Thousands of seniors now enrolled in Army ROTC programs may only have to serve 90 days on active duty-instead of two years-if a plan under study by top defense officials is adopted, an official armed services magazine has revealed.
Under the new plan, almost two-thirds of the June graduates would receive training in Army basic branch schools, as active duty, and then would be released from active duty. They would still obliged, however, to participate with Active Reserve Units. The magazine said it was likely that ROTC graduates' names would be submitted to their draft boards if they did not join the active reserve.
The remaining third, mostly volunteers, would serve the normal two-year hitch.
This June, the Army should receive 14,500 newly commissioned ROTC second lieutenants. At the same time, because of a budget slash, the Army will have to cut its active officers, strength almost 12,000 by June, 1955.
Unider the proposal, the Army would not have to adopt the program started by the Air force last year. Faced with a surplus of non-flying officers, the Air Force began using ROTC men as airmen.
A source near the Pentagon said that the Army neither would not could undertake a policy similar to that of the Air Force. To make ROTC men serves as enlisted men, the source said, would represent a "breach of contract."
Furthermore, the source contended that the ROTC program was designed primarily to strengthen the Reserve Forces on which President Eisenhower has recently placed much emphasis.
Army ROTC officials at the University were somewhat hazy thems4elves over the proposed plans, but they were certain that all '54 graduates would receive their commissions. They did not know it the 90-day program would be passed by the summer or not.
No Official Word
Lt. Col. Trevor N. Dupuy, professor of Military Science, said that he read about the new plan, but had not received any official word on it from Washington.
He also said that the Army last fall promised commissions to all June graduates, and "the Army doesn't go back on its word."
There are approximately 280 students in the University's Army ROTC program, divided almost evenly among the four classes, Dupuy explained. He said that the University's unit has no quota, and did not forsee one in the near future.
The '54 Army ROTC man will probably have the same option as last year on when he desires to enter service, Dupuy believed.