Defense Official Doubts Approval Of ROTC Change

Recent proposals for drastic revision of the Army ROTC program are unlikely to take effect in the near future, a high defense official said yesterday in Washington.

The new ROTC plan, now under discussion by a group of seven University faculty members, would expand summer camp training from the present six weeks to at least 12 weeks and would reduce College ROTC credit requirements from four courses to three.

"An increase in the summer training period would require a Congressional Act," Col. Phillip K. Smith of Army G-3 said yesterday. "The way things are going now in Congress, I wouldn't count on any further help."

"The three-year provision still might conceivably be approved," Smith added. Under the National Defense Act of 1916 and its amendments, the Secretary of Defense is granted authority to determine what courses must be given in ROTC courses throughout the nation.

Such a sweeping change in the ROTC curriculum would affect schools throughout the country, Smith said. "This, in itself, might prevent any action," he warned.

The National Defense Act also specifically limits the Secretary of Defense in his authority over summer training camps. Although the Defense Department is given the power to set up ROTC camps, it is legally forbidden to require more than six-week training periods except in time of national emergency.

College officials believe that if the new program is approved, a more liberal study of ROTC courses would be offered.