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Two students who left the Harvard Naval ROTC program have been assigned to active duty in the Navy.
David M. Baughan'70 and Fridtjof H. Eriksen '70 have both received orders to begin two years of active duty this year, instead of finishing their last year at Harvard. The orders cannot be appealed.
Baughan quit NROTC, while Eriksen was dismissed from the program because of his involvement in last year's anti-ROTC campaign. Secretary of the Navy John Chafee, on the recommend ation of the Pentagon's Active Duty Board, ruled that they must begin two year stints as soon as possible.
Both Baughan and Eriksen were enrolled in the four-year "regular" subsidied NROTC program, under which the Defense Department pays full tuition and additional expenses. Students in this program must enlist in the Naval Reserves as freshmen and are legally committed to the Reserves after their first two years in NROTC, although they are not called to active duty so long as they remain in the program.
"If you continue taking our money your third year, you should know what you're doing," Captain Wyclisse D. Toole of the Pentagon said yesterday Thomas J. Moriarty, commanding officer of Harvard NROTC, said that he could not recall a previous instance of anyone dropping out of NROTC here after his second year.
Baughan, who is now at Harvard awaiting assignment, asked last month to withdraw from ROTC. He said yesterday that he "had doubts about ROTC" for over a year before a cruise to Guantanamo and Key West last summer convinced him to leave. "I was so sure I didn't want to be an officer that I was willing to accept being a sailor." he said.
"I hoped to be allowed to finish my senior year first," said Baughan, whose father is a rear admiral in the Navy. "But the Pentagon's decision came as no surprise and I can acept it: no gross injustice was done," he added.
The Active Duty Board-three officers appointed by Vice-Admiral Charles K. Duncan, Chief of Navy Personnel considered Baughan's case on September 23, and Navy Secretary Chafee acted on their recommendation last Sunday. Harvard NROTC commander Moriarty informed Baughan of the ruling on Thursday.
The Navy's East Coast Distribution Center will probably give Baughan his assignment sometime this month.
Eriksen Was Dismissed
Eriksen's difficulties with ROTC began when he was recognized in an Alumni Bulletin photograph of last April's occupation of University Hall. Moriarty, after learning that Eriksen was already on probation for his participation in last December's Paine Hall demonstration, recommended to the Active Duty Board that he be dismissed.
The Board made the same recommendation to Chafee on August 5, and the Secretary acted on it two weeks later. Eriksen received word of his active duty status on September 11 in an ROTC telegram charging him with "conduct unbecoming a midshipman and a prospective future Naval officer."
Eriksen did not enroll at Harvard after learning his status, staying instead at his San Francisco home. He discovered Thursday that he must report in December to the Twelfth Naval District Base on Treasure Island and will be given further assignments after his arrival there.
"I got into ROTC because my parents wanted me to; I had very ambivalent feelings about it from the start," Erik sen said yesterday. "I kept saying I want out, but I needed ROTC's money," he added.
Eriksen began attending SDS meetings last year because of SDS's anti ROTC focus. "I see the military's role as too offensive and aggressive, but I was in kind of a schizophrenic position: I should have been on one side or the other," he said.
"I belive I was treated fairly as far as the rules go; I just don't like the rules," Eriksen added. He said that he wants "to organize politically within the military and try to get people to come to their senses."
Baughan and Eriksen both said that they plan to return to Harvard after their time in the Navy.
The Active Duty Board had the options of assigning Baughan and Eriksen to two-to-four-year active duty stints, beginning either this year or next, or annulling their contract with the Reserves.
"We need a considerable number of people to keep our training base active," Captain William S. Busik of the Pentagon said yesterday. "If we stopped putting people into the service, we'd soon run dry," he added.
If Baughan and Eriksen "are conscientious and keep working for us," Busik said, "they should be able to advance pretty rapidly and do some good for us " He added that "we're trying to abide by the rights that people have in this great country of ours, but they make it difficult sometimes."
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