Heavy cuts in the size of the nation's standing army have thrown a scare into ROTC cadets around the country. Since a shrinking military establishment reduces the number of officers needed, many of the 17,000 graduating ROTC seniors will not receive commissions this June as anticipated.
Harvard artillery cadets should not be affected since there is at present a shortage in trained artillery officers.
Budget slashes have forced the Army to reduce enlisted personnel by slightly over 20 percent; this makes it necessary to reduce the active officer list by a relative amount.
Under consideration by the Army is a plan to commission most ROTC graduates and require those not needed for active duty to serve as officers in the National Guard or organized reserve, both of which can use them to their own advantage.
Facing a similar predicament, the Air Force plans to commission only 7,000 flying officers and a few specialists while 7,000 others will be left to enlisted status.
Heads of the three military science departments at the College declined to comment when contacted last night.
Meanwhile, the director of the nation's selective service, Major General Lewis B. Hershey, warned all scientists and those preparing for scientific careers that specialized training does not provide exemption from military service.
Speaking recently, Hershey discounted reports of critical shortages of engineers and scientists resulting from military demands. He "unshakenly" advocated the idea that "the question as to military service is not whether the young man is to perform, but when he is to perform it.
"We must quit bemoaning the prospect, discouraging the young men into indifference and indecision, and frightening them into ill-considered or hasty decisions about college, the choice of a profession, or anything else in their future."