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With a total enrollment of 30, 35 veterans and 45 civilian students, College ROTC under the command of Col. Mark McClure, USA, is in the process or returning to a peacetime four-year course ending in a commission in the Army Reserve Corps.
In an effort to increase interest in ROTC, a bill is now pending before Congress which will, in its present form, provide men in the elementary course with $20 per month subsistance and all equipment. This bill will also give men in advanced courses a $20 subsistance allowance plus $1.25 per diem for uniforms. The plan is almost certain of passage, according to McClure, since it is supported by President Truman and the Military Affairs Committee in both Houses of Congress.
McClure expects approximately 200 men to enroll in ROTC this fall. These men will have the use of much new equipment in addition to that already in use, according to War Department plans. More motorized units, heavy cannon, and possibly self-propelled field pieces and a light observation plane will be added to the mortars, rifles, machine guns, and engineer and single equipment now on hand.
One of the main attractions of the ROTC, which has always helped to swell the ranks since the College unit was founded shortly after the first World War, has fallen victim to progress in the art of war. "In the 'piping days of peace' the unit was a horse drawn outfit which had a polo team; but, because the horse has ceased to be important or used in war, the team no longer exists. Thus, many 'little soldiers' no longer sign up," said McClure. But he emphasized that the unit will attempt to develop esprit de corps by many other social functions.
Hit Peak In '41
During the war, College ROTC dwindled to a mere taken unit of about 20 men from its peak enrollment in 1941 of over 500. Over 2.000 former members of ROTC served in the war, with several reaching the rank of full colonel.
Although the course usually ends in a reserve commission in the field artillery, it is possible to get a commission in other branches of the Army by attending the summer camp of the desired branch. An eight-week period at summer camp is required before the commission is granted. All expenses are paid by the government and each man will receive the pay of the sixth grade of the army while at camp. Before the war, Harvard and Yale students went to a joint encampment at Fort Ethan Allen in Vermont, but McClure doubts if this will be continued.
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