The 53 per cent increase in Army ROTC enrollment this year is primarily due to the University's new Army program, Lieut. Col. James T. Hennessy, professor of Military Science said yesterday. The number of students taking the beginning course has jumped from 43 to 66 since last year.
The new program involves the first major change in AROTC policy in three years. It requires considerably less time, reducing the number of classes per week from three to one for the first two years. The weekly two hour drill period required last year, remains the same, however.
Still further changes in the AROTC program are in the planning stage now, Hennessy indicated. A proposal to add more College-taught courses to the curriculum and to decrease Army instruction will go before the Faculty sometime this year, he said.
The 66 who enrolled in the AROTC this year compares with the Navy's 49, an increase of nine over last year's total. Capt. Richard B. Rodmayne, Commander of the NROTC unit in the University, attributed the increase to a greater effort on the Navy's part in seeking out prospects in various schools. He said that even more information should be available to incoming students, however, pointing out that a great many freshmen knew nothing about the Navy program at the end of Freshman week.
The number enrolling in the Air Force ROTC increased this year for the first time in five years. While the enrollment in the other services has fluctuated during the last five years, the total in the AFROTC had steadily decreased. Seventy-five took the beginning course in '56-'57, but the number dropped to 27 the next year.
The Army and the Navy also showed significant decreases in enrollment between the year '56-'57 and '57-'58. The incoming freshmen in the AFROTC fell from 85 to 56, and in the NROTC the enrollment dropped from 98 to 65. In the year '58-'59, however, the total jumped back up to 69 and 78, respectively.
Explaining the fluctuation, Redmayne said that "a lot depends on the international problems facing the U.S." He pointed out that during the Korean War interest in the three services was very high. He also mentioned the rising level of myopic intellectuals in the University. More students, he lamented, are coming in with glasess and cannot pass the physical.