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Army and Navy Two-Year ROTC Pinched by Decline in Applications


Applications for the two-year Army and Navy ROTC programs are down to less than one-third of what they were last year.

Applications for the Air Force program, which only accepts 12 students, have remained about the same.

The two-year ROTC programs are designed for graduate students and for those undergraduates who do not want to spend four years in collegiate officers' training.

Colonel Robert H. Pell, professor of Military Science, said yesterday that the sharp decline in applications may affect the Army's decision on whether or not to remain on campus. "You can't operate a program with no students in it," he said.

Pell denied that the SDS anti-ROTC campaign had any affect on students' desire to join ROTC. He said that the decline in applications was merely evidence that the panic caused by last year's cancellation of graduate deferments had subsided.

Panic Button

After the cancellation, Pell said, "Graduate students thought they were going to be drafted and pressed the panic button. But when they saw that everyone was not called up, pressure to get into uniform and beat the draft was lessened."

Major Walter H. Yanochik, associate professor of Naval Science, said that the unknown fate of ROTC on campus and the loss of academic credit for ROTC courses were partially responsible for the decline in student interest in the Naval ROTC program. The number of undergraduate applicants dropped from 35 last year to 5 this year, he said.

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