The case against Military and Naval Science, at Harvard involves half a dozen points of major importance. Notali the general topics concerning militarism in education are pertinent here. At another time the CRIMSON will publish an article discussing the ways and means of furthering the study of military subjects in schools and colleges. This article deals mainly with the subject as it may be seen in the Harvard curriculum.
The main points which are to be discussed group themselves as follows: the history of military education at Harvard, the purpose of military education, the methods used to obtain sufficient enrollment to continue the presentation of the courses here, the place of the subject in a college of liberal arts and sciences, the value of the knowledge offered and received from the subjects.
Popular During War
During the war the establishment of courses for the training of student officers was common among American schools and colleges. At Harvard the courses in Military Science were instituted and were subject to a large enrollment. At that time the college faculty and authorities found it necessary to give academic credit for these courses in order that the many men who were spending so much time on them might not fail to get sufficient credit. When the Naval Science Department was established after the war was over it was found necessary to continue the practice, not in order to put Military and Naval Science on the same basis, but in order to retain the enrollment, so seriously did the numbers decline. At the present time the student receives one credit per year for each course in Military or Naval Science, or a possible four credits from courses of the seventeen required for graduation.
Train Leaders for War
The purpose of military education, which will be more fully discussed in a future article, is an ambiguous one. Apparently the idea is to prepare college men as leaders in case of future wars, but as will be seen from the next article, the fundamental point of leaders of militarism in education is to inculcate in the student the belief that war is inevitable, that the world has never known and will never know peace, and that only by the most scientific preparation for war may war be delayed. Propaganda on nationalistic grounds is the chief method of convincing citizens of the benefits of military education. Patently, however, as has been said, the avowed purpose of military education at Harvard is to train leaders for possible future wars. There is a certain amount of propaganda to the effect that military training is the best method of training men physically, mentally, and morally for citizenship, but usually it is acknowledged that the purpose is to make officers of gentlemen.
It was discovered soon after the war that khaki and drill lost their glamor and that more attractive allurements had to be found if college men were to enroll in these courses. Therefore in three main ways the courses advertised themselves as being something for little