Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley and Yale University president Richard Levin shake hands Sept. 12, 2011, after signing an agreement to establish an Air Force ROTC detachment at Yale during a signing ceremony at the university's Woodbridge Hall. Classes for cadets will begin at Yale in the fall of 2012. (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)
Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley and Yale University president Richard Levin sign an agreement Sept. 12, 2011, to establish an Air Force ROTC detachment at Yale during a signing ceremony at the university's Woodbridge Hall. Classes for cadets will begin on Yale's campus in the fall of 2012. (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)
(From left) Gen. Edward Rice Jr., Richard Levin and Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley take questions from University of Connecticut Air Force ROTC cadets following a signing ceremony Sept. 12, 2011, at Yale University in New Haven, Conn. During the ceremony, Donley and Levin signed an agreement to establish an Air Force ROTC detachment on the campus, which marks a renewed Air Force presence at Yale University. Rice is the commander of Air Education and Training Command and Levin is the president of Yale. (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)
by Maj. Joel Harper
Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs
9/12/2011 - NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AFNS) -- The secretary of the Air Force and the president of Yale University signed an agreement here Sept. 12 establishing an Air Force ROTC detachment on the campus, which marks a renewed presence at Yale for the Air Force.
Yale's commitment to service, intellectual excellence and diversity make it the right school for a renewed and invigorated AFROTC presence, said Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley.
"First, a permanent presence for Air Force ROTC will make it easier for Yale students who are interested in military service to access ROTC education and training opportunities," Donley said. "Second, a Yale presence will give the Air Force a way to connect and engage with some of the brightest and most diverse students in America."
But just as important, said the secretary, is that the return of an Air Force ROTC presence on campus will be an everyday example to the Yale community of the men and women who wear the nation's cloth and whose service and sacrifice protect America's freedoms and keep the country secure.
"I am honored that Yale will host an Air Force ROTC detachment," said University President Richard C. Levin. "Yale students will make great contributions to the Air Force, as they do in whatever career they choose.
"I am pleased that the Air Force has taken this important step to make it easier for the most talented young men and women who aspire to leadership in our military to gain a Yale education," Levin said. "In my view, the military and Yale will both benefit from this relationship."
Yale University was among the original 77 AFROTC detachments activated in 1946 and operated on campus until 1957. In recent years, Yale students have been able to take Air Force ROTC courses at the University of Connecticut's Storrs campus. This year, two Yale graduates completed that program and were commissioned as Air Force second lieutenants.
Classes for cadets will begin on campus in New Haven in the fall of 2012. In addition to Yale College students, the Yale detachment will enroll students from other universities in the state that participate under cross-town arrangements to take the ROTC program at Yale.
9/15/2011 11:10:16 AM ET Are you kidding me? I wish the AF had told Yale thanks but no thanks. What this article fails to mention is that Yale gave ROTC units the boot in the early 1970s because of yuppie liberal anti-Vietnam sentiment. As if this was the fault of AFROTC detachment commanders and cadets. Yale continued to bar ROTC units because of the DADT policy. Again, not the fault of those who serve or those who want to serve. Yale snubbed the military for political and philosophical reasons and punished those who wanted a good education as well as to answer the call to service. Having ROTC units at a college should be viewed as a priviledge and an honor to the institution not the other way around.
Chris Kimball, Indiana
9/15/2011 9:08:55 AM ET A good story and a wonderful opportunity to bring visibility of the Air Force back to this university. The timing is good for the university but not necessarily for the Air Force against a backdrop of personnel and budget uncertainty. There are far fewer scholarship opportunities field training slots and commissioning needs for the Air Force than there were even five years ago. The AFROTC cadre at Yale will have a big challenge like all the other AFROTC dets.
former APAS, Stateside
9/14/2011 8:58:24 AM ET Vietnam War vendetta over. DADT repeal in law. Time to open an AFROTC Det in one of the top three-tiered Ivy League universities. AF officer and NCO staff manning to be added subtracted from somewhere else. Detachment start up costs to be added subtracted from somewhere else. Likely to yield less than five second lieutenant commissioned a year. Tuition is 400,000 dollars for a 4-year bachelor's degree. Hope the AF doesn't pay for too many scholarships at that cost per second lieutenant.
Tell the Truth, U.S.
9/13/2011 11:04:57 PM ET A great news story and a great milestone event bringing an Air Force presence back on campus. Too bad this is against a backdrop of huge budget and personnel uncertainties. Scholarships are few and far between field training slots are even tougher to get commissioning needs are way down and there's talk of changing our beloved military retirement system. So how can we expect to attract Yale students into the Air Force
former APAS, Boston
9/13/2011 9:49:25 AM ET So let me get this straight. AFROTC has so many cadet that they can only commission about 45 percent of those that are eligible as of the latest cut off for Field Training. The students at Yale had the ability to attend an AFROTC detachment at a near by university. A detachment is supposed to commission an average of 15 Lts a year to stay viable and most of the Ivy League schools do not meet that standard. We are having budget and manpower shortages throughout the Air Force.So now we are going to create another detachment which will require at least 5 active duty personnel including 1-O56 2 CGOs and 2 NCOs and an operating budget. In turn we will either get the same cadets from Yale that were attending the other detachment or maybe a few more but very doubtful that it will meet the viability standard. The only reason for this is politics.