the appropriate role of the military in the academy, the obligations and responsibilities of the citizen to the democratic state and of that state to the citizen. So I think in conclusion this is actually to be welcomed.

††††††††††† In conclusion I would just say that the choice here is welcoming the military with its warts and everything else back, or shunning it and claiming that we only want it back when somehow we think itís good enough for us.Shunning the military is a choice that a private university is free to make.It is not the choice that Americans collectively are free to make.It is a choice I believe that Columbia should not make, and I think itís time to welcome ROTC back to our campus.Thank you.

 

LEWIS COLE.So it seems to me that there are two kinds of arguments that have been advanced in terms of ROTCís return to campus.

 

CHEN:Oh, actually, first your name.

 

COLE:Iím sorry.Lewis Cole.Iím Professor Lewis Cole.Lewis Cole, and Iím a professor here of screenwriting at the School of the Arts, and I was here as a student from í64 to 1968, and I was a member of the Students for a Democratic Society, and I was very involved in the strike.Itís a matter of historical fact that actually ROTC was not a primary concern of the strike back then, but it became one of the things which the University administration actually got in on later on after the strike was over.

††††††††††† It seemsóand that touches upon the issue of the politicization of the campus, which I want to get into later onóit seems to me that there are two basic kinds of arguments that are used to support ROTCís return to campus.One is an argument which argues for ROTC on its own terms.That is that there [are] particular virtues in this organization and what it stands for, etc., that need to be applauded and which the University should embrace.

††††††††††† The second argument, which you hear variations of, is a conditional argument which goes something to the effect of, Well, the army may not be such a great thing, ROTC may not be such a great thing, but we should get ourselves involved in it for a variety of reasons.And those reasons can differ.

††††††††††† One of my colleagues on the panel is, I think, going to make the argument, which I think is a very interesting and important argument, that because the army is not a conscription army now, because it is fundamentally an elite or an army of volunteers, that it is more important to get involved with ROTC and the army whatever you think about it.Another argument which Iíve heard advanced was, Yes, DADT is terrible, and itís because it is terrible that we should embrace it, because that will allow us to argue against it.

††††††††††† These arguments seem to me basically without merit.They seem to me without merit for two reasons.One is that, historically, change in the armed forces has only come at an almost glacial rate.It is 100 years that it took the armed forces to become an integrated institution in the society, and to this day, though 33 percent of the armed forces are people of color, the amount of officers is 17 percent, which speaks to some kind of institutional bias that is still there.This is after the Civil War, after the Second World War, etc.

††††††††††† Itís also true that when you donít have an army that is conscripted, so that it has a really democratically selected population, the degree to which the army changes is even more slow, and thatís been reflected in the last 20 or 30 years with the change in the makeup of the armed forces politically, etc.Itís interesting to me, for example, that on the one hand it is said, Well, itís good to politicize the campus, [and] this is not a partisan issue;and on the other hand, that we are here tonight under the sponsorship of a Republican organization.

††††††††††† There is, in fact, a relationship between supporting the armyís presence on campus and, whether or not you want this to be the case, the uses to which the army is put.And I think it is, I think it is simply chimerical to believe that weíre going to have an organization on campus which is part of the army and those issues will not be raised.

††††††††††† The second thing about the argument, and the conditional argument, which I think makes it without merit, is that I disagree with the Republican Party.I think the present policies of the Republican Party are disastrous for this society.That does not mean that I should become a member of the Republican Party.I vote against the Republican Party.

††††††††††† If you believe that DADT is a disastrous policy, there is no necessity to say that therefore you should work with those who are part of it.You can make an equally strong argument that you are going to get a better result from absenting yourself from it.Let me give a small example of that.I offered, I volunteered to come here because I felt that anti-ROTC voices here were underrepresented.Eric very gracefully accepted, you know, when I asked him whether or not I could come, and this morning he sent me some e-mails about what the format was.And one of the parts of the format was going to be that there were going to be written questions from the audience.Now I have participated in probably 100 forums, and never in my life have I been in a forum in which the audience was not going to be able to participate directly from the floor.

††††††††††† So I said to Eric, I donít think thatís a good idea.I think you should have direct questions and answers from the floor.He said, No, he thought that the people who organized this felt it was more efficient.I said, I donít think itís a question of efficiency; I think itís a question of control.He said, Well, why donít you go through the questions with me?I said no.It was on him if he had come up with this policy to make sure that the questions were balanced, etc.I did not want to participate in a decision that I thought was wrong.

††††††††††† So similarly, I think that a lot of the conditional arguments which I think youíre going to hear tonight are wrong, and they are tactically wrong, and that it is very hard to give examples of where those tactics actually have worked.Now Iím going to jump over a number of the arguments that there are, I think. for why it is that ROTC should not be on campus.But let me make a broad argument.The argument for ROTC ultimately is an argument for privilege.It is saying that service in the armed forces is somehow different from and therefore can claim different privileges in the University than any other forms of civic activity.

††††††††††† I believe that to be fundamentally false.Yes, any society needs to defend itself.The society also needs health care.The society also needs spiritual guidance.A society also needs many kinds of contributions from its citizens that make it be the society that it is.I was prepared to go to Vietnam and I would have ended up in jail.I was lucky.I had a physical disability, and so I didnít do it.But I served, I feel, in another army back then.I served against the war.I fought against the war.I went to jail because I was against the war.I had a degree that was withheld from me for seven years by this university because of what it was that I didóIím not arguing rightly or wrongly.I donít get credit for that.I donít believe I deserve credit for that.That is what I believed in as a person and as a citizen of this country, and if other people believe differently, thatís their right and thatís what they should do. But the University should not be party to it because you cannot begin to divide it.If you give people that privileged position, then you are going to have to come up with answers as to why other people donít also deserve those privileges.And you are making a political statement at that point.And in doing that you are breaking the basic social contract that rules the University, which is not in isolation, but it is rather saying this place does something special in the society and we need special rules that allow us to do it.

 

CHEN:Professor Silver.

 

ALLAN SILVER:Yes, I am Allan Silver.I am in the Department of Sociology, and Lewis Cole and I both came to Columbia the very same year.

 

COLE: Did we? But we were of different status. The cunning of history. . . .

 

SILVER: The cunning of historyóyes, our destinies are intertwined.And we meet again. Lewis came as a student.I came as an eager, new junior faculty person.

Now military institutions are a central feature of the American polity, and they will continue to be so for the indefinite future.Thatís a sharp change from the normal rhythm of the American past.Weíre in a new phase of American history.Sixty years since the Second World War, and fifteen since the collapse of the Soviet Union, and a few years since the attacks on Manhattan and Washington announce that.They put urgent questions for public debate, but the question of ROTC bears on us in terms that are specific to this university and to others like it.Thereís a very long-term and growing democratic deficit of constitutional scope in how America deals with war and peace.

††††††††††† And among those problems, far from the only one, but the one that we deal with this evening, is what I will call the essential absence of socially advanced groups and the institutions of higher learning that they attendótheir absence from the military aspect of democratic citizenship.Of the Congress that authorized the war in Iraq, very few have sons and daughters in active serviceóby one count, three.And many high in the current and the previous administrations, whether they opposed or supported the Vietnam War, avoided military service by one measn or another.

††††††††††† I, of course, was a faculty member here during the 1960s, and I well recall the protests against the Vietnam War, which in my opinion are justified and animated by many sources.A protest against it arose and fell in part in response to the possibility of being drafted.Conscription is indeed a policy of the past, and with it, the widespread obligation of citizens to share in the risks and the consequences of military endeavors.And this poses a very serious issue for the legitimacy and civic health of American democracy.

††††††††††† Should Columbia take the same posture towards military service as do privileged elites and their institutions broadly?That is to say, take a free ride while cheering or deploring from a distance.Or will we enter into an educational relationship with the profession of arms as we do with other professions?There have been, and Iím sure there will be, good wars and bad wars.But Columbia must decide on whether ROTC properly forms part of its educational purposes in this phase of American history, during this or any other administration, or this or any other Congress, or this or any other foreign and strategic policy, during a bad war or during a good war.

††††††††††† Now some reasons for favoring ROTC have merit, and those reasons I know are endorsed and advocated by many of my colleagues here, but in my opinion theyíre not decisive.For example, that ROTC increases scholarships for needy and other students.But in accepting ROTC for financial reasons, we risk a kind of a soft militarization.Many disfavored groups successfully use military service to improve their positions in society, but that is not a compelling reason.Itís not a compelling educational reason to restore ROTC.

No university is required to provide all forms of training.Itís true that ROTC would increase diversity, and I also look forward to that.But diversity, one of the more abused words of our vocabulary, is not a magic word that ritually exempts policies and priorities from examination.

Some reasons for rejecting ROTC also have merit, but they are not controlling.There is a persistent myth that the military grossly exploits the poor and disadvantaged who bear a disproportionate share of warís risks, and that ROTC as part of this unjust pattern must therefore be rejected.This idea of course is animated by the profound American ideal of equality of opportunity.It is nourished by memories of the last good war, when America mobilized over ten million with minimum regard to such social experiments.It is nurtured by a clashing memory of the 1960s.Some of those memories are accurate, others are not accurate, but all are now mythological.

But like most paths in life, a military service is a mix of constraint and choice.Yes, the enlisted ranks are tilted down in terms of social class, but they roughly resemble the profile of comparable occupational skills in the civilian labor force, which the militaryís occupational structure increasingly resembles.

The military is quite selective from the general population.It is elites who select themselves out of the military.In fiscal year 2002, which is the last date for which data is available, the proportions of blacks were beginning to approach their proportion in the total population.Ten percent of officers are black.And there is no institution in civil society in which blacks command whites to the extent that they do in the military.It is also a mythóand Iíll be happy to match footprints on thisóthat military casualties disproportionately bear on minority or disfavored groups.

Changes in military policies involving personnel come from the top down, from civilian authority, and they come quite dramatically.The classic instance is President Trumanís order of í48 to racially integrate the armed forces despite the militaryís resistance, but in two years his order was speedily administered.With the coming of the Korean War, racial segregation basically vanished.Expansion of military roles for women has followed a similarly abrupt course after the end of the draft in 1973.This reveals how can Columbia in reacting to the ROTC question best further the cause of expanding civic respect in American society.Rejecting an ROTC program because of the current policy ignores a history that extends for six decades, a military service that played key symbolic and substantive roles in struggles for equal citizenship and civic dignity, but these struggles must be fought from within as well as from without.

One half of Native Americans were not eligible for formal citizenship before their exemplary service in World War I.A Japanese-American both accepted conscription and volunteered even as their government imprisoned their families.African-Americans did not wait outside the lunch counters of the segregated South or shrink from voting until desegregation and civil rights bills were passed.They went in.

 

MICHAEL ADLER: Since youíre going over your time limit, you might ask someone to give you extra time.

 

SILVER:May I have about two minutes?

 

CHEN:Two minutes.

 

SILVER:Hispanics and women and blacks continue to have multiple problems.Homosexuals have distinctive problems, but the struggle for equal citizenship and civic dignity runs through all these experiences.Columbia should not stand in the way of the students who wish to serve though ROTC in spite of and because of these struggles.

††††††††††† An ROTC program at Columbia does not signify the Universityís militarization.That idea stems most recently from the 1960s.In 1966 I started the struggle against reporting grade point averages to draft boardsócan any problem be more remote from the present?In 1969 I opposed NROTC because the program had egregious obstacles to becoming a proper part of the University. But the priorities, policies, and passions of that time are a warning and not a guide to our present and our future.

††††††††††† We have a choice.Columbia University is the site of one of the great upheavals of the 1960s and therefore all the more symbolically well placed to make a notable contribution indistinguishably educational and civic to this country.

 

COLE:It was my understanding it was ten minutes for eachó

 

CHEN: Yeah, it is.

 

COLE:Yeah.And so I didnít think that actually Allan went over.On my clock he was actually pretty much on time.

 

CHEN:That should come from the chair, not the audience.

Mr. Brozak.

 

STEVE BROZAK:My name is Steve Brozak.I graduated from GS in 1982 and from the executive MBA program in 1994.If you would indulge me, how many senators do we have in the audience?Show of hands.Okay.I very much want to thank you for being here.Whether youíre advocates of ROTC or youíre against, the only way we can get a real idea of what the issues are is literally by having exchanges like this, and by going out there and trying to dispel some impressions that may or may not be true.

††††††††††† Iím bookended by two professors that happened to be at Columbia in the Ď60s.I was also at Columbia in the Ď60s.As a matter of fact, I was in the stacks at Butler at the same time that they were teaching and going to school here.My dad was doing his dissertation, and he parked me there along with my sister, and we got more than an eyeful watching what was going on.So I can say I was raised at Columbia in addition to having two degrees from the place.

††††††††††† The first impression Iíd like to dispel here is thatóI just finished running for Congress on the Democratic ticket.I spoke at the Democratic convention advocating for John Kerry.I was endorsed by the human rights campaign.They sent as many people as we were legally allowed to accept to advocate for gay and lesbian and transgender rights.They singled me out to go out there and be their champion in talking about advancing equality.So if anyone wants to go out there and say that I discriminated against anyone then, you know, basically theyíre not paying attention to the facts.

††††††††††† As far as the University is concerned, I hold this place with just as much of a special position in my heart as these two gentlemen that spoke just before, but I also spent 22 years on active duty in the reserves and then back on active duty in the Marine Corps.I left Columbia University and went directly into the Marine Corps and was commissioned a second lieutenant and spent about three and a half years as an infantry officer in most of Asia.

††††††††††† I would find one point wrong with the first speaker in that this is not a Republican, this is not a Democratic issue.This is an issue about vision.This is an issue that talks about what the University and what America needs into the 21st century.I would also take issue with the speaker just before.There are no good wars.There are wars that are avoidable, and there are wars that are unavoidable.There are wars that will change what we view as society, and there are wars, frankly, we can do better by avoidingóperiod.

††††††††††† I have a memento here from my active duty and reserve days.Basically itís the ribbons and medals that I was awarded for going to places like peacekeeping missions in Haiti, going to places like peacekeeping missions in Bosnia, and yes, for going to Iraq.The people that I served with over 22 years, they were individuals.I suspect that if I was to get a show of hands here about how many people knew people that were in the military, Iíd see very few.The people that are serving today are no different than you or I.They represent a cross section of American society.Most of the time they have no opinions that are different from the ones that you and I share.The difference is unfortunately that a lot of leadership in this country.I was a strong opponent of and am a strong opponent of the Bush administration.They canít voice their opinion the same way you or I can.Thatís where they need your help.Thatís where they need for you to be their voices.

††††††††††† If there is a problem with DADT, and Iím sure everyone in this room will agree that there is, you have to be the agents of change for them.How can you do that?Well, right off the bat, how many people here have enough experience with the military to understand how to get change?How many people understand that when youíre talking about top-down enforcement of rules, the rules are not made by the generals or the admirals?The rules are made by staffs employed by the generals, the admirals and the secretaries of defense.Those staffs are comprised of captains, majors, lieutenant colonels, colonels, and sometimes generals too.They draw from their experience.They draw from a myriad of backgrounds.They bring to them whatever educational values that were instilled in them when they started.Their eloquence, their ability to win that conversation, determines whether or not that admiral, that general, that secretary of defense is going to go out there and advocate one point over another.

†††††††† DADT is a monument to the fact that there were not enough people there that could advocate eloquently enough to say that we should not have discrimination in todayís military.Iíve spoken about my credentials.What does returning ROTC mean to Columbia and what does the return of ROTC for Columbia mean to this country?September 15, 2003, I was one of the designated authors for something that the Department of Defense requires every ten years.Itís a review of the all-volunteer force.Basically it says whether or not weíre doing a good job, what we need to improve.There were about twenty authors at the initial printing.There are nineteen authors in the final review.They saw fit to eliminate what I had to say.

††††††††††† What I had to say basically said that the course we were on, the military, was not a tenable one,that we would run out of troops given the sustained level of troop rotation involvement and guard use.They didnít want to pay attention to facts.They didnít want to go out there and understand that, Guess what, we have an issue in whatís going on in todayís military.Iíd like to think that if we had more Columbia, more Ivy, more officers, more men and women could go out there and talk about what we needed to do, that we would have approached Iraq and Afghanistan with a different outlook, with a real plan.

††††††††††† Now, thatís the document that was published six months ago.This comes from the front page of the New York Times today. ďBlooded Marines sound off about lack of armor and men.ĒThe realities are that we are running out of people.The realities are that lack of planning, lack of equipment is costing us a great deal.Columbia University can fill that breach.They can assist by going out there and saying that we are loyal, we believe that we can do things differently.We can advocate for. . . .

††††††††††† The co-chair of this committee talked about Columbia as an oasis.If you go out there and be a paragon of virtue, that oasis cannot sustain itself.That oasis needs to go out there and ensure that we are a voice that can challenge what is wrong.By just choosing to ignore the realities that are taking place, we aid no one.As a matter of fact, we aid the critics that basically go out there and say that, Well, these people arenít even involved in the discussion, why should we heed what they say?

††††††††††† The unit thatís described here [in the New York Times] I joined twenty years ago: Echo Company, Second Battalion, Ninth Marines.The company commanders of these units are being relieved because theyíre going out there and theyíre advocating for their men.

I donít disagree that military service isnít the only service to this country.I served with many men and women that had joined the Peace Corps before joining the Marine Corps.On peacekeeping operations I served with many non-governmental organizations where people had suffered, where people had gone out there and tried to make a difference.But unfortunately today I donít see that same spirit of service at Columbia University.I donít see the people going out there and trying to make a difference.I donít see people understanding what the issues are.

††††††††††† By returning ROTC to Columbia weíll now start to engage what the issues are.The people that join ROTC will be able to start that discussion, and the professors, the University members here will be able to talk about what they think should be changed.This will be news.

††††††††††† I started by talking about vision.What does vision mean?Iíll end with three anecdotes. About two and a half years ago on the front page of the New York Post one of the eminent realtors in New York decided that he was not going to let anyone that was in the military sign a lease for one of these luxury buildings that he owned.Blatant discrimination.Against the law.Bottom line, he could care less.Here was a fellow that had made a ton of money understanding about the democracy, understanding about how to get around the system, but he didnít understand that there was a vision required to support that democracy, to participate in it.

Not too long after that I remember going to award the mayor, Iím sorry the governor of the state of New Jersey, with an award for having assisted the Guardsmen and Reservists who were called back.We wanted to have it engraved, went to a local jeweler, and when I mean local, literally about ten miles from here, and I said, could you engrave this?Well, his response was, Well, I donít know if itís worth my time, and if it is, bottom line it will cost you more than itís really worth.I explained to him that the Department of Defense protects us all. It isnít worth their time? It isnít worth their effort? weíre literally within ten miles of where the World Trade Center stood.But it behooves us as Americans to understand that we have to participate.He immediately said, Iíll engrave it for you and I wonít charge you anything.I think he represents most Americans that understand after it being pointed out what needs to be done to safeguard this democracy.

The last person Iíll talk to you about is a public employee of a municipality out in Utah.He was a Guardsman that was called back to active duty for Afghanistan.Literally one day heís working in a park, the next day heís in Afghanistan fighting for his life.Heís involved in a firefight with the Taliban, his unit is attacked, and heís knocked down.A grenade throws him off balance.He goes and picks himself up to try and safeguard the other unit members, brings them to the safety of a small alcove.Unfortunately this time heís knocked down by another grenade.He literally loses the left side of his face, one eyeís gone.He doesnít wake up for about a week.When he does, he wakes up in Rangstein, and the first thing he wants to know is whether the people that he had tried to safeguard, that he had tried to protect, were okay.There is a man that basically lost the sight of one eye, yet he had the vision to understand that sometimes we have to participate in safeguarding this democracy.

I would like very much for Columbia University to have that vision so that we can restore our version of ROTC to this country to go out there and safeguard this democracy.Thank you very much.

 

CHEN: Mr. Hwong.

 

TAYLOR HWONG: My name is Taylor Hwong, and Iím a current student at the Business School right now, and I also graduated from the Engineering School in 1992 with a degree in mining engineering, and I had done ROTC when I was an undergraduate here, and I served on active duty for a total of about six years, and I have been a management consultant for about two as well, and now Iím back here.And at the risk of dumbing down the conversation a bit, I mostly wanted to relate some of my experiences because a lot of my friends both from high school, from college, from work, they often come to me for stories about the military because Iíve discovered that very, very few of them do have any personal contact or personal experiences of their own, as the other speakers alluded to. So I wanted to tell you a little bit about what I did, and then tell you some of the [inaudible] that I got out of the military and why I thought it was such a powerful combination of experiences to be a veteran and to be a Columbia graduate at the same time.

††††††††††† For better or for worse, I did not get myself into any of the horrible firefights like the one that Mr. Brozak just described.I did start as a platoon leader in the First Infantry Division as a combat engineer, and I did that for about two years, and it was an incredible management experience.I had a platoon, I had lives at stake.Even if I wasnít in battle, we were always doing dangerous training exercises, working with explosives.When you blow something up, you better believe you want to make sure that that soldier has taken all the right training measures and safety precautions.And these force you to mature quickly and understand what it means to take care of people, your employees.I did that for about two years, and then I went off to the Middle East, to Qatar to serve as a construction project manager.I transferred into the Corps of Engineers, and I was in charge of getting some very large construction projects built there.I had to give a lot of briefings, I had to write a lot of papers while I was there, I had to review a lot of technical documents.I got to meet a lot of foreign government employees.I got to meet a lot of State Department employees. I got to meet a lot of local people in Qatar and across the Middle East as I traveled around there.

††††††††††† And then I went, that was about 2000, I got out of the military.I had done my four and a half years, in case youíre counting years, I went to grad school first after I graduated from Columbia and got an engineering graduate degree. And then I was in the military.I finished in Qatar.I went into management consulting for two years.And one of the things that I discovered there was thatómanagement consulting, some of you might know, isóa lot of people think itís extremely different from the management style in the military.In the military you think hierarchy, following orders all the time, and in management consulting you think small teams, everybody collaborating, and to some extent thatís true, but thereís an awful lot of overlap.And I found that it really helped to have been in the military because in the military I still had to build consensus, I had to influence people, I couldnít just order people around, canít get anything done that way, I had to reach out to people who I had never spoken to and get them to do things for me, and get them to understand what I was trying to do for them, in writing, verbally.All of this translated very well into my management consulting career.

††††††††††† And then after two years I went back into the military, I voluntarily went back in in 2003 and I served in both Afghanistan and Iraq.And not by deliberate plan, but I ended up in Afghanistan working very closely with US Aidon building the Ringroad, this highway from Kandahar to Kabul, and I had to work very closely with the mission director from US Aid.And without trying to be boastful, I feel like one of the reasons I was selected for that assignment once I was there was because they recognized that I have the engineering experience, but they also wanted somebody who could effectively communicate, who knew how to handle the relationship with the mission director inasmuch as that they saw my experience from Qatar dealing with the embassy and other government customers.

††††††††††† And those made it very rewarding and intellectually challenging.So that was one thing that I took away. That it wasnít just running around with a gun shooting or following orders.Itís a lot more complex.Thereís a lot of different levels of management and a lot of different experiences that are out there.

††††††††††† The other part that I took away that I alluded to before was thatóbecaise one of the arguments that I heard about ROTC not coming back is that, well, students do have the opportunity to develop themselves with ROTC off campus.Itís true.And thatís what I had to do.I went to John Jay College of Criminal Justice and participated through the Fordham program while I was there.I did that for four years, every week of the school year.But I think we also discourage a lot of students from coming here who would be interested in serving in the military by doing that.It is an option, but I believe we are robbing ourselves of a certain diversity of student who wants to serve their nation in that way.And I also feel that having had the Columbia education that I was well qualified to serve my duties.Iím not going to get on my Ivory Tower and say that Iím better than everybody else intellectually, but a lot of the challenges that I had were intellectual challenges, not just physical challenges, not just managerial challenges.

††††††††††† And so for these reasons I feel that itís especially a good reason for the students here to want to have that opportunity on campus.It was a wonderful experience for me.I think it could therefore be a wonderful experience for other students here who want to serve in the military, who want to serve the nation in that regard, to take on positions of leadership.And if itís good for the students, it should also be good for the University, and itís also good for the country in that regard.

††††††††††† And so thatís my pitch for why I feel very strongly that ROTC should have a place back here on campus.For anybody whoís interested in the reality of what itís like to be in the military these days, during the Q&A Iíd be more than happy to answer any questions.

 

CHEN:Mr. Stewart.

 

SCOTT STEWART:Howís it going?My name is Scott Stewart.Iím a General Studies student, 2007.I think the main reason I was asked here is because ofónot that I have all the answers because I donít.Iím not actually here to even sway anyone in one particular direction or the other.But I am gay, and I donít know how to do hair and that kind of stuff.

††††††††††† I served in the infantry.I joined for a particular reasonóbecause after DADT was initiated, I felt strongly against it and so I joined the United States Army to oppose that ruling. Thatís why I chose the infantry, because that was the hardest part of the branch.I know that some people might differ about that.And so, and I donít have anything prepared because I just walked away from writing a ten-page paper so my mindís kind of way over there as well.So Iíll be available to explain more in the Q and A.

††††††††††† One thing that keeps popping up in my head is that saying that no battle was ever won that wasnít fought.And I feel that we have an obligation, not as Columbians or, you know, just not being from Columbia but actually being Americans, individuals, that we have an obligation to get rid of this discrimination, overt discrimination in the military.The only way thatís in my mind to do that is to actually face it head on.Itís like when we were kids and we had a cough and our moms gave us or our dads gave us those cough medicine and it really sucked.You know, it tasted horrible.Itís one of those things we had to do.We had to face this thing head on.If we ignore it, Iím afraid of the consequences.

††††††††††† You know, a lot of black civil rights leaders today donít like homosexuals comparing our struggle with their struggle, but I see this, my joining the army, as my opportunity to walk up to that whites-only drinking fountain and drinking from it.And that I think that we should all share in that.We shouldnít just sit in the back of the bus or not sit at the front counter.That we have to participate in this thing.If only for the same reason I did, I didnít have any other reason to go in but to oppose this policy.I was completely open in the military, and I served honorably and did my job I think better than most.And that paid off.It changed a lot of peopleís minds, at least in the United States Army.†† There werenít any instances where any discrimination was put towards you because I guess I didnít give them an opportunity to do that.I showed them that I was a soldier, an individual human.

††††††††††† I donít have much more to say.As I said, Iím not prepared, but Iíll be glad to answer questions that anyone asks. And Iím also under 10 minutes. You should be proud about that.

 

CHEN: We are very thankful. Professor Kellogg?.

 

DAVIDA KELLOGG:My name is Davida Kellogg.I am Barnard í67 and Graduate School Columbia í69, í73.I think the reason that Iím here is that Iím also a military history fellow from West Point 1992, and since í93 I had for many years taught, I think whatís relevant here is that I taught both military history and military ethics for Army ROTC on a large state campus in New England.

††††††††††† Thereís much said about something called the civilian-military gap.Weíve heard today, and that gap is very much in evidence here.Basically to describe it, weíre saying that very few people on this campus really know much about the military, the American military, or about American soldiers.Weíve lost track of that.Weíve lost contact with them.And this is my main reason for being here, because I feel that that is very, very dangerous to American society, and also to our ideas of democracy.

††††††††††† There are two things. One of the things that shows me that the gap is really large here is, in keeping track of this debate on line and so on, many statements were made which did not resemble the soldiers that I have come to know.Iíve also spent a great deal of time working on an oral history of Vietnam vets, a very long and painful one.And some of the things that are saidóthat an ROTC on campus would militarize the campus, for instance, that some students would find themselves unsafe in that atmosphere, and so onóare evidence that you know little about soldiers of our country.And you know little about our military.

††††††††††† One of the things you should know is that our military is heir to two great traditions.And the first is the ďjust warĒ tradition.It goes all the way back essentially to Aristotle, if you donít want to go back to Biblical times.Aristotleís the one who coined the term ďjust war.ĒEssentially it is the remedy when all else fails for peace, and there can be such a thing.There is not this clear black and white dichotomy between just peace and unjust war.We had unjust peace in this country prior to the Civil War, a very unjust peace.And unfortunately the remedy to that had to be a very long painful war.

††††††††††† Now just war has two parts to it.Theyíre known as Jus Ad Bellem, which means justice in declaring war, in going to war in the first place, and this is the province of the state.It is not the soldierís province, except that he is a citizen and he may cast his vote as any other citizen does.But it is the province of the state.And that includes a whole bunch of things like just authority and so on, which we wonít go into here, butó

††††††††††† The thing that concerns the soldier is the second part of the just war tradition and that is called Jus In Belloójustice in prosecuting a war, and that concerns him very, very much.And this is where people like me come in. This is what our teaching is benched towards.

††††††††††† The other thing that shapes our American soldiers is quintessentially American tradition of civilian control of the military.This was put in place by George Washington, our first commander in chief and our first president, before we were even a country.And it is really the only way in which we could have a standing army and still have the kinds of freedoms that we went to war with Britain in the first place over.It was something that is really quintessentially American.Nothing else fits with our particular personality, our freedom living, our liberty loving, the kind of a country that declared that it had a right to pursue happiness, an unheard-of thing, absolutely unheard of thing in the 18th century.††

††††††††††† At any rate, thereís a constitutional right to civilian control of the military.It is ours, we control it.Thereís also a corresponding requirement, a corresponding onus on us, and it is a heavy oneóthat we know what weíre doing.And here is where we get in troubleówhen we marginalize soldiers, when we marginalize the military.I have actually, if you want to look at what is happening to ROTC units on campuses in this United States, I have a brochure that says where they are, and Iím going to read you a few places:Florida A&M, University of Florida, Jacksonville University, Georgia Institute of Technologyóyou can get the picture there.Essentially what is happening in this country is that the weight of ROTC, the preponderance of ROTC units is, itís slumping south on this country like a watermelon or middle-aged lady.Itís slumping into the red states, which is something, I think, that concerns a lot of us here.And itís not to say that thereísóthat this is an evil thing or something like that, but that theyíre simply welcomed there.The reason theyíre going there is because theyíre welcomed there.

††††††††††† Now if you want to control the military, we can do it in several ways.We can do it long range the way weíre doing it here.You know we can go out and vote every four years for the guy whoís going to be the commander in chief, or we can do it up close and personal.We can work with the students.We can create the kinds of officers that embody the virtues that we want in our soldiers.And the very thought that, you know, soldiers on this campus would be some kind of jack-booted thug, well, I have been in countries.Iíve been in Hungary in 1980 where Russian soldiers patrolled the streets of Budapest, and they were jack booted, and they did carry loaded rifles, and they were in control of civilians.Iíve been in Chile later on while Pinochet was still in charge there, where on one of the biggest shopping nights before Christmas a firefight essentially broke out, machine gun fire under our hotel window in the center of Santiago in Chile.

††††††††††† We do not have that kind of army in this country.We have an army that is responsible to us.Now it takes, as weíre saying, more than a teaspoon of brights to do this.It takes education, and weíre very, very poor by and large in this country in doing this, in fulfilling this particular responsibility.We should start with our children in their civics classes in fourth and fifth grades not to teach, not to inculcate them in one kind of political idea or another, but to the knowledge that they have to know what is going on.They have to understand what is going on politically, sociologically.What is going on in the world, and what their soldiers are and what theyíre for.And we donít do that, and we donít do that here.

††††††††††† And this university, I mean, the young people in this audienceólook at each other.Just look at the one next to youóyou people with your elite

 

END OF SIDE ONE, TAPE ONE; BEGIN SIDE TWO, TAPE ONE

 

KELLOGG:ĖIvy education.You are princes and princesses of the realm.You are going to be the movers and shakers here.And often, because the world is not the best of all possible worlds, what has to be used to move and shake the world, to get a just peace eventually, are armies.You need to know what youíre doing because when you donít, people die.

††††††††††† So I just want to talk about the fact that in the army when you join, even in an all-volunteer army, nobody joins without giving up some part of their civilian rights.The minute you join, the minute you raise your hand and take your oath of office, you come under whatís called the UCMJ [Uniform Code of Military Justice].Itís a much harsher code of justice than civilian justice.There are particular provisions for punishment for things like conduct unbecoming an officer.The reason there are such things is because you are responsible to the people of the United States.Itís a very mistrustful legacy we have.Washington almost didnít get a standing army at all.We had people like Sam Adams, not the prettied-up Sam Adams on the beer bottle, but the big old, big-headed, ugly, dyspeptic Sam Adams who said that militaries were dangerous and they would have to be watched with a jealous eye.That jealous eye is yours.You need to be able to do this.

††††††††††† Now, ROTC on campus is the closest thing youíre ever going to become to have control of what happens in the military.It is not the intrusion of the military to campus.It is your best chance to affect the military by the campus.And I just want to say that Iíve heard things like, Elites donít select themselves into the army.Iíve worked to make good soldiers for a long time, and what I find is that elites do select themselves into ROTC.These are elites in character, elites in academics, elites in athletics.Iíve worked with these people.Itís been my privilege, my privilege to have them there.

††††††††††† And when you worry aboutóyou have to look at the whole number of controlling acts and documents and laws that govern the military, and theyíre very, very tight.Some of the things you see as repressive are actually ways of guaranteeing civilian control.So among other things, a soldier is always under military law, whether he is in uniform or not.Soldiers, you can actually be prosecuted for things that one would never think of prosecuting someone for in civilian society.Adultery is actionable, because we want the best people we can have, not the worst.

††††††††††† Well, was it you who were telling me?Somebody was saying something about a Chinese general who had said that you want the worst people you have in the military because theyíre expendable.This is not the American way of war.Ours is to put the best ones in.And especially now in a time of more and more political warfare, we want the people who can live up to our contractual duties under international law, and they are not easy.We want people who can fight an enemy that is essentially without honor.We want them to be able to fight honorably.It is not easy.They have to be trained that way.They have to know what theyíre doing.Every single young officer is a teacher of these things to the men he works with.Every single one of them is.

††††††††††† Lastly thereís a little thing called the Posse Comitatus Act, which prohibits the use of military in order--weíre worried about this Praetorian Guard type thing.It prohibits sects or that sort of thing.There are very few cases in which the military can be used in police actions within the United States.One of these exceptions, of course, is the Coast Guard, which has law enforcement duties in drug operations and things of that sort.Itís a very interesting act, because it is a [inaudible] around that non-politicization of soldiers.Thatís the thing.Soldiers may not be political for as long as they wear the uniform.You may not stand for office.You may not campaign.Soldiers are the least ones, and the reason is that they have to serve everybody, not just those whose political leanings they may also share.And soldiers that Iíve come to know are all over the spectrum when it comes to political views.

††††††††††† Some of our most famous officers have taken this so seriously.George [inaudible] was famed for not even voting as long as he wore the uniform.I think the first time he voted was after he retired.

††††††††††† At any rate, I hope that when the questioning comes around, if you do have questions about these issues, perhaps we can start demystifying it a little bit.I can maybe help you out a little bit because I do have recent experience with this.Thank you.

 

CHEN: Before Sean closes the speaker portion, I have a few comments.We are actually making pretty good time considering we started about fifteen minutes late.And a recording of this event is available upon request for you media types in the audience.I think if I saw correctly, there are refreshments. We have drinks and refreshments after this event if youíd like.As far as the question- answer phase after Seanís speech, considering there arenít too many people in here, I think we can be a little bit liberal as far as the restrictions on what we want to say and if you have a few comments that you want to throw in as well, I think we can facilitate a pretty good discussion.And finally, Mr. Wilkes, you have the floor.

 

SEAN WILKES:For those of you who donít know me, my name is Sean Wilkes.I am the chairman of Advocates for Columbia ROTC and the founder.And Iíve been involved with this since my freshman year, since the beginning.Iím a junior now, just finishing up.And there are a number of reasons why this issue is important to me and why I got so heavily involved with it in the beginning.

††††††††††† Over Low Library and inscribed in a stone over the library is a founding mandate that Columbia stands for public good.So itís within that light that we are asking the University to make a decision.We, as students, this started as a student movement, are asking the University to make the decision to accept ROTC here.Not in the tradition of exclusion or subtraction that [inaudible] members of the Columbia community, but to add to the University a program that enhances opportunities for students, educates leaders of unique responsibility, and is profoundly imbued with the service to the public good and a belief in our democratic society, a belief that stems from the values of, the army values, for instance. that are so engrained into usóloyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage, important values.

††††††††††† So we approach Columbia, and the same university that has nurtured a great exception that is Barnard, which is an all-womenís college, for the sake of advancing a public good.Columbiaís position on ROTC, in my opinion, is indeed counter to it, and so therefore somewhat perplexing.Columbia is refusing to allow ROTC and therefore refusing a direct influence on new military officers because in some form the military is not acceptable to the University.But it canít suppose to be able to effect any change without exerting some influence on the culture and people that make up the institution.So as one of the worldís premier universities, Columbia should be engaging the issues directly through its own involvement, and not shirking responsibility and denying ROTC a place.

††††††††††† Columbia as a prime source of national and international leaders must include in its charge the education of those who are directly involved in the formulation and implementation of foreign policy.This is an important concept to realize.And you might ask, Why it is so critical now?Why are we trying to bring this back now?I would say from the broad perspective that the U.S. military, one of the primary means, if not the primary means, by which the U.S. enacts its foreign policy today, is in a great state of flux.September 11th was the vertical shock (to use a phrase that is often cited today in the Pentagon) that got the ball rolling.Itís transforming in a way that hasnít since World War II, and itís accepting responsibilities and realizing various problems that it hasnít experienced either since World War II or ever before.Warfare has changed, and indeed the U.S.ís role in the world has changed, and the military has to change in response.

††††††††††† Columbia has a chance now to be directly involved with this process.The greatest imaginable stakes fall today on the shoulders of the American military, many of whose leaders are educated through ROTC, over 60 percent, 75 percent in the Army and Air Force.Not so different a circumstance than Columbia faced fifty years ago when Columbia sent thousands of military graduates into a dynamically changing world.We live again in historic times, and today like yesterday, Columbiaís offered a singular historic opportunity, and itís our belief that it must take it.

††††††††††† Now I want to go a little bit into some practical issues that werenít discussed here, but I know itís on some peopleís minds, particularly those professors and those involved in the academy, and that is the positions of faculty members [coughing drowns out his words], military scientists, faculty members, and the summation of grades and the granting of grades for ROTC courses.Now in the past this has been a matter of absolute policy of ROTC programs, and this is the primary reason or some of the primary reasons that ROTC was ejected in the Ď60s, that the military required that ROTC be granted credit at a university and that its professors, or professors in the ROTC program, be granted the title of professor in the University.

††††††††††† This is still the case in many of the universities around the United States, but itís not absolute.I point primarily to our closest sister institution, Princeton, which hosts an Army ROTC program on campus, and does not grant credit, and in which the leaders of the program, professors of military science, is not known as a professor, but is given the title of director, and those under him are given the titles of instructor.This is an arrangement that Princeton worked out with the Army, with the military, and one that Iím sure Columbia, being the premier institution that it is, would have the opportunity to make.

††††††††††† So, and in the area of grades, I do believe that they are listed on the transcript, but no grade is given.It does not count in the GPA.And it is considered essentially an extracurricular activity under their student development office.So that, as a matter of practicality, might alleviate some concerns based on the original arguments for getting rid of ROTC back in í69.

††††††††††† But really I want to speak about Columbia as a whole.Columbia complains often, for instance, that all too often it is the underprivileged who are called to serve.And this has been a sticking point for many at Columbia.Many of the protestors who Iíve heard, many of those who are actually against ROTC, have said this and noted this about the military.Professor Silver provided some facts to the contrary, but it is still a concern for many.And yet, and that the military does not represent the whole of the United States, particularly the liberal viewpoints that Columbia so proudly espouses.That, as Professor Kellogg said, theyíre just moving toward the red states.This is a problem for many on campus; many on campus consider this a crucial issue.And yet by denying ROTC a place on campus, youíre only helping it.Youíre only pushing it more towards or more away from the viewpoints that Columbia so espouses, and youíre pushing it more towards underprivileged students and underprivileged persons, and not including those among the Columbia University community.So in that sense itís somewhat hypocritical for the University to take any policy like this, to take a stance against ROTC.

††††††††††† Second, youíre focusing on one policy.And granted, itís a very important policy, DADT, among a broader range of issues that is the military and a broader focus that is the military.Military is involved in many areas of society, and is again, as I said, a crucial part of our foreign policy.So Columbia has every right to oppose the policy.Columbia, you know, has every need to oppose the policy because it does go against Columbiaís viewpoints, and I support Columbia in its desire to do that.But this should not exclude ROTC.

††††††††††† Columbia is a flagship university, as President Bollinger has put it.Itís known for producing leaders in all areas of society.And yet itís noticeably absent in the area of military leadership, particularly when compared to many of the other great universities of this nation.You look at Berkeley, you look at Duke, you look at Princeton.All these universities have produced military leaders for so many decades.Columbia used to.Columbia was heavilyóthereís one point in Columbiaís history where it produced more naval midshipmen than even the Naval Academy.It had a proud tradition of producing leadership in the military.And when 1969 came around, when they expelled ROTC, that history, that tradition ended.

††††††††††† Finally thereís the main reason that I [inaudible] for ROTC in the first place, and thatís the students.From my point of view, this is a matter of improving opportunities for students.There are a whole slew of other benefits to returning ROTC.My main focus has always been the students.At this school we have a pre-professional office for medicine, for law school, for many other professions, and yet thereís nothing for students interested in the military.You might contend that the military doesnít compare to medicine or law or business as far as training and education is concerned.I invite you to take a good look at the departments for the officer basic course, or commanding general staff college, or the National War College, before you come to that conclusion. Education is a large part of military officersímilitary service throughout.It is important, and it is ingrained into us as soldiers.

††††††††††† Financial benefits are certainly there.I probably wouldnít have been able to afford Columbia without the help of the military.But I can tell you that the vast majority of cadets that I know do not join for the scholarship money.Neither I nor any of my friends, our participation stems from a strong desire to serve, and it is that strong desire to serveóI know there are more out there who have the strong desire to serve.They may not know where they want to serve or for whom they want to serve, but I know that that desire is there, and that desire to lead, that desire to be put in leadership positions and to lead great soldiers, to lead members of the society.And I think by bringing ROTC back that we will grant this opportunity to students, and make military service, military officership once again as a choice after graduation more so than we do now. And I think it is imperative that Columbia does this.

††††††††††† So on that note, Iíd like to, I guess, open the floor for a question-and-answer sessionówith our moderator, I suppose.

 

CHEN:I just ask that you give your name, maybe say a little bit about yourself.The floorís open.

 

JERRY BLACKWOOD: Excuse me.I donít have a question.My nameís Dr. Jerry Blackwood.Iím a retired lieutenant colonel in the United States Army.Iíve been in three combat theatres:one you protested, Grenada, and the first Gulf War.Iíve got to tell you something.Iím not a graduate of your school.I went to a small regional hick school called Texas A&M, which had the same background as this wonderful academic school used to have.It trained more military officers than the joint service academies at one time, just like this one did.

††††††††††† I, this afternoon, ran into a student protesting ROTC.I said why?This question.The answer to me was, I oppose military policy abroad.Thatís a good answer since we donít make military policy abroad.[He also said,] ďI also have a problem with DADT.ĒAnd Iíve heard Professor Silver, Iíve heard a lot of people in this university since Iíve been here.Iíll bet none of you can tell me where DADT even came from.It sure as hell didnít originate in the military.And gentlemen, you educators in this school, have a hell of an indictment of the school Ďcause most of your students today go into foreign policy and become policymakers. Gentlemen, the military are not policymakers. Weíre operators.You want to put the blame on somebody, then you go over to SIPA, you go over to where my family wentóand Iíll tell you what, weíre all Yankee boys.My entire family is Ivy League--Brown Universityóexcept me, probably because I was born south of the Mason-Dixon Line, not up north.

††††††††††† But I got to tell you something. I come from a rather [inaudible] family: all served.Do not ask, do not tell?Iím asking you guys to go down to the wall for Vietnam, the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington.I want you to go up against those 58,000 names sitting on that wall and say, None of you were gay.Let me tell you something, gentlemen and ladies here, November 11th, 1970, I lost a friend who was laying right next to me, after forty-eight hoursí continuous firefight, who bled to death.He was gay.And I find it absolutely horrendous that that one single issue is used. Well, ladies and gentlemen, that came from the civilian leadership passed through the U.S. military, and the U.S. military blundered in trying to find a solution.

††††††††††† Let me tell you why ROTC really deserves to be here.It has nothing to do with uniforms or anything elseóbecause you educators have no right whatsoever to create limitations.Well, Iím going to create a limitation, I mean, take opinions of others and allow those opinions to become someone elseís.You have a right to fairness. This school for some reason is a magnet for controversy.I donít get it.Either itís the Jews arguing against the Muslims or a professor in this school, or itís something like this stupid.

††††††††††† You guys have a problem with 1968 and 1969.I got news for you.Itís 2005. Get over it.I wasnít happy going to Vietnam. I volunteered.I wasnít happy going to war.No soldierís happy going to war.And weíre not killing machines.We have a specific job to do.You have a specific job to do.Be evenhanded in your educational process and donít discriminate.You have a hell of a nerve to say the U.S. military discriminates when youíre doing the same thing by not allowing it here.

††††††††††† What are we talking about?ROTC coming to Columbia.ďOh my god!ĒI mean, how many students in this school?ďEverybodyís going to start wearing a uniformórun now!ĒProbably less than ten percent will be in uniform. Thatís a big deal.And as far as the professors are concerned and their ranking, why thatís ego.I could care less. And I donít think anybody else can either.

 

CHEN: Colonel?

 

BLACKWOOD: Excuse me.One more.But I got to tell you something, ladies and gentlemen.Iím really annoyed with this tonight.Iím really annoyed with what Iím seeing today. And sheís rightówe canít even win elections.And by the way, sir, I happen to be a Democrat.Most of the officers I know were Democrats.Okay?You have [inaudible] control a good portion of the officers corps, but most of us are Democrats.I got to tell you something.It didnít matter.It didnít matter when we were being shot at if it was Republican or Democrat.But I got to tell you something.This has got to end one of these days. We all got to grow up, regardless.Work with the system.You donít like it, work it.If you guys want a big change in the military, you allow ROTC in here and you help it change.If you want to stay here and criticize it, well youíre doing the exact same thing youíre accusing the military of doing. Thank you.†† [Applause]

††††††††††† I donít think you know this, gentlemen.Iíve lost five friends of mine in Iraq, three in Afghanistan.Eight.I had an entire half company wasted in Vietnam.

 

ANOTHER VOICE:Colonel, I appreciateóIíd like to very much listen to the other people.

 

BLACKWOOD:Have a good night.

 

CHEN:If you could include a question, that would be very helpful. Use the mike if you have questions.

 

ANOTHER VOICE:Colonel. . . colonel. . . colonel, where are you going?

 

AARON COLE:I would just like to knowó

 

CHEN:Can you give your name?

 

A. COLE:My name is Aaron Cole.Iím the son of this professor right here.Basically, truthfully I donít know a whole lot about the particulars of the issue in terms of ROTC, and so Iím not going to get into any kind of debates about that, because I donít like to, you know, argue about things that I donít know all the facts about. But I would just like to know how many of you here know as many young people that would be serving in this military as I do in this generation?Because I can tell you I donít think itís the amount that I know.I donít think itís the amount of people that are coming in now, that are coming in in the future, in the future of this military that you plan on expanding.Youíre not from that same generation. And all I want to say is that on behalf of all us, some of us agree with the war, some of us are against it, but we know about it. Believe me.And if we want to become involved in it, we will go out and become involved in it.

††††††††††† So for you to add this to the equation is just further militarizing the country and the institutions that young people go to.Believe me, we know the war is on.Thatís all I have to say.

 

BROZAK:Excuse me. Could I ask you a question?

 

A. COLE:Yes.

 

BROZAK:How old are you?

 

A. COLE:Iím eighteen, sir.

 

BROZAK:Youíre eighteen.When did you turn eighteen?

 

A. COLE:Last June.

 

BROZAK:Were you registered to vote?

 

A. COLE:Yes, I was.

 

BROZAK:Did you vote?

 

A. COLE:Yes, I did.

 

BROZAK:Then youíre an exception, because most people that I know having just run for office that have turned eighteen didnít vote.They didnít go out there and exercise the basic minimum in terms of telling what this country should do.They didnít go out there and make their voice known.They didnít go out there and start to say we want to be part of this equation.

††††††††††† I just ran a campaign where I probably had a thousand volunteers that were eighteen, nineteen and twenty-year-olds.The idea is that you started the statement by saying that you donít know very much about the conversation youíre talking about.It behooves you to know more about it.And if youíre going to go out there and say Iím opposed to the military, that is absolutely the right answer if you come through that decision having learned as much about the military as you possibly can.

 

A. COLE:†† Sir, I didnít say anything about opposing the military.And you havenít responded to the statement that I made in the first place.What you have done, on the other hand, is not responded at all to the argument that this is increasing the militarization across the country.

 

BROZAK: This isnít increasing.Itís just allowing people to know more about what the decisions that are being made for them are actually taking place.

 

A. COLE:It isnít increasing it, itís just allowing people to know more about it?Thatís not increasing it? Itís forced in some way by allowing people to know more about it, allowing people to have more access to it.

 

BROZAK:No.Itís allowing them to make rational decisions about what goes on.

 

A. COLE:I think I can speak for all of us when we can make the rational decision to join on our own and based on our own opinions, and we donít need this extra.

 

BROZAK:So youíre telling me you donít want as much information as is possible before you make a decision.

 

A. COLE:No.Definitely.I just donít want it to be being forced down my peopleís throats and what they should or should not be doing.

 

BROZAK: And no one is forcing you to.

 

A. COLE:Well, youíre increasing the influence of your position, and what youíre endorsing by doing this, than it was before.

 

BROZAK:Weíre going out there and weíre trying to make sure that the people that make the decisions, the people that go out there, have the best information in front of them. Weíre going out there and trying to make sure that the future leadership, that the current leadership, has the best shot at knowing more about what the decisions are, and allowing the broadest distribution of people. Thatís what weíre here about.

 

CHEN:Procedural point:If you have a question or you want to make a comment, will you please get up here in line so we get an idea of, you know, what kind of numbers weíre dealing with.

 

COLE:We have these meetings and it really feels like a lot of talking past each other.For example, the man who recently spokeóI never said that the military makes foreign policy. And to say that bringing ROTC on campus politicizes the campus isnít to say that it politicizes it because the military itself makes foreign policy.It politicizes it because the military is ultimately and has to be a political force.War is a political means.Any discussion with war begins with what you think about that war.To say that there is something which is a just peace or an unjust peace presupposes a judgment about what political and social conditions are.

††††††††††† Now you can say that you think itís a great thing to politicize the campus.I think itís great to have political discussion, etc.But why was it that ROTC was thrown off?Letís go back to that.It wasnít that there was political discussion.It was that there was a confluence of factors which led to real political conflict on the campus.And who here among you is prepared to say that when and if the war in Iraq goes on, etc., you know, other thingsóWhen there gets to be real political conflict on the campus that thatís something that should be welcomed?You wonít.You will say that itís not the place for it to be on the campus.But at the same time youíre laying the groundwork for that to happen.You have to be honest with yourselves.The war in Iraq is opposed by 53% of the American population.They do not think it is a just war.If you bring the military onto campus, it is opening up the door for that to beóyouíre changing the social contract on the campus.You are saying now, OK, we think itís appropriate to do this, and then people who donít think itís appropriate are going to take equal and opposite reaction.At that point you canít then say, No, thatís not fair,itís unfair to say that these people shouldnít be on the campus, that you shouldnít have recruiters, etc.You opened the door.

††††††††††† Okay.So some response.

 

KELLOGG:But this campus already is quite politicizedó ††

 

CHEN:I want to hear this response and thenó

 

ANOTHER VOICE:Itís quite politicized.Itís unilaterally politicized andó

 

END SIDE TWO, TAPE ONE; BEGIN SIDE ONE, TAPE TWO

 

COLE:. . .ówork. You donít teach, etc. Itís something else. You are giving a privileged position.

 

CHEN:I would like to get one response and then weíll get to Professor Adlerís question.

 

KELLOGG:I honestly donít see it that way.I see that on this campus there isówe have on this campusóI mean, letís take a look at the 800-pound elephant thatís been sitting in this room all along.On this campus we have got a lot of political conflict right now, and itís over the Middle Eastern studies. There are a lot of people who are quite uncomfortable with it.Whether you think they should be or shouldnít, they are.And to say that you canít have ROTC on campus because some people might be uncomfortable with it, well, letís face it, you donít go to an institution of higher education to be comfortable.If thatís all you want, you can, you should go right back to the farm.

††††††††††† Here, itís to actually get to know other ideas.You may not become comfortable.You may only get to understand it.Thereís a difference, however, between understanding and approving of something, but you can get to the point of understanding other people, and this is a very, very harlequin-type society.And itís okay to have patches of army green and navy blue.

 

CHEN:Professor Adler.

 

MICHAEL ADLER:I was very moved by Scott Stewartís presentation, and it left me with two questions.One is, you never did say whether or not you were in favor or not in favor of having ROTC on campus, and the second question is this.We know, weíre experiencing the opposition of the LGBTóyeah, L-G-B-Tócommunity to the idea of ROTC on the grounds that DADT discriminates.Why donít you share that opinion?If you do, please, well, say so. What do you think? How do you think the LGBT divides on this?Because I have no general statistics.

 

STEWART:I donít have statistics either, but I am for the return of ROTC simply for the fact that in my opinion it would further the end of DADT.Also, as many people have said here tonight, that there is a need for likeminded individuals, especially this campus, to be a part of the military to be able to interject those ideas, progressive ideas of changeówhich is my reason for going on.I mean, Iíve proved to the soldiers around me, my first sergeant and CO, that, you know, that policy was wrong.

††††††††††† I donít necessarily agree with what the colonel said.I know that DADT was instituted through civilian stuff, but it was the backlash from the military that caused that.So I donít necessarily agree with him.I think the reason I donít fall in line with the LGBTóthey always add different letters to this thing;Iím not sure whether or not itís LGBT B or Q or something, but this is not the issue.They always add letters to it.So.I might get in trouble for that.I donít share their policies because I think for the most part theyíreóI donít know how to say this in the right wayótheyíre really uneducated about the issue.

††††††††††† A lot of people on campus, a lot of students, donít want ROTC here because of DADT, and thatís a simple issue.We can sit up here and have philosophical debates on the other issues, but really what it comes down to is the students care about DADT.Itís the one thing thatís keeping the majority of them at least from bringing it back.And so thatís why I wanted to talk to youóbecause I really feel like they can have DADT removed from the military by participating, by standing up to it and by confronting it.Like I said, say I didnít go in the military cause of it.I was open.And I proved myself, and I said to them, Kick me out of here.Try it.

 

COLE:Well, what about the other reason for gay people to go into the military who have a bad experience?

 

STEWART:I think for the most part, and I said when I first opened my statement, I canít answer for everybody.But I know that ignoring it and walking away from it is negative and I think tható

 

COLE:Well, there are many people who say that they have confronted it, and they, you knowó[cross talk]

 

STEWART:And they did their duty. They did their duty.They still joined up.

 

COLE:But they wonít do it again because of what happened when they might be in the military.[Cross talk]

 

STEWART:I donít think that would stop them.

 

COLE: --eight people, all of whom except for myself are in favor of bringing this back.Why isnít there someone, I am sure on the committee, on the Task Force, etc, there are other people, who were gay people, who had very different experiences.

 

ADLER:Aaron Lord was supposed to be here.He didnít come.

 

COLE:Well, whatever, you know.To say that your experience can be used as some kind of general ruleó

 

STEWART:I never said the general rule, but itís better than the other option.

 

BROZAK:Well, hold on a second.I served for 22 years, and I served with many fine men and women that were gay.Many men and women have died for this country that were gay.Iím going to die today and tomorrow.The idea is this that every person is unique, and every company commander, battalion commander, squadron commander that I knew, every man and woman to a person, wanted the best possible soldier, sailor, airman, marine.And whatever they did in the privacy of their home, they could care less about.

††††††††††† The idea is simply thisóthat there are not enough voices out there that can say it makes no difference.By definition there arenít enough people going out there and defending and saying Yes, I am gay; it made no difference.There are not enough people out there that can go out there and say, I did both.

 

COLE:One of the reasons why there are not enough people is because they are under fear that if they do that, they are going to be acting against the law.And Iím notó

 

STEWART:Youíre absolutely right about that, but whatís the alternative?

 

CHEN:Excuse me.

 

COLE:The alternative is to get working on it outside of the military to change that law.

 

ANOTHER VOICE:Thatís never been the case.[Cross talk]

 

COLE:Excuse me. Wait a second, wait a second.[Cross talk]

 

ANOTHER VOICE:Lewis, youíre not a chair.

 

COLE:I understand that, but you know all of you can speak.He asked me a question.

 

CHEN:Sir, weíll have time to have all our comments.First a clarificationóI know youíre waiting, Iím sorryóNate Walker was originally supposed to be a member of this panel, and unfortunately, I guess for whatever circumstance, he had to drop out very late last week, and Professor Cole was gracious enough to step in.

 

COLE:I volunteered.I wasnít asked.

CHEN: Thatís very true.Professor Cole did volunteer.And Professor Silver, I believe you have a response.

 

SILVER:DADT was developed by a colleague of mine, Professor Charles Moskos, department of sociology, Northwestern Universityóa rather desperate attempt to patch up the political clumsiness of Bill Clinton at the beginning.I would also, in response to a [inaudible] of opposition from the military articulated by a poster board for ROTC, General Powell at the time was the chairman of the joint chiefs, and who actually in a mini-General MacArthur act overstepped the bounds and in my opinion ought to have been dismissed for having in effect challenged the principle of civilian control of the militaryóa very vexed issue.

††††††††††† Well, a very minor thing, which is to tell individual stories.Individual stories when theyíre added up make a lot of difference, but they remain individual stories.What I and others have tried to do is to speak at the institutional level.Individuals will make their choices.Some will stay in; some will stay out.Some will get [inaudible]; others will not.Itís a free country.Do what you want.Thatís the force field; thatís the natural way.And unless some of that pressure comes from within, with exemplary acts like [inaudible], exactly on tne model of what has gone on in the previous [inaudible].My example was the Native Americans in World War I.Then , if that happens, the growing tolerance in the American society as a whole. joined with the imperatives of manpower that have already been alluded to.You canít waste a good people. Thatís been the story with the blacks; thatís been the story with women.It is now the story with Hispanics, who are the largest growing minority inside the military at the moment, and I confidently predict it will be the story with gays and others.

 

CHEN:Iíd like to get the ladyís question, and we will return to this conversation and when we do, I would only ask that you not talk over each other because weíre not just talking to each other; weíre talking to these fine people who have graced us with their presence.Go ahead, please.

 

ALEX RISSIO:Hi.My name is Alex Rissio and Iím a junior in the College, and I want to thank everybody on the panel for their sobering arguments thus far.However, Iím confused on a couple of points, I guess.One is, If someone is in ROTC and they are discovered to be gay, can they be kicked out of ROTC?

 

KELLOGG:Youíre using a term whichóthe genius of this thing!ówhich nobody likes because it isnít what it would be in a perfect world, which is, you just serve as yourself, is that it changed a situation that was even more unjust, where you had a choice between perjuring yourself or leaving your profession.And for some people, this profession is a calling.Itís comparable in some of the people I know, a lot of the people I know, to a priestís calling, to the ministry.Itís very, very important to people.

††††††††††† What it did was it allowed you to serve honorably without having to perjure yourself in order to stay in.I do feel confident, as Dr. Silver does, that that is going to change for the better.I think it just has to.Thatís the reality of whatís going on in the military today and even before, and before the manpower and the [inaudible], and we need not to waste peopleís talents.

††††††††††† Weíre not asking people.As long as you donít ask and they donít tell youó

 

BROZAK:I just want to ask a question that I think that has to be dealt with.People donít know who they are when theyíre eighteen, nineteen, sometimes when theyíre twenty years old.So what would happen to a Columbia junior that was in ROTC and discovered that they were gay, bisexual, whatever?One of the proposals put forward by the ROTC Task Force was that it should be the case that the University would reimburse the military for that expense and it wouldnít be taken out of that person and that they would not be required to pay back.And frankly, you know, there are a lot of people that all of a sudden discover, who may be in the ROTC programs, that they also might be conscientious objectors.Thatís a similar question to what happened to those people as well.

††††††††††† You know, I think that the University, the Task Force, has gone out of its way to protect those students that all of a sudden would find out or discover that they are gay.

 

STEWART:I know why people up here want to really avoid the issue, and thatís why Iím sitting here because I donít want to sit up here and avoid the issues.I think thatís been done too much, and thatís why thereís so much anti-ROTC going on, as it is.No oneís giving straight answers; theyíre giving the [inaudible] bullshit.The answerís yes, you can be kicked out.It doesnít mean you shouldnít be involved, because just like before, I mean going back to the civil rights thing, I mean we have.Unfortunately a lot of people are kicked out of the military.But they have to be.So [inaudible] a presence showing there are people in there who are gay who arenít afraid of being gay, and that are soldiers, that can serve and serve honorably like I did.

††††††††††† That needs to be at the forefront.Itís like going up and drinking from that whites-onlyówhat is it?

 

CHEN:Water fountain.

 

STEWART:Thank you.Or sit at the front of the bus.You have to do it if that means getting arrested.That means, you know, getting shot.If it means getting beat up.You do it.Iíll hold my boyfriendís hand in public, you know, because Iím not going to allow you all to treat me as a second-class citizen.So we should bring it back to fight DADT.

 

RISSIO:May I just follow quickly?

 

CHEN:Sure.Please.

 

RISSIO:So I guess my, now that I know that if you are discovered to be gay, how it happens.You can be kicked out of ROTC, Columbia reimburses the military, and possibly provides funding for the rest of that personís education.Fine.However, I have a big problem with the idea that Columbia would allow there to be an institution that gets Columbia space and funding that just blatantly discriminates against gay people.I mean, Iím looking at a copy of DADT and Iím horrified.And I know that a lot of, everyone on this panel, is horrified as well.My question is. Why isnít there more discussion about, you know, ways for pro-military, pro-ROTC people to advocate for a change in DADT without forcing Columbia to be complicit in it?So Iím saying why notóexcuse me?[Background talk]

 

STEWART:I mean, thatís what Iíve been saying since I kind of joined the wagon here.I kind of say that we shouldnít be pronouncing that weíre pro-ROTC, that we should be announcing weíre anti-DADT, which you can do at the same time.

WILKES:And I can point to a number of cases where members of our coalition, Advocates for ROTC coalition, have in fact done so, and have as an organization and as members, individual members, written to letters to Congress.That was a part of what weíve done.I can point to a number of cases and they can be seen on our Web site, advocatesforrotc.org, in which weíve contacted Congressmen in order to look at the issue.We had one of our members, Dr. Segal, [who] has made recommendations because of the organizations activitiesí to make recommendations on how to improve the issue, and he has been specifically changing DADT.And theyíve asked him [for] recommendations and ways to do that.

††††††††††† One of the ways that he mentioned was a step-by-step process that he suggested might be more in line with current administration, the problems that may arise from the current partyís control of both the administration and Congress, and that was do a step-by-step by process starting with lawyers and doctors who would be put in the same situation as the infantry soldiers.So there have been efforts made by members of our organization.Not all of our members agree.There are a variety of opinions among our organization, but those steps have been taken.

 

RISSIO:I guess what Iíve asked is that, you know, given the nature of this policy and the nature of Columbia as an institution that opposes discrimination supposedly on all fronts, I would ask that ROTC continue to remain off campus and for whoever chooses to, especially those people who have a particular voice in the military, to try to effect change from their particular place, but not at Columbia, because if my school were to allow an institution that just blatantly discriminates in this way, I would lose so much faith in it.

 

ADLER:But how do you change it?

 

RISSIO:I understand.Iím sayingó

 

STEWART:Letís not attack her.

 

RISSIO:Iím saying, I understand the idea that you need to be entrenched in an institution in order to effect some kind of change.I also think, you know, if weíre talking bridging the civilian-military gap, you know, why do we need to have people join the military to do that?You knowó

 

KELLOGG:Do you know what the rest of the country is like?[Cross talk]

 

APPLEGATE:Iíd like to say something as a member of the Task Force, and I voted in favor of bringing ROTC back.The first question is that I do not feel that Columbiaís establishing an ROTC program here is in any way a University endorsement of DADT.I will also say that exactly the issue you raise is one on which reasonable people canódidódisagree, five to five.No one supported DADT. Five people endorsed the position which you advocate, which is that ROTC and the military have no place on campus until this policy is changed.I disagreed with that.I felt that in order to do the most that we could as an institution, given our values, in order to effect change, we should engage the issue in the way a university does best and that is to teach its students and trust them to be the agents of change.

 

STEWART:And Iíve gone through what youíre going through right now, and thatís the reason I joined in the first place.Iím thirty years old.Iím in GS.So I, you know, did a lot of stuff, and when DADT came around I thought it was one of the most, you know, gross injustices you could do to another American.You know what I mean? To treat them as second-class citizens.I cried about it as well.I just knew that thereís not going to be any politician out there whoís going to change this thing if itís not changed from the inside first.Thatís the whole reason we have it in the first place.

††††††††††† And so itís not enough to say, Ddonít bring it back here, because then whatís going to happen?[To Prof. Kellogg] Itís kind of like you saidóitís going to be those southern states that are, you know, red.Iím from Texas, by the way, so I can say redneck and be OK.But in coming from Austin, coming from Texas, there is no room for homosexual lifestyle down there, and thatís one of the reasons why I came up here as well, is I wanted to take this education and take it back there with me, try to make it a blue state as fast as possible.

††††††††††† But I implore you to do more than just say, Donít bring it back here.I implore you to get involved in any way, shape or form you can to change this thing, to understand that sometimes you have to take that cough medicine to make it work, you know, to get rid of the cough.I know itís a bad analogy and I apologize, and I donít want to get muddled down in it, but it canít just be, Donít bring it back here, thatís it.It just canít be.This thing is too important to meónot the military, but the discrimination is too important to me to just let it go.And I know a lot of people here think that you can do it from the civil point of view, that you can protest and do all of those things.But ROTC has been kicked off the campuses, military recruitmentís down, more people are starting to accept the homosexual lifestyle, you know, percentage wise, but the thing isnít changing.DADT is still there.And I want it to change.And I just feel like, I donít know, a lot of people wonít agree with me on this one, but I really feel that you should get involved to help in that change.If that means taking the medicine, then do it.

 

CHEN:Iíll indulge myself as moderator.I have one comment to that, that I do believe very much in Columbia University as an institution of progressive reform, an active body of change in this society. Building on that point, as a first-generation American, my parents were immigrants, among other benefits from my service in the military, for me it was a message, more than a message, it was a statement of ownership, of responsibility, of a right as an American to have a say-so in the future of this country and the future of my family and people like me in this country.Having served in our military is a definitive statement of citizenship.But without having made that statement, without having made that tangible definitive action, I donít know.Maybe in my own mind, maybe only in my own mind, where I donít have that power to say I have a right to say something is wrong and needs to change.And I think bringing those two values together, my vision of Columbia as a progressive, reform institution in the society, and that statement of ownershipóI think thatís where the answer is.

 

COLE:I mean, two things.One thing is, it seems to be odd that the issue of ROTC should devolve upon the question of political tacticsóthat is, that it ends up being a discussion about how it is best to change an onerous policy of the government.To some extent ROTC is to be argued for and in and of itselfówhat it is as an institution, etc.

††††††††††† Two things.One thing is, I know a lot of people whoíve been in the military, and I read a lot of journalism about the military.And one of the things that becomes clear from that is that there is a profoundly difficult task to do to get your voice heard.There is a book, for example, about a unit in Iraq that recently came out, called Generation Kill, which was done by the report that Rolling Stone did on Iraq.The head of the unit is a graduate of Dartmouth.Heís Ivy League.He goes into the war believing the purposes of the war, believing in his responsibilities as a leader, etc.He comes out of the experience with those attitudes changed, but also believing that he cannot affect policy.At the end of the article that you quoted today, today the captain of the unit that you were talking about which had this, you know, which was suppliedówhich was not suppliedóand which had 23 men and women killed because of the lack of equipment that they had, was then, is now facing disciplinary action because his command said that he had dictatorial attitudes.And itís obvious that many of the men that he was the leader of did not believe that that was the case.

††††††††††† Today Captain Royer, who is the captain, is at Camp Pendleton contesting his fitness report, which would force him to retire.The company is awaiting deployment in Okinawa, Japan.Some members have moved to other units.ďIím checking out,Ē Corporal Winn said.ďWhen I started I wanted to make it my career.Iíve had enough.Ē

††††††††††† So thereís a large amount of literature about the difficulty, being in an institution which is led by command, of getting your voices heard.And this is not being spoken to.

 

BROZAK:OK, and I will address that firsthand.

 

STEWART:And Iíll address it secondly.

 

CHEN:And then Iíd like to get back to the audience.

 

BROZAK:That was my unit, and in speaking to the folks at Manpower, that captain is not alone.There are lots of captains out there, there are lots of majors out there, that are facing criticism because theyíre going out there, and we should change things.What Scott didóthe analogy is that when youíre looking to take a beach, when youíre looking to go out there and go into an attack, the first wave, the first few people are not going to make it.Scottís sacrifice allows the next person to go out there and get over that hill, and the person after that.That captain over there sacrificed his career because he wouldnít be shut up.That person said, You know what?Iím not going to take this.Iím going to go out there and Iím going to do whatís right.By Scott sacrificing, going out there and putting himself into a position where he could say firsthand, Guess what?Iím just as good as everybody else.By showing that there was no difference, by going out there, he put himself in a position where heís that first person through, and the next person after that.

††††††††††† That article says that that captain was the first person through.The next person after that can effect change in whatís going on in Iraq.The person after that.Thatís where that story talks about what needs to be done.

††††††††††† By Columbiaís participation in ROTC, youíll get those first bodies through.

 

CHEN: Scott?

 

STEWART:Actually he said what I wanted to.

 

CHEN:Please give your name andó

 

MARK XUE:Mark Xue, Class of í06. I canít fault people for tying together DADT and ROTC because in my over five years at Columbia as a student, and two years as an undergraduate, I had rarely ever seen DADT mentioned outside the context of ROTC.Prior to the movement to bring back ROTC on campus, it has not been an item for campus dialogue.And not to be cynical about it, but I believe the reason for that is that Columbiaís had no stake in DADT.Without engaging the military, without an NROTC program on campus, DADT is merely an issue for other schools, for other individuals who are pursuing other things that Columbia students wouldnít want to engage in.

††††††††††† And now that this movement to bring ROTCís back, we see DADT debated and discussed and out in the campus dialogue.And if ROTC was to return I see Columbia students having a stake in fighting DADT.I havenít seen Columbia students fighting DADT in the past.Perhaps itís because itís been twelve years.Perhaps the [inaudible], but we arenít any more.And if the ROTC is returned, I think there will be an alternative movement on campus to fight DADT.

In response to Mr. Cole here, when you asked how many kids your age do we know that enlisted in the military, Iím a Marine officer candidate.Down at the recruiting center at Wilson and Center Street, there are over 30 candidates going down to basic this summer.And even as enlistedómost recruiters are failing to meet their quotasóofficer candidates are fighting for slots.Officer selection is as competitive as ever.And thereís no shortage of applicants who want to serve as officers in the United States military. Thank you.

 

CHEN:Now, did you have a question?

 

LYMAN DOYLE:My name is Lyman Doyle and Iím a second-year student in the Business School.Scott, I wonder if you could kind of walk everybody through, like, how youíre open in the military.I mean, like, youíre thinking through it, you know, hey, DADT, this is a military policy you know.You know what goes, whatís in the script goes, you know, it seems like.And I was just wondering if you could kind of go through, walk a little bit through how commanders interpret this and, you know, go through the whole kind of, you know, how do you approach this on a personal level?

 

STEWART:From my experience the command structure didnít really focus on DADT.It would seem that they were more focused on if the soldier could do his or her job and do it well, and serve the military in whatever function that person could.So I was out; I wasnít a screaming homosexual obviously, but it opened up with friends.It opened up, started out, I mean my objective was to be out in the military as long as I went in as a walking testament protesting DADT.So, by the time I got in it was í95, so obviously there was no more question, Are you gay? on the application.So when I got to basic training, which is Fort Benning, Georgia, I let my platoon or squad know that I was gay, and not so much what my intentions were.In fact my intentions were at the beginning to be kicked out so that I could, you know, have that behind me.And then I started thinking, you know, it isnít so much now that I should be kicked out; itís that I prove, you know, spit in the face of DADT, to show that a gay person can do just as much as a straight person can do.

††††††††††† So coming out to my fellow soldiers and improving my work through thatóI never had anything done to me because of that, because I guess I proved myself,and actually this is my experienceóproved myself as a soldier first.And then going on to Fort Campbell in Air Assault, thatís when I actually let the command, the first sergeant and CO know, and for them it was, like. Well, if you get any trouble let us know, [inaudible] at the time.But that was where it was at, you know.

††††††††††† And so I think that in the military, DADT isnít so much an issue as it is if youíre a good enough soldier, if you can do your job.I think that DADTóI think Professor Silver said itóthat it was this ramshod kind of thing that was pulled through because of the ball that was dropped from President Clinton on the issue.I think they [inaudible].I think that the military with more like-minded people getting in there can change things.Because like I said, the most important things for these commanders are to make sure that their soldiers are doing whatís necessary to get the job done.And thatís the most important thing.

††††††††††† I donít know if that answers your question or not.Like I said, this is more my personal experience.I donít have years of philosophical training on this stuff.So all I can tell you isóI donít know.Did you want to comment on that?

 

COLE:I just wanted, you know, itís interesting that the biggest change in the military historically, the integration of the armed forces, did not come about through the military; it came about through presidential fiat, by President Truman.

 

STEWART:Well, there was also the Korean War to push along those numbers.

 

COLE: But this was before the Korean War.It was 1948.But the relationship between external and internal forces is very, very, very real here.And to simply say that, you know, I donít want to take away.Look, my personal experience is [a] very, very different experience than all of you who served, and I respect enormously the risks that youíve taken, partly because I felt that in different ways I took similar risks.And I believe in fighting for it.But the way in which political change happens is not simply through working within a highly authoritarian structured institution which rules by command.And I donít think it should be the only argument to surface, by not addressing those issues.

 

BROZAK:You are absolutely right.It is not in itself enough.But the thing is, some of my stuff, the tool, that a politician can say here is an example of someone that went out there and did the job.And just as integration required World War II and the segregated units that distinguished themselvesóthe Tuskegee Airmen that went out there and did not lose one aircraft under their purviewóproved at the time [that] what they called ďcoloredsĒ could do the job just as well.And by having gay soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines prove that they can do the job, that will allow the politicians eventually to go out there and acknowledge the fact that this is wrong.And by allowing Columbia to be that voice, to be that unparalleled voice, thatís giving the tools necessary.And thatís where we need the help.

 

STEWART:And it should be noted too that I was scared out of my mind about doing this thing, because there is that level of fear.You walk in there and thereís that level of fear.When I was in basic trainingówe all know this who ever servedóthey strip a lot of yourself away.Right?So that they can put in the things that you need--responsibility, determination.But once youíre done with basic training, then you start reasserting yourself.You put yourself back together here with those new added qualities.So I couldnít, I mean, like I said, that fear for at least a couple of months prevented me from actually [speaking] up, because I was thinking, Well, Iím going to get in there and no oneís going to listen to me, and Iím just going to get kicked out and my storyís not going to be told.And, you know, nothingís ever going to change this thing.But I, you know, I canít say it as eloquently as you did, but I just closed my eyes and ran, you know, head first into this thing because it needed to happen.It just needed to happen and just because the command structureís set up the way it is.I mean thereís also a good reason for that too, because you need to have that command structure in the way that it does, but I think you can have that with gay soldiers involved.

 

CHEN:Professor Silver has a comment and Iím going to go to this gentleman, and then Iím going to wrap up with one last question.Professor Silver.

 

SILVER:The army paid very little attention to President Truman in 1948.It took the Korean War. By 1954 there were no more segregated units.The same logic, itís a multiple logic, that demand from within for equal status and citizenship.I also have a story.I was a liberal in McCarthy times, so Army Intelligence decided I was a communist.I deferredóI passed by the graduate student deferment that all kinds of people in the last administration seized upon.In fact, I volunteered for service in a shooting war, passing graduate school by.My reward as an anti-communist Cole War liberal was to be typed as a communist and sentóso the intention wasóto the front with my company records saying that I was a communist.I will not let the real Reds who are over there in the Soviet Union or our Reds, who I embrace as fellow citizens, have a monopoly on [inaudible] and patriotism.What was true then has been true in the interval since with other groups, and will be true for new groups, exactly as Scott has so wonderfully demonstrated.

††††††††††† Finally I would say, Look, the colonel, who we all listened to with great respect, also said, and here I agree with him, Forget about í68.Sixty-eight is a [inaudible]. Itís not a [inaudible]. Itís not a map for whatís happening now.Itís a different story.It is time to absorb those lessons and realize what is new in the world and move into it.

 

CHEN:Do you have a question?No, please give your name first.

 

TED GRASKE:Ted Graske and my bias is towards pro-ROTC so everybody knows that.But Iíd like to put a perspective on something, and itís called, In the military and in corporate life there is no tenure.There is no protection in the corporation or in the military for making statements that change easily.It is not easy in either organization, but it can be done in either organization.It takes knowing how the system works.It takes building up grounds of influence.In addition, in the corporation many laws do not change without labor unions and outside influence groups.So singling out the military as being a place where you cannot talk, excludes the corporation, the church, the military, many other organizations. The only place where you can safely say anything you want is when you have tenure, and the rest of the world does not have tenure.[Laughter]

 

CHEN:I want to wrap up now with a question.Iím going to wrap up now with one for Scott, and I believe Professor Kellogg also had a comment on this.Letís assume Columbia ROTC returns within the next year, within the next two years, and I hate to make you a spokesman for our gay community here, but Iím going to ask you.

 

STEWART:Iím not, by the way.

 

CHEN:Which youíre not.What would be your practical suggestions for this university to work with ROTC, perhaps the military at large, perhaps with lobbyists in Washington. What would your suggestion be for active measures foró[cross talk]

 

STEWART:Thereís no easy answer to this.Thereís none.I would support as many gay students to join up as humanly possible to prove, to show that DADT is wrong.I donít know.I think, if I had an answer, that we wouldnít have DADT right now.But I donít have the answer to that.I donít know what Columbia can do.I donít know what its bounds are.All I know is Iím here more speaking to the students tonight on things like, that I really want you to be able to understand that yes, thereís some wrong in this thing, but it needs to be fixed.And thatís the most important thing.It can be cited, but it needs to be fixed.However you think that you can do it, do it.But it needs to be fixed and soóand Iím not knocking the military.I wouldnít be here if it werenít for the military, and not because of the money, but because it gave me that fortitude I needed to be able to get through thisónot that education is easy, as you probably know.But, and so do a lot of people, and we need to support the freedom of our country too.I know that a lot of people say that,but itís actually true.If we didnít have this army, there would be some fear there as to what would happen to us in the future.

 

ADLER:Scott, at some point, you canít declare that youíre gay going in.You canít say it to the recruiter.Youíve got to get past that.You can come out later.

 

COLE:Thatís not true. [Cross talk] You can be thrown out.

 

ADLER:Yes, of course you can.

 

COLE:And you can be thrown out also if somebody outs you.[cross talk]

 

ADLER: But if you take theopportunity to prove yourself, that means that you havenít come out before.

 

CHEN:I think the professoró

ADLER:Iím trying to get an answer to your question as a practical matteróhow do you do it?

 

STEWART:You mean, overall, How do gay students go into ROTC?Well, first, I donít know.They can ask themselves.I think it would be up to the student when they would feel that it would be reasonable for them to say it, but I think that they would have to say it.I donít think going inóthereís a fear here too that Columbia provides for scholarships if the personís kicked out for being gay.Thatís how you get students in there who werenít necessarily gay, but said that they were gay so that they could get money out of this thing.So thatís an issue of itself.I just donít know.I just know that you canít know Ďcause you just have to be there and do it.You have to.And I would implore that if ROTC came back that that we donít just, that you actually get in there and picket that way.Because you get in there and you do it.

 

CHEN:Professor Kellogg has a comment and then weíll wrap this up.

 

KELLOGG:Yes, I do.I think weíre conflating two different ways of affecting something that none of us here is very fond of.The truth of the matter is that DADT is the law of the land.It cannot be changed by the military.And it cannot be changed by Columbia alone.It supersedes every policy.

 

STEWART:Well, if the military went to politicians and said, We donít like DADT, they would change DADT.

 

KELLOGG:Well, OK.The thing is politicians take their cue from the public, from the voters.And you have to face up to the fact, because otherwise nothingís going to happen, that New York is an anomaly in many ways among the regions of the United States.And youíve got a hard uphill fight in order to convince a lot of people out there in the American public to understand you.

 

STEWART:Right.Iím ready for it, are you?

 

KELLOGG: Itís not.Itís a hard fight, but itís notó

STEWART:--and well worth it.

 

KELLOGG:†† You canít win a fight that you donít fight.You canít.You have to start there.You have to start taking people on.That said, what you did is very efficacious, I think, because it cuts off at the knees that argument which I think is not a very reasonable one.Itís not right.It doesnít follow obviously, empirically, that people in the military wonít accept gays.Itís not true.Anyone who knows a lot of soldiers knows gay people who have servedóor maybe I wonít say anything more about that because I donít want to harm anybody.But I think that what people on this campus have to do is decide what their objective is, their true objective.And if it is to help gay people who truly want a career in the military, you have to realize one thing.Military careers are time sensitive, and that means that once you get past 26, for the most partófor the most partóyour chance of ever doing this is over.And there are some people who are hard-wired to do military work as they are hard-wired to be gay.Itís on the genes and it sorts out independently.And if you want these people to have their chance, then you donít cut them off.

††††††††††† There are people right now waiting for their chance and in a couple of years will be over that deadline.If you want to help them, then you got to help them.If all you want to do is say, We donít want to see people running around campus in uniform, thatís another thing altogether.††† [inaudible]. Thank you.

 

CHEN:Okay.First, Iíll apologize to Scott because actually that was a question I had prepared for Nate Walker and I actually had given to him with prior notice.Thank you to all our speakers, especially Professor Kellogg who traveled quite a long way to be here, and Professor Cole, who I think did very well in our forum.Well, I think weíre all friendly here. Thank you very much for coming to our event.

 

END OF SESSION