The Corner

Yale, Honor, and the Military

The following letter appeared in today’s Yale Daily News.  It is refreshing to see a student speak out against the polite disdain that permeates Yale’s campus (and that of other Ivy League schools) for all things military.

To the Editor:

While reading about Yale students’ efforts to educate local Hispanic students about their college options (“Admissions experiences vary,” 12/5) I was surprised to come across the following statement in the article: “One mother asked if the Army is a good option, and she received a flurry of replies from the Yale students, who told of their friends stuck and miserable in Iraq.” I was surprised at the inclusion of such a political statement…  However, what disturbed me more was the fact that the Yale students in question dissuaded these high-school students from what is an honorable profession – the military. While I agree with what I believe to be at the crux of their argument – that disadvantaged students should not see the military as their only option to receive an education – I am nevertheless upset that they would argue against service at all. Regardless of one’s stance on the current war in Iraq, I strongly feel that one must recognize that for much of America, if not for Yalies, the military is regarded as a profession of which one should be proud. In the South, where I am from, it is not uncommon to see highly educated men and women decide to enter the service for reasons for patriotic duty.  While these high-school students should certainly be encouraged to attend college, they should also remember that the military can be an honorable way to achieve the same goals of having a secure future.

Kathryn Baldwin ‘09  

Michael Rubin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, senior lecturer at the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Civil-Military Relations, and a senior editor of the Middle East Quarterly.


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