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WASHINGTON-A special Pentagon report said yesterday that climinating the ROTC program would decrease civilian influence within the national defense system.
The report, responding to campus criticisms and recommending continuation of ROTC, called upon colleges and universities to play stronger roles in ROTC affairs.
The 61-page document was drawn up by six college educators and three senior military officers. Secretary of Defense Melvin R. Laird ordered the review last spring in the wake of mounting dissent over ROTC.
The committee conceded that its study came during a period of "unprecedented faculty and student opposition to ROTC. " Three Ivy League schools Harvard, Dartmouth and Columbia have taken steps to curtail or drop ROTC completely.
The panel asserted that officer education on civilian campuses "strengthens our traditional civilian participation in and influence upon the military," where as other training approaches "yield more to domination by the military organization acting on its own.
"Indeed, insofar as some crities fear 'militaristic' influence in the national defense system, opposition to ROTC issingularly inappropriate-its abolition would decrease civilian influence."
The committee said ROTC, as a means of procuring half the regular officers in the service, is in the national interest. The report recommended the program he strengthened and improved rather than dropped.
At a news conference the Pentagon's man-power chief, Roger T. Kelley, urged a careful digesting of the report by university and college faculty members.
The report recommended approprate academic credit for ROTC courses, faculty status for the officer-instructors and continued wearing of uniforms and military drilling on campus.
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