Perspectives on the Future of ROTC at
ROTC PANEL AND DISCUSSION
[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
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.
The second myth is
that DADT makes ROTC illegal under
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
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
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
The decision we
make for the restoration of ROTC is about more than just ROTC. We are shaping
our generationís vision of
[Note: The beginning of Prof. Applegateís speech was not recorded.]
JAMES APPLEGATE: . . . . [
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
††††††††††† 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.†
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
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
††††††††††† 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.
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
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.†
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
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
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.†
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
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
††††††††††† 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.
††††††††††† 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
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.†
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
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.†
ROTC program at
have a choice.†
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.
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.†
bookended by two professors that happened to be at
††††††††††† 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.
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
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
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
††††††††††† 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
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
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.Ē† The 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.†
co-chair of this committee talked about
††††††††††† 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
returning ROTC to
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
Not too long after
that I remember going to award the mayor, Iím sorry the governor of the state
The last person Iíll talk
to you about is a public employee of a municipality out in
I would like very
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
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
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
then after two years I went back into the military, I voluntarily went back in
in 2003 and I served in both
††††††††††† 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.†
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
††††††††††† 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
††††††††††† 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.†
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
††††††††††† 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.Ē† Essentially 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†
thing that concerns the soldier is the second part of the just war tradition
and that is called Jus In
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
††††††††††† 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.†
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
††††††††††† 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.†
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
††††††††††† 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.†
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
††††††††††† 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.
Low Library and inscribed in a stone over the library is a founding mandate
††††††††††† 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.†
is still the case in many of the universities around the
††††††††††† 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.†
really I want to speak about
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
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
benefits are certainly there.† I probably
wouldnít have been able to afford
††††††††††† 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,
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.Ē† And 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--
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
††††††††††† 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.†
guys have a problem with 1968 and 1969.†
I got news for you.† Itís 2005.
Get over it.† I wasnít happy going to
are we talking about?† ROTC coming to
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]†
donít think you know this, gentlemen.†
Iíve lost five friends of mine in
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.†
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
††††††††††† 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
††††††††††† 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,
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
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.†
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
††††††††††† 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
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.
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
Captain Royer, who is the captain, is at
††††††††††† 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.
article says that that captain was the first person through.† The next person after that can effect change
in whatís going on in
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
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
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
CHEN:† Now, did you have a question?
LYMAN DOYLE:† My name is Lyman Doyle and Iím a second-year
student in the
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
††††††††††† 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
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
††††††††††† 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
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
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 the† opportunity 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
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
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
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.