Columbia and the Military

Columbia University has limited engagement with the military beyond the question of ROTC.

Yellow Ribbon Program (Veterans)

Many Columbia schools, led by General Studies, currently participate in the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Yellow Ribbon Program:

17 of Columbia's schools and programs are participating in the Yellow Ribbon Program, an initiative authorized by the Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008 (the Post-9/11 GI Bill) in which educational institutions provide eligible student veterans with a tuition waiver or grant matched by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. This program supplements the base educational benefits provided by the Post-9/11 GI Bill. 

Currently, 420 veterans attend Columbia under the program's auspices, with over 300 at the School of General Studies.

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Military Recruiting

Columbia Law School

Due to the federal legislation known as the Solomon Amendment, Columbia Law School (CLS) has allowed the military to recruit on its campus. The Solomon Amendment makes federal funding conditional upon allowing the U.S. military to recruit on campus.

In response to return of the military, 72 CLS faculty members signed a letter stating their commitment to non-discrimination and their disapproval of the military’s presence on campus. The letter was written before the formal repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell".

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College of Physicians and Surgeons

The College of Physicians and Surgeons (P&S) participates in the Armed Forces residency programs. The programs, expected of doctors, facilitate postgraduate training in general and specialized medicine, and comes with a commission as an officer.

In addition, several officers serving as military doctors are also current faculty members of the College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Academic Programs

Teachers College

The Eisenhower Leader Development Program is a joint program between the United States Military Academy at West Point and Teachers College of Columbia University. Current military officers selected as "Company Tactical Officers" undertake a joint program in Social-Organizational Psychology (Leadership Development) at Teachers College while concurrently serving as instructors at West Point:

A Tactical Officer (TAC) is the legal Company Commander of a Cadet Company and the primary developer of cadets at the United States Military Academy (USMA), West Point , New York . He or she assists each cadet in balancing and integrating the requirements of the physical, military, academic, and moral-ethical programs. A "TAC" trains and coaches the cadet chain of command to establish and sustain high unit standards and behavior essential to a cohesive company environment. TACs have a senior NCO (SFC or MSG) assigned as their NCO partner (1SG equivalent) - together they form and model a professional command team for the cadets. TACs inspire cadets to develop effective leadership styles through role-modeling, counseling, teaching, and training. A Tactical Officer also presents formal and informal instruction to the company, implements special development programs for individual cadets as needed, and is responsible for all company administration.

Completion of the Eisenhower Leader Development Program leads to an MA from Teachers College and a three-year service obligation.

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Graduate School of Arts and Sciences - Department of Political Science

The United States Military Academy at West Point sends students into the PhD program of the Department of Political Science each year. Students must be admitted under the normal standards of review and the ordinary policies governing admission, administered by GSAS and the department.

West Point sponsors their tuition, fellowship, and living expenses, and the students (already commissioned officers) begin their active duty service obligation following the completion of their doctoral degrees.

Military Research

While the cessation of classified military research was a major consequence of the legacy of 1968, Columbia University still participates in research funded by the Department of Defense. Columbia has taken advantage of Department of Defense Basic Research funding, and has held town halls geared towards helping researches compete effectively for such funding. Columbia has also released advisory material regarding the increase in DoD research funds newly available under the recently passed American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (i.e. federal stimulus package).

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